Each February, we gather as a community for a special whole-school assembly in recognition of Black History Month and to celebrate African heritage. In years past, we have enjoyed guest speakers and performances that have captivated our students and faculty members alike while imparting important knowledge and history lessons.
Due to a snow day on February 28, 2020, our Black History and African Heritage assembly was rescheduled for March 13. While preparations to close the school due to COVID-19 were being made, the student and guest speakers were recorded on March 13 with the intention of sharing the footage at a later date.
SJK faculty member, Mr. Andrew Craig, organizer of this assembly, enhanced the recorded content over our period of remote learning. We are excited to share that enhanced assembly with the SJK community now.
We are consciously publishing this video on June 19, also known as ‘Juneteenth’ in the United States, which marks the official end of legal slavery in the USA. Juneteenth takes on additional significance for many this year in light of recent events. While we have no official Juneteenth celebrations in Canada per se, it is fitting that we note the occasion.
While Canada ended the legal practice of enslavement well before America did, Canada has an unsettling history of oppression with many historical wounds requiring healing. We feel this makes it appropriate that we celebrate the achievements and contributions of people of African descent to Canada’s history and culture. Celebrating African heritage enriches all of us, and helps us to realize that all of our histories are shared.
Thank you to our guest speaker, Mr. Mike Ramsay, for joining us for this assembly to share his story and experiences with our community. Thank you to Mr. Andrew Craig for organizing this assembly and for compiling what is a very insightful presentation that celebrates diversity.