Black History Month

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Black History Month

Download or order Black History Month posters.

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 who, throughout history, 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 their vital role in the community.

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Black History Month

2016 marks the 20th anniversary since Black History Month was first officially celebrated by the Government of Canada.

The month-long celebration was formally recognized following a motion introduced in the House of Commons by the first black Canadian woman elected to Parliament, the Honourable Jean Augustine.

The motion was carried unanimously by the House of Commons in December 1995 and the Government of Canada officially celebrated Black History Month for the first time in 1996.

In honour of this anniversary, the Government of Canada will recognize this important milestone through its events and promotional materials, including its educational poster.

Black History Month will highlight key milestones and courageous accomplishments of those who helped shaped Canada’s Black History.  We recognize contributions and moments from early settlement, the abolition of slavery, the Underground Railroad and notable black Canadians from all fields who have played defining roles in Canada’s history.  

Learn more about Black History Month, and the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Black History Month in the photo gallery.

Lincoln Alexander Day

In December 2014, the Government of Canada declared January 21 to be Lincoln Alexander Day.

The Honourable Lincoln Alexander (1922-2012) became the first black Member of Parliament in Canada on June 25, 1968. In 1985, he also became the first visible minority to be appointed as Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

His other notable achievements include:

  • Second World War veteran (Royal Canadian Air Force)
  • Member of the Queen’s Privy Council

Federal Minister of Labour

  • First visible minority appointed as Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
  • Chancellor of the University of Guelph
  • Chair of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation
  • Companion of the Order of Canada
  • Member of the Order of Ontario

In honour of Lincoln Alexander Day, a special poster has been designed.

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Watch videos about black history

A Fun Path to Learning - Black History Month

Looking for new and innovative ways to learn about Black History Month? Check out our Games and Quizzes page or take a tour through the Canadian Black History Virtual Museum.

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