This February is Gatineau’s the 21rst edition of Black History Month
February marks Gatineau’s 21rst edition of Black History Month. This year’s theme is Youth in Action. The full programing was announced in a January 17th press conference. The month's activities are organised by the Conseil de la Communauté Noire de Gatineau (CCNG) in collaboration with Gatineau and the Quebec Government. Events will take place in person and virtually. The events will showcase the people, events and experiences that have shaped Black history in our society and celebrate youth in action.
Peggy Civil, Master of Ceremony and Coordinator for Gatineau Black History Month opened the press conference. To highlight the theme of Youth in Action, Civil introduced Félicité Mvioko Makaba who painted an art piece representing the theme throughout the press conference. Additionally, the Gatineau Black History logo for 2023 was designed by a young graphic designer, Carmelle Freudlyne.
“Gatineau is the second immigration pole in Quebec after Montreal. The theme this year is fun, having youth that contribute to the cultural and economic vitality of the city is essential. It is important that they feel listened to, invested in, and important,” said France Bélisle, Gatineau Mayor, also highlighting that the Black population in Gatineau tripled between 2001 and 2016. “I invite all citizens to do their homework, learn, and participate actively in Gatineau’s Black History Month events.”
“Let us challenge ourselves to learn more. I always say that if we can learn a little more, we can make a change in the future,” said Aïchatou Touré, president of CCNG, during the press conference. Olive Kamanyana, Carrefour-de-l’Hôpital councillor and Tiffany-Lee Norris Parent, Touraine councillor and president of the “Commission vivre-ensemble et immigrations” were present and highlighted the importance of Black History Month.
Many events are organized in partnership with Gatineau, Salon du Livre de l’Outaouais, and l’University de Québec en Outaouais. There will be round tables, talks, and lectures from activists, leaders, and authors, along with other events that highlight the Black community in Gatineau.
Some of the upcoming events include:
- Grande journée festive Noir-Si-Sons 2023, which will celebrate the culture and heritage of Black communities shaping Gatineau. The event will take place in Agora Gilles-Rocheleau at the Maison du citoyen on February 25 from 10 am to 11:30 am
- Elage Diouf, Wutiko (Concert for all ears) will take place at Cabaret La Basoche, 120 rue Principale in Aylmer on February 10 at 8pm.
- Djamboola Fitness activity will take place in the Plateau at l’École du Grand-Héron 395, Boulevard de l’Amérique-Française February 11 from 5pm to 7pm
- Round table: immigration, childhood and interculturality presented by Salon du Livre will take place
February 26 at 2pm
The second edition of the inspiring women conference will take place at Maison du citoyen 25, rue Laurier on February 25 from 1pm to 3pm
For more information and the full list of events on the upcoming events and how to participate individuals can visit the Gatineau Black History Month website https://mhngatineau.com/
Bettyna Bélizaire, Plateau councillor, ended the press conference highlighting that Black History is also the story of Canada and Quebec. “We need to recognize the contribution and the impact of these communities on our society, economy and our community,” said Bélizaire “Black youth are resilient and courageous, and I believe in a better future because of them.”
Photo 1: Screen capture of the January 27 press conference for Gatineau Black History Month with speaker Bettyna Bélizaire, Plateau Councillor and in the background young artist Félicité Mvioko Makaba painting an art piece representing “Youth in action” throughout the press conference.
Photo 2: Gatineau Black History Month Logo created by Carmelle Freudlyne