Dear Caring Adults,

While The Love & Light Collective and our initiatives strive to celebrate Blackness and diversity every day, we still recognize the importance of celebrating the wonder that February annually brings us. Not only is it Black History Month, but in addition to other special days  that take place this month; February celebrates Valentine’s Day, Akoma Day, Family Day and Black Children’s Book Week. It is important to acknowledge this because each of the aforementioned celebrations revel in the beauty of love and anything that begins with love is destined to bring us joy!

The education of Black History can oftentimes be centered around our pain. Mainstream movies and literature habitually exemplify this by the constant production of slave stories or those of police brutality and other forms of injustices. The truth is, our history began long before the slave trade and is richly imbedded with uplifting accounts of our greatness.

The 2023 theme for Black History Month in Canada is “Ours to tell”. From my perspective, this year’s theme beautifully empowers us to amplify narratives that are rooted in joy too. Of course, we recognize that our stories also include those of hardship and these stories shouldn’t be erased- they are and will always be part of our history as well.  Our intention should be to go heavy on the pieces of history that bring us joy while still being able to acknowledge the aspects that aren’t so positive.

How knowledgeable are you of the amazing stories which date back to the 1200s? The stories of Zaria’s warrior Queen; Amina – the first woman to rule over an African kingdom and Sundiata Keita; the original Lion King who was well known for beating the odds of his special needs are a couple of my favourites. Some examples of history that’s still in the making are the stories of Dr. Marian Croak, engineer of New York City who owns over 200 patents including her voice over internet protocol technology invention and Randell Adjei; Ontario’s first appointed Poet Laureate are indeed stories that bask in the beauty of joy – more specifically, Black Joy as we should know it. Although the aforementioned may have also experienced some hardships along their journeys too, their stories are uplifting and aren’t linked to oppression in the most obvious way.  Our Lovely Learners need to hear more of these stories and quite frankly; as Caring Adults, so do we.

Here are some Ms. Love approved stories of Canadian Black Joy for you and your Lovely Learner’s. Click below for your viewing pleasure.

Elijah McCoy – One of the greatest inventors of all time!

Who is The Honourable Jean Augustine?

If you’re looking for more child friendly books that have a good variety of stories that are rooted in Black Joy, please use the below links to share with others and to purchase; these are definitely Ms. Love approved and make amazing gifts for any occasion as well.

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History

Trailblazers: The Black Pioneers Who Have Shaped Canada

Always remember, we are still creating stories to be told. Celebrating is one of the best ways to keep these stories alive and to prevent the erasure of our origins. Black History is history, Black History is now and it is without a doubt, ours to tell.

Until next time,

Be Love, Be Light!

~ Ms. Love