Black History Month at the VSB
During the month of February, educators throughout the District engaged in Black History Month learning alongside students. Schools took a variety of approaches to celebrating Black History Month, from hosting assemblies and events to incorporating activities in classrooms that highlight the contributions of Black people throughout history. In addition to celebrating Black history and culture, Black History Month also provides an important opportunity for educators and students to critically think about the ways individuals and communities can stand against racism and discrimination.
Students and staff in many schools have continued their learning about Black History and Black excellence through books. Thanks to school librarians, primary, intermediate and secondary students had access to books and displays that explored the lives of notable Black Canadians and amplified diverse voices. Displays included titles by Canadian, American and International authors.
At Renfrew, the entire school was invited to a performance by Vancouver musician, Khari Wendell McClelland. McClelland’s music tells the story of how his ancestors used music to lift themselves out of oppression of slavery and racism. Students were engaged by both the powerful storytelling and the compelling music.
Queen Mary students participated in a drumming workshop with the Drum Café where they were introduced to a west African djembe drums. Students learned that that the djembe, which has origins in Ghana and West Africa, was not only used as an instrument to create music but also used to communicate from one village to another.
Although Black History Month is a month-long celebration in February, it’s important to remember that continuous effort is needed to promote diversity and inclusion always. Teachers across the District continue to take a lead in incorporating lessons on anti-racism and inclusivity in their classrooms.