“Black History Month in Canada is a time to recognize the history and legacy of Canadians of African and Caribbean descent and to celebrate their many important contributions to our society.
“Black Canadians have continued to build on the legacy of courage, strength, and perseverance that was forged in the face of adversity. Individuals like Richard Pierpoint (a former slave and War of 1812 hero), Viola Desmond (a civil rights pioneer), help inspire us with their examples of determination and sacrifice.
“We can all be proud that Ontario played a vital part in extending liberty to those escaping the inhumanity of slavery in the American south, as Upper Canada was a promised land to those who would risk everything to follow the North Star to freedom. Toronto’s own St. Lawrence Hall hosted the North American Convention of Colored Freemen in 1821. This historic place is where hundreds would gather to hear famed American orator, abolitionist, and former slave, Frederick Douglass, speak on the moral case for emancipation.
“Today, these stories are written by the descendants of Black Loyalists, immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean, and their children.
“In my own riding of Simcoe North, I am very proud that we have, just a few kilometers away from my home in Oro-Medonte, the Oro African Methodist Church. This church dates back to before 1812, when it was associated with Black militiamen and United Empire Loyalists. It’s a proud part of my community’s history and Ontario’s history.”
Watch Patrick Brown’s Black History Month video here: https://youtu.be/DZtOfxjVKQ0