February is Black History Month

Overcoming the oppression of slavery and the inequity of racism, Black Canadians have achieved excellence in every walk of life.

Ottawa (03 Feb 2012) - The National Union of Public and General Employees(NUPGE) joins in celebrating Black History Month. February is an opportunity to learn about the contributions of those of African and Carribean descent who have helped build Canada.

From the early 1600s when Mathieu Da Costa, a free man was hired as a translator for Samuel de Champlain's 1605 excursion, up to Michaëlle Jean who was sworn in as Canada's first Black governor general in 2005, Blacks have been part of the growth of a nation.

Overcoming the oppression of slavery and the inequity of racism, Black Canadians have achieved excellence in every walk of life.

Over the years, as opportunities were won, many African and Carribean Canadians could enter a wider range of public positions. In B.C., notable leaders included Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Emery Barnes and Rosemary Brown. First elected to the Legislature in 1972, and re-elected four consecutive times, Barnes served the people of B.C. until 1996. Barnes was particularly concerned with issues relating to social justice, human rights and poverty. Brown served as an MLA in the B.C. legislature from 1972 to 1986, making her the first Black Canadian woman to be elected to a Canadian provincial legislature.

Each province has its stories and each constituency its heroes. Take some time to visit some of these web sites to learn more about Black History across Canada:

Download NUPGE's Black History Month Poster - download here

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE