African Heritage Month

African Heritage Month to educate through celebration

Poster unveiling Tuesday kicks off month of celebrations

Tony Ince and Lt.-Gov. Arthur LeBlanc reveal the poster for this year’s African Heritage Month.   Lothian Taylor

African Heritage Month 2018 has officially begun in Nova Scotia, starting a celebration of cultural history, education and recognition.

At Province House on Tuesday, Lt.-Gov. Arthur J. LeBlanc unveiled the official poster for the month, along with Tony Ince, minister of African-Nova Scotian Affairs. It was the lieutenant-governor’s first appearance at this event, calling it “a great pleasure and honour” during his remarks. 

The unveiling was the first of many events throughout this month and February. The month is organized by the African Heritage Month Information Network, a partnership of African-Nova Scotian organizations and associations and African-Nova Scotian Affairs.

The launch was celebrated with music by local vocalist Eriana Willis Smith and pianist Alyssa Barkhouse, who are African-Nova Scotians and high school students in the HRM.

Alyssa Barkhouse plays the piano during the ceremony.   Lothian Taylor

This year’s theme is Educate, Unite, Celebrate Community, with education being a strong focus of this year’s events.

In a speech, Ince said African Heritage Month is an opportunity for all Nova Scotians to learn about and celebrate the achievements of African-Nova Scotians.

He said these stories are “often untold” and told through different means, including song, dance, architecture and spoken word poems.

“Knowledge of our shared history builds pride in ourselves, and our community,” said Ince.

The poster for African Heritage Month 2018 features an hourglass.   Lothian Taylor

‘Now is the time’

This year’s poster was designed by Paul Adams Jr., a young African-Nova Scotian. It features an hourglass as its central image.

Russell Grosse, executive director of the Black Cultural Centre and organizational lead for the African Heritage Month Information Network, said the hourglass represents the journey of African Nova Scotians and empowerment through education. The top and the bottom of the poster showcase the past and future, with young African-Nova Scotians in a one-room schoolhouse and others in a more modern setting.

The hourglass is also inscribed with the phrase: now is the time.

“That’s a very special message to the community,” Grosse said. “It really encompasses the fact that here we are in 2018.”               

The lieutenant-governor greets attendees, including Geraldine Browning.   Lothian Taylor

More than 100 events will take place across the province throughout February. Highlights include an opening launch celebration at Halifax North Memorial Public Library on Jan. 25 and a musical showcase on Feb. 15.

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