Kicking off Black History Month, Niagara Regional chair warns there much work still to do


Published February 1, 2022 at 3:23 pm

Kicking off Black History Month, Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley said while the region in rich in black culture, recent events have shown how much racism still exists and called upon residents to immerse themselves in the history.

With February 1 marking Day One of Black History Month in Niagara Region, regional chair Jim Bradley said while he was “encouraged at the progress we have made, much work still remains to be done.”

In a statement issued today, Bradley said it was “a time to honour, celebrate and reflect on the stories, experiences and accomplishments of Black Canadians here in Niagara and across our country.”

Niagara Region, of course, is rich in black history, he noted, being a key clog in the Underground Railroad, as well as home to historical figures such Harriet Tubman, Anthony Burns and Richard Pierpoint, who recently had a park named after him in St. Catharines.

However, warned Bradley, where society likes to believe it has advanced, there’s very clear proof every day it has not.

“While we take the time to look back on Niagara’s historical connection to the Underground Railroad, the events we have witnessed in recent years continue to highlight the fact that anti-Black racism is still an issue that deserves everyone’s attention.”

He announced that this year’s theme will be “February and Forever: Celebrating Black History Today and Every Day,” adding that it is time to “continue recognizing the many ways Black communities contribute to the inclusive, diverse, and prosperous communities that make up the Niagara region.”

As well as Niagara Region joining the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities, it just established its first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee.

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