Strait Regional School Board Celebrates African Heritage Month 2012
Each February, school communities focus on the unique and valuable contributions of Nova Scotia’s African Canadian community. This is also an opportune time for each of us to reflect on our own understanding of the rich culture and traditions of the African community and to take the time to celebrate our differences and commonalities. The Strait Regional School Board encourages students, parents/guardians, staff and community members to share in the celebration of African Heritage Month 2012. The theme of African Heritage Month 2012 is Unsung Heroes: Men Who Make a Difference.
Throughout the year, and especially in February, teachers in the Strait Region incorporate a variety of educational approaches and thought-provoking activities in their classroom instruction in an effort to highlight the connection of our past to today and how this information shapes our understanding.
Some of the other activities schools have planned include:
Guest speakers, including the School Board's African Nova Scotia Student Support Workers and Coordinator of RCH, Kathy Rhodes;
Performances, including Awakening Souls, The Goatworks, Maritime Centre for African Dance and Firebrand Theatre;
School-based literature and biography reviews; decorating contests and craft activities along with beautiful bulletin board and artifact displays.
History of African Heritage Month
In 1875, two ex-slaves gave birth to a son whom they called Carter (Woodson). As illiterate ex-slaves, they had few resources and could not afford to put him through school. Instead, he had to go to work to earn money to help support his family. He eventually did go to school, and even went on to become a high school teacher. Woodson started the American Negro Academy with the main purpose of studying and celebrating the important things black people had accomplished. As a result, in 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson established "Negro History Week". In Nova Scotia, the celebration of Black History Month was initiated in the early 1980s. Today, this national and international observance is now known as "African Heritage Month" and has been expanded to encompass the entire month of February to recognize and celebrate African heritage. February was also chosen to coincide with the birthdays of both Frederick Douglas (February 14, 1817) and Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809). Douglas, an escaped slave, became a famous speaker and presidential candidate. Lincoln is known as the US President who abolished slavery.
There are valuable educational resources on the subject of African History at our disposal. The on-line resources listed below that will provide information and insight into the contributions of people of African heritage in Nova Scotia, Canada and the world.
Africa for Kids
African Nova Scotian Affairs
Afrikan Canadian Heritage and Friendship Centre
Black Cultural Centre of Nova Scotia
Black History Canada
Black Loyalists, Black Communities
Black Loyalist Heritage Society
Learners Portal (Resources and Teaching Strategies)
Martin Luther King
Nova Scotia Archives Heritage Exhibit
Virtual Museum of Canada
[NOTE: The above links are provided for information purposes only. The Strait Regional School Board is not responsible for the information contained in these resource links.]