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Richmond’s Black History Month events open to all

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 2:18 PST, Mon January 27, 2020

February is Black History Month, a chance to celebrate the contributions of Black Canadians to our country’s culture and identity.

Mary Wilson, chief organizer of Richmond’s Black History Month events, says each year’s calendar begins with a theme.

“The 2020 theme is acknowledging the contributions of art, music, culture and sports in breaking down barriers and shaping Canadian Black history,” says Wilson.

There are a number of Black History Month events planned in Richmond. All events are drop-in and free of charge; open to anyone interested in attending.

From Feb. 1 to 15, the Richmond Cultural Centre (7700 Minoru Gate) will feature the works of artist Chrystal Johnson on its second floor rotunda. The remaining events are taking place at the Brighouse branch of the Richmond Public Library, next to the Cultural Centre.

The library is a location that Wilson is especially partial to.

“I’m a very strong believer in public libraries. They’re a gift that the community gives people. It doesn’t matter your socioeconomic status—libraries are usually free,” says Wilson.


Following is a summary of the events at the Brighouse branch:


Friday, Feb. 7 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

“Canada Post: Black History Month Stamp History, Process & Choices”

Jackie Bailey, the operations manager for Canada Post, will unveil this year’s Black History Month stamp and discuss its recipient(s). She will also discuss the overall process of the Canada Post Black History Month stamp and how they choose each year’s recipient(s).


Saturday, Feb. 8 from 1 to 3 p.m.

“History of Gospel Music”

Checo Tohomaso, the founder of the VOC Sweet Soul Gospel Choir, will give a history of Black music and artists, as well as the impact of music on the Black community.


Sunday, Feb. 16 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

“History of Basketball & Impact in the Black Community”

Basketball player and mentor Hope Segun will talk about basketball’s history and how it has become prevalent in the Black community.


Friday, Feb. 28 from 6 to 8 p.m.

“Status of Black History Month Today”

This panel discussion will cover the origin of Black History Month in Canada and why it’s still necessary to celebrate.


For more information, visit the Richmond Public library at http://rpl.yourlibrary.ca.

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