Virtual celebrations began today, Jan. 26, for African Heritage Month with a provincial proclamation launch and poster unveiling with Lt.-Gov. Arthur J. LeBlanc, Premier Stephen McNeil, and African Nova Scotian Affairs Minister Tony Ince.
“Although we must conduct the launch of African Heritage Month 2021 in a virtual ceremony, I am delighted and honoured to participate in this key annual event”, said Lt.-Gov. LeBlanc. “This year’s theme is particularly relevant as it serves to inform all Nova Scotians about our important African Nova Scotian history, heritage and culture and the role it plays in transforming society.”
The provincial theme, Black History Matters: Listen, Learn, Share and Act, calls on all Nova Scotians to make a better society by recognizing the long-standing history and legacy of African Nova Scotians, and by acknowledging racialized issues and adversity for people of African descent.
“Nova Scotia is a province that acknowledges the strength, resilience and determination shown by the more than 50 African Nova Scotian communities across the province,” said Premier McNeil. “However, 2020 forced us to look inward and confront many issues overlooked for too long. We will continue to collaborate with the African Nova Scotian community to build stronger relationships, and promote greater knowledge, understanding and respect.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, African Heritage Month events will be virtual this February. The African Heritage Month Information Network supports and promotes the events and is also responsible for selecting the theme and design of the poster. The Network includes more than 10 African Nova Scotian organizations.
African Heritage Month is another opportunity to acknowledge the existence of people of African descent living in Nova Scotia for over 400 years. We must continue to honour and offer gratitude to our ancestors who came before us and the commitment to not let this history be lost. We stand on their shoulders.
Tony Ince, Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs
For this year’s theme and poster design, we wanted to highlight key important accomplishments, successes and milestones by African Nova Scotians. We also felt it was important to incorporate elements of the Black Lives Matter social movement which has been a significant influence in advocating for racial justice and diversity.
Russell Grosse, executive director of the Black Cultural Centre and organizational lead of the African Heritage Month Information Network
- 2.4 per cent of Nova Scotians identify as African Nova Scotian
- 71.8 per cent of African Nova Scotians have roots in the province going back three generations or more
To order African Heritage Month posters, visit: http://www.ahm.bccnsweb.com/wp/home
African Heritage Month virtual events calendar: http://www.ahm.bccnsweb.com/wp/events
African Nova Scotian Affairs website: https://ansa.novascotia.ca
African Nova Scotian Affairs Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AfricanNSAffairs
African Nova Scotian Affairs Twitter: https://twitter.com/OfficeofANSA
Count Us In: Nova Scotia’s Action Plan in Response to the International Decade for People of African Descent, 2015-2024: https://ansa.novascotia.ca/sites/default/files/dpad-action-plan.pdf
International Decade for People of African Descent: https://www.un.org/en/events/africandescentdecade/recognition.shtml