February is recognized as African Heritage Month across the country and 2018 marks the 34th anniversary of its proclamation in Nova Scotia. Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA) is pleased to partner with the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia on celebrations throughout the month.
- The Black Cultural Centre developed a special pop-up museum display featuring the history of one of Nova Scotia’s founding cultures, the African Nova Scotia community. This exhibit is on display during the month of February at Halifax Stanfield on the main level of the Air Terminal Building. Nova Scotia has over 50 historic African Nova Scotian communities, dating back over 400 years. These communities have a unique and rich legacy of resistance, resilience and triumph. The display features information on the four major migrations of Blacks to the province of Nova Scotia – the Black Loyalists, Jamaican Maroons, Refugees of the War of 1812 and the Caribbean Migrants.
- Halifax Stanfield will host an African Heritage Month Event on February 15, 2018, at 11 a.m. featuring artist Reeny Smith.
“It’s an honour to partner with the Black Cultural Centre whose inspiring work helps to protect, preserve and promote the rich history and culture of African Nova Scotians,” says Joyce Carter, HIAA President &CEO. “I’d like to encourage everyone to take the time to participate in African Heritage Month activities, including visiting the exhibit here at Halifax Stanfield and taking in all that the Black Cultural Centre of Nova Scotia has to offer.”
The 2018 African Heritage Month theme, “Educate, Unite, Celebrate Community,” honours and pays homage to African Nova Scotians and their long legacy of uniting a passion that has provided a base to educate and celebrate an important part of Nova Scotia’s culture and heritage. The theme embraces education and encourages all Nova Scotians to educate themselves about African Nova Scotian history.
“HIAA should be commended for their corporate culture and desire to be diverse in sharing an important part of Nova Scotia, or shall I say Canada’s history,” says Russell Grosse, Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia Executive Director. “African Nova Scotians have made a significant contribution to the fabric of this country long before confederation and continue to do so today. This partnership celebrates the spirit of us educating one another, us uniting together as one and, most importantly, celebrating our diverse community.”
Together, we can unite and ignite the culture and heritage we share as a community as we observe the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent from 2015-2024. This observation focuses on three pillars: recognition, justice and development.
African Heritage Month in Canada
The commemoration of African Heritage Month in Canada can be traced back to 1926 when Harvard scholar and historian, Carter G. Woodson, founded Negro History week to recognize the achievements of African Americans. Woodson purposefully chose February in recognition of the February birthdays of Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. Both were key figures in the emancipation of enslaved blacks.
In 1976, as part of the American Bicentennial celebrations, Negro History Week was expanded to Black History Month. African Heritage Month in Nova Scotia has been observed since 1984 and is currently organized by the African Heritage Month Information Network.
The African Heritage Month Information Network is a partnership with African Nova Scotian Affairs, The Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia (Organizational Lead), African Nova Scotian Music Association, African Nova Scotian North-Central Network, African Heritage Month Southwest Network, Africville Heritage Trust, Black History Month Association, Cumberland African Nova Scotian Association, and Valley African Nova Scotian Development Association, the Halifax Regional Municipality’s African Nova Scotian Integration Office, and the Guysborough, Antigonish Strait African Regional Network.
About The Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia
The Black Cultural Society of Nova Scotia was incorporated as a charitable organization in 1977. In 1983 they opened the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia, a multi-level museum complex focused on Protecting, Promoting and Preserving the important history and culture of African Nova Scotians.
The Centre and Society are a provincially mandated organization supported by the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. Thousands of tourists, students and patrons visit the Centre each year to discover the provincial story of an important part of Canada’s history.