Black History Month a time for celebration and education, P.E.I. leaders say

·2 min read

Black History Month is not only a time to celebrate the different cultures within the community, but also a chance to educate the general public on how everyone can work together toward a common goal of a better life on P.E.I., leaders in the Island's Black community say.

Tamara Steele, executive director of the Black Cultural Society of P.E.I., says this year's theme highlights the many different heritages within the Black community on the Island.

"We're just enlightening people that we're not a single Black culture, we are a community made up of several different cultures that come from many different countries."

Especially right now, being Black isn't all trauma and sadness. — Tamara Steele

Steele said she hopes the activities planned for the month will instill a sense of pride in the individual heritages within the Black community, but also give the general public an "inkling of understanding about what it means to be different here."

"Especially right now, being Black isn't all trauma and sadness," she said. "There's a lot of joy and there's a lot of beauty and a lot of really beautiful things that are happening in the community and like I always say we're here and we have so much to offer."


Society president Chijioke Amadi, who moved to P.E.I. from Nigeria 14 years ago, said the Black community has to educate people on why they want to help make P.E.I. an even better place to live.

"We want to tell Islanders that we together — we can't do it alone — together we can build a stronger community. We can build a better and a very, very inspiring community for the young generation, our kids and generations to come."

Planning activities for Black History Month was challenging, given the uncertainty with COVID-19 restrictions, Steele said. But she and Amadi said they are looking forward to the panel discussions at Holland College and UPEI, luncheons, a film screening, a gala and other events.

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

More from CBC P.E.I.