February is Black History Month.
It allows us to celebrate a diverse Black Canadian community whose heritage traces back to the US, the Caribbean, and the African continent.
In Vancouver East, there was a vibrant community of Black Canadians known as Hogan’s Alley.
While the strength of this community has never diminished, the community no longer has a geographical center.
It was destroyed to construct the viaduct in 1972, which is now slated to come down.
We need to learn from this history.
What we build in its place needs to honour the contributions of the Black community by ensuring vulnerable populations are housed.
Many of Canada’s Black communities’ contributions are not recognized in our history.
Black History Month gives Canadians an opportunity to hear this history, and to highlight the struggles the Black community continues to address in the fight against prejudice, discrimination, and inequality.
Because black lives matter.
With love and courage, let us continue our efforts to build a more just, equal and inclusive Canada.