Originally presented in the winter of 2018 in digital-only format, we are pleased to now be able to offer this expanded version of Black History in Canada.
This edition of Kayak, featuring guest co-editor Natasha Henry, shares some amazing stories and examples of the ways Black Canadians built and shaped this country. Not only will you get the same great stories as the original, we’ve added three new articles featuring people who have helped preserve and promote Black history, Black women’s organizations with long histories, and we will introduce you to Canadians with Afro-Indigenous heritage.
Black people have lived in what we now call Canada since the 1600s. From that time until the early 1800s, hundreds were forced to come here as enslaved people.
After slavery was abolished here in 1834, thousands of people of African descent from the United States, the Caribbean and Africa chose to come to Canada at different times for different reasons.
For 400 years, Black men and women have contributed to all areas of society. They have fought for Black people to be treated with fairness and equality in the struggle against racial discrimination, a fight that has benefited all Canadians.
The United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent (2015 to 2024) encourages us to “promote a greater knowledge of and respect for the diverse heritage, culture and contribution of people of African descent to the development of societies” and this issue of Kayak helps to do just that.