Throughout the month of February, the Human Rights Museum has a number of programs and exhibits ready for viewing to help educate the public on Black history.

February is Black History Month, and many organizations and institutes take the time to put together events and programs to recognize the past and make aware of current situations of racism and teach others to be inclusive.

The Human Rights Museum is one of those institutions, they are hosting a maker's market with Black artisans called Noir et fier, a screening of a Canadian documentary called Black Ice, and hosting a panel discussion on racism and mental health with the University of Manitoba Black Student Alliance.

"Following the film, there will be a moderated conversation to explore how we can make Canadian hockey more inclusive for players and their families, and not just looking at the highest levels of hockey, but when kids start in Timbits hockey," says Director of Programs, Lise Pinkos. 

The screening of the film Black Ice will be on February 16, and the panel discussion will be held on February 22.

There will be many exhibits showcasing Black history, Pinkos points out two of her favourites that she recommends people check out.

First, she suggests young people and youth might find the Mareshia Rucker exhibit interesting as it provides the story of how she organized the first non-segregated prom at her high school, Wilcox County High School in Georgia. The captivating part of Rucker's story is that this happened in 2013, only 10 years ago.

"Her story is just so interesting and inspiring. She faced a lot of opposition from parents, teachers, the community and from other students but she and other students, both Black and non-black students worked together to push forward and created integrated proms that started in 2013 and then continue today."

Another exhibit that she recommends visitors check out is Viola Desmond's history since they might know her story more for being a Canadian tale.

Noir et fier

Wilgis Agossa is the organizer for the Black Artisanal Market called Noir et fire, or, as translated, Black and Proud.

"So, during this month we want to encourage everyone from the Black communities to be proud of who they are, to be proud of their culture," says Wilgis.

There will be 20 vendors to purchase a wide variety of goods at the market, from candles, clothing and hair care products to catering, seasonings and handmade African gifts. 

Wilgis came to Canada around 12 years ago and throughout those years he can see the change in the community but he believes that schools should be having conversations about Black History Month.

"I have four kids that are in school, but I know that we still are not talking about that story in our schools, in our division. So, it's very important to learn, to teach that history to our kids so everyone can know better about that history, that part of our country."

Noir et fier will take place today (Friday) from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Bonnie & John Buhler Hall. Wilgis says there will activities to accompany visitors shopping, such as singing, dance groups and more.

The Black Artisanal Market is co-produced by Théâtre Cercle Molière.


Why is the 'b' in Black capitalized? Check out this article from The Atlantic to learn why this author made this decision.