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Greater Essex County District School Board
Building Tomorrow Together Every Learner, Every Day
Black History Month 2021




For more information on what is happening at your child's school please visit the school website.  For more information about what is happening locally in our area during the month of February please view attached links.  Local information graciously provided by the Essex County Black Historical Research Society and the Amherstburg Freedom Museum.


In 1926 African American Scholar Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson created Negro History Week. Dr. Woodson, considered by many to be the "Father of Black History", chose the second week of February because of the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. The celebration of Negro History Week continued until the early 1960's, when the word "negro" was replaced with "black". In 1976, Black History Month expanded and became the celebration that we know today as Black History Month. 

In December of 1995, the Parliament of Canada recognized February as Black History Month following a motion introduced by the first African Canadian woman elected to Parliament, Jean Augustine. The presence of peoples of African descent in Canada dates back farther than Samuel de Champlain's (a French explorer and navigator in early 1600's) first voyage down the St. Lawrence River.

During the Transatlantic Slave Trade, thousands of enslaved Africans escaped bondage and liberated themselves from oppression fleeing to Canada, many settling in the Windsor area. In fact, our city is known as the "last stop of the Underground Railroad."  Many students in our local schools are descendants of those courageous freedom seekers who made Windsor and surrounding areas their home. Although progress has been made to ensure that all students see themselves reflected in the curriculum, there are still strides to be made.

Black History is celebrated annually during the month of February, however,  the role of African/Black Canadians in our history and society is embedded in GECDSB curriculum throughout the year.  In addition to activities promoted during the month of February, GECDSB students, families and staff members are invited to explore the rich history in the surrounding areas and learn more about how African Canadian history can be incorporated into the curriculum, not only in February but all year long.  Black History is everyone's history, and knowledge is the key to understanding.


Periodic Table of Canadian Black History: now digital!

To celebrate Black History Month 2021 we are delighted to share with the world the digital Periodic Table of Canadian Black History in English and en Français! In 2020, we created a Periodic Table of Canadian Black History that could be installed on a bulletin board in your school building. Complete with QR codes, the

 Locally Produced Resources:

These resources are intended to provide teacher background information on African-Canadian heritage and culture connected directly to specific learning expectations in The Ontario Curriculum: Social Studies/History and Geography (2004). The teaching of African-Canadian history should not be seen as an "event" but rather as an "ongoing process" taking place throughout the school year. The information in these modules is intended to build teacher background knowledge on the contributions of local African-Canadians to Canadian history. It is the hope of the writers that this module will allow students of African Canadian descent to "see themselves" in the social studies and history curriculum and that all students will develop a greater awareness of the many significant contributions local African-Canadians have made to our area and to Canada as a whole.
On this page, you will find lesson plans to help you bring the story of Boomer Harding and the Chatham Coloured All-Stars into your classroom. These engaging, cross-curricular student Mental Health Supports for Students Resources activities are aligned with the following aspects of the Ontario Curriculum: the Ontario Curriculum Social Studies, Grades 1 to 6; the Ontario Curriculum History and Geography, Grades 7 and 8; the Ontario Curriculum Language, Grades 1 to 8; the Ontario Curriculum Canadian and World Studies, Grades 9 and 10 and Grades 11 and 12. Each grade or course begins with an overview of specific curriculum expectations. Following this overview, teacher background information is provided.

Additional Resources: (provided by Shantelle Browning-Morgan, GECDSB Teacher)