We rarely learn about the history of the local figures who pioneered Black life in Canada.
People of our past: finding hidden histories
As we explore and discover the history of the place many of us call home, we realize that we are missing the stories of many of the Black Canadians who made lives and homes before us. Black stories, neighbourhoods, and communities have gone unseen by many, and when local Black stories are absent from our common history it becomes harder to find the spaces to which the Black community belongs.
Creating the space for Black stories and Black voices to be heard, listened to and respected, help us all to combat the oppression and discrimination that the Black community faces. It also showcases the important and often overlooked histories of the communities that we all belong to.
Here are some links to stories about the experience of Black communities of the North Shore:
Learn about the Heywood family, which founded much of early North Vancouver, and how their ventures were financed with a family fortune amassed in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Learn about the history of racist land covenants that prevented people of African and Asian heritage from living in certain areas of West Vancouver
Learn about the experiences of Valerie Jerome growing up on the North Shore: Part 1 and Part 2
Resources that connect you to educators and archives that are holding space for the stories of local Black communities:
Today, the Black Community continues to create and inspire people, through Black history celebrations in schools and organizations, and through the thriving communities that black grassroots, and non-profit/for-purpose organizations have created to celebrate and educate about Black life and foster Black joy.