Feb. 5 Black History month at Robert Bateman High School

In recognition of February’s Halton Black History Month, Robert Bateman High School near Appleby Line will be hosting a kickoff event on Thurs., Feb. 5 at 6 p.m., in conjunction with the Burlington Caribbean Connection.

There will be student performances featuring a spoken word piece, student bands, a vocal group, student artwork, and Caribbean-themed food prepared by Bateman students. Admission is free.

Other schools in the area have planned events and initiatives to celebrate and honour contributions of black Canadians, past and present.

“In the Halton District School Board, Black History Month is more than events and showcases, it reflects the integrated learning of our students understanding of the struggles and successes of the Black Diaspora from the past and present,” said Yaw Obeng, Superintendent of Education with the Halton District School Board.

“We recognize the month as an opportunity to initiate aspects of Canadian history throughout the entire year that includes the contributions of people of African descent. Our goal should be that, someday, we have Canadian history presented in an inclusive manner in which there is no need for a special month.”

Some of the other school events include:

• Charles R. Beaudoin Public School (Burlington) is hosting on Wed., Feb. 18 a special Canadian history presentation from the performance group, I Am Compelled, which uses media and theatre to bring Canadian history to life.

• Forest Trail Public School (Oakville) is hosting an African drum and dance performance by ijo vudu on Tues. Feb. 3, and will also be playing different genres of music that celebrates and recognizes black musicians at morning entry on the PA system.

• Captain R. Wilson Public School (Oakville) is hosting for Grade 3-4 students Sugar and Gold – The Story of the Underground Railroad in Canada on Tues. Feb. 10. It’s a 50-minute lively, interactive performance that includes songs, slides, and storytelling to tell the exciting history of the underground railroad and the story of the first black settlers in Canada.

• Stewarttown Middle School (Georgetown) is hosting the Toronto dance company, Ballet Creole on Thurs. Feb. 19. Ballet Creole will be training 75 classroom student leaders in creative dance and then involving this student leadership along with their own dancers to deliver a school-wide performance at the end of the day. Ballet Creole creates opportunities for African and Caribbean traditions to interact with European Dance traditions, which make for unique and diverse dance interpretations.

• Craig Kielburger Secondary School (Milton) is holding a school-wide assembly on Mon. Feb. 23 where the students will showcase the African culture in the form of music, dance and art. Special guests include the Alpha Rhythm Roots drummers who will tell stories through a drum presentation.

Every year, Canadians are invited to participate in Black History Month festivities and events that honour the legacy of black Canadians, past and present. Canadians take this time to celebrate the many achievements and contributions of black Canadians.

Throughout history, they have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation it is today. During Black History Month Canadians can gain insight into the experiences of black Canadians and the vital role this community has played throughout our shared history.

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