February 9, 2021
The Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) wholeheartedly acknowledges Black History Month (BHM) and the contributions of Black people in Canada and at SFU. We commend the efforts of monumental Black folks in the past, and the roads they paved for society today. For many in the Black community, this is a time for celebration also and serves as a time to reconcile and address the specific needs of the Black community. Black History Month was officially recognized by the House of Commons in 1995. This incredible milestone was spearheaded by the Honourable Jean Augustine, the first Black woman to sit in the House of Commons.
During Black History Month, it is important that we highlight the many Black achievements outside of trauma and struggle, and focus on celebrating Black love, art, and joy. Support Black storytelling. Follow Black folks on social media that explore topics outside of racism and social justice. The energy and intentionality we bring into BHM should set the tone for how to appreciate Blackness all year-round, and not solely when we benefit from Black folks’ labour.
We encourage SFU educators and students to embed Canadian Black history in their classrooms. Celebrating Black History Month on a national-scale is crucial to fighting Black erasure in Canada and educating people on the contributions of Black Canadians.
In June 2020, the SFSS took a stance by standing in solidarity with Black lives. It is important that we continue to tangibly uphold the statements that we made during this time, “working with Black student organizers and allies… holding our University accountable in any efforts for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Justice”. In doing so, we also must celebrate the work and efforts of current Black people and organizations. Close to our own hearts, we thank the Students of African and Caribbean Ancestry (SOCA) as well as the African Students’ Association (ASA) for the work that they have done since their inception at SFU. They generously share their knowledge, drive for justice, and passion for bringing the community together.
Follow the SFSS Events page on Instagram to keep up with SFSS’ Black History Month events and posts.
This petition seeks to make Emancipation Day a nationally recognized holiday in Canada. Emancipation Day, which falls on Aug. 1, celebrates the day slavery was outlawed in the British Empire in 1834. Learn more about the importance of Emancipation Day celebration and education here.
Sign Petition Here: https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-2924
Here are some resources to aid your journey in diving into Canadian Black history!
BC Black History Awareness Society
British Columbia’s Black Pioneers: Their Industry and Character Influenced the Vision of Canada (Digital Museum)
Black History in Canada
SFU Library’s Collections: Celebrate Black History Month with books by and about Black Canadians
Honouring Black Canadians in Science and Technology
28 Films to Watch During Black History Month That Aren’t About Black Trauma