Skip to main content

Learn More

Mandela: Struggle for Freedom open until August 25, 2019!

Learn More

Black History Month celebrated with performances, workshops

News release details

Somali refugee to share story of survival and hope

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights and Ca'Fro (Caribbean-African) Arts & Entertainment present a day of education and entertainment on Saturday to celebrate Black History Month. All events are free and open to the general public.

Beatrice Watson, Outreach Liaison Officer with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, will deliver opening remarks at 11 a.m., examining how slavery has affected the lives of Black people today. At 3 p.m., she conducts an interactive workshop about combatting racism and creating the human rights city we want in Winnipeg.

Yahya Samatar, the Somali human rights worker who became a refugee in Manitoba after swimming across the Red River from North Dakota last summer, will speak at 12:30 p.m. and be available for one-on-one discussions with visitors throughout the afternoon.

From 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., there will be performances of dance, song and poetry; film screenings and discussions for children and adults; and workshops in drumming and dance. A schedule is attached below.

What: Black History Month celebration at the CMHR
When: Saturday, February 6, 2016, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Where: Canadian Museum for Human Rights, 85 Israel Asper Way

The CMHR has also launched a series of blog posts based on its own recent conversations with notable Black Canadians, including Jean Augustine, Lawrence Hill, Rosemary Sadlier, Perdita Felicien, Amanda Parris, Devon Clunis, Aisha Alfa and Lindell Smith. The first post features actors who portray Underground Railroad heroine Harriet Tubman in Manitoba Theatre for Young People's production The Power of Harriet T, which runs until February 14.

Black History Month was formally recognized by the Government of Canada in 1995 following a motion introduced in the House of Commons by the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament, the Honourable Jean Augustine.
Each February, Canadians celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians throughout history. Participants gain insight into the culture and experiences of Black Canadians, and their vital role in the community. In Manitoba, the annual celebration was launched in 1981 with a service at Pilgrim Baptist Church and an awards banquet.

In its galleries, the CMHR presents the human rights stories of many Black Canadians from past and present – tales of violation, survival, resistance and resilience. Exhibits about Black Canadians and Americans, and their efforts to uphold human rights for themselves and others, can be found throughout the Museum. See attached backgrounder for more information.

Sonia Lemoine
Ca'Fro Arts & Entertainment
204–261-9107
sonia.lemoine@shaw.ca

Schedule of events at CMHR: 

Bonnie & John Buhler Hall

11 a.m. Opening remarks: Beatrice Watson, Manitoba Human Rights Commission
12 p.m. Poetry reading with dance: Maya Angelou's "Still I Rise"
12:30 p.m. Somali refugee Yahya Samatar shares his story
1 p.m. Dance performance: "Follow Da Leader" by L'il Anansi performers, aged 4 to 7
1:30 p.m. Dance performance: "On va gagner" by Anansi performers, aged 8 to 18
2 p.m. Performance: Drum Café
2:30 p.m. Performance: Trio Afrique
3:10 p.m. Song performance
3:30 p.m. Event ends

Manitoba Teachers' Society Classrooms

11 a.m. Classroom A: Film screening for children and youth – "The Magic Lion"
(7 minutes), followed by discussion
12 p.m. Classroom B: Workshop: African/Caribbean dance
1 p.m. Classroom B: Workshop: African drumming
2 p.m. Classroom A: Film screening for adults: "The Voice of The Fugitive" (29 minutes),
followed by discussion
3 p.m. Classroom B: Workshop: "The Road to Here and Now", led by Beatrice Watson
of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission

Media contacts

Maureen Fitzhenry