February is Black History/Futures Month. Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate, recognize, and honour the history of the Black and African descent community.
It is an occasion to connect and build community by supporting Black businesses, artists, and farmers. It is also an important reminder to learn about Black history, share knowledge, and advocate for change.
Blacky History Week began in 1926 in the United States. During the 1970s, the week expanded to a month with the first month-long commemoration of Black History taking place in February 1970. It took until 1995 for Canada to recognize and to begin celebrating Black History Month, following the initiative of Honourable Jean Augustine, Canada’s first black Member of Parliament.
For more information on the history of Black History Month, visit BC Black History Awareness Society. On their website, you can also find a helpful list of definitions for key concepts such as Anti-Black Racism, Racialization, and Institutional Racism.
Movement for Black Lives is an organization that connects, convenes, advocates, and creates space for political and cultural conversations between Black organizations and people. Over the past decade, they along with others, have promoted the idea of Black Futures Month, a reframing of Black History Month that focuses on celebrating and looking forward.
Movement for Black Lives describes, “Each February, we take stock of the cumulative efforts undertaken by Black people to erect a liberatory future where we are self-determined and loved. Black Futures Month is a visionary, forward-looking spin on celebrations of Blackness in February; a time to consider and celebrate our radical Black history and to dream and imagine a world in which all Black people are free.”
Throughout the 2023 season, we had the opportunity to collaborate with Kor Kase from AfroVan Connect (AVC), Black Space Media (BSM), and Fare Farms (FF). Through a series of videos, we highlighted the incredible work they are engaged in at FF.