Sunday 10 November 2019
Renowned Black historian Kathy Grant came to Ottawa from her home base in Toronto to assist heritage organisation Black History Ottawa in the launch of its genealogy project, at the Sankofa Book Store on Rideau Street. Funded by the City of Ottawa, the goal of this project was to document the history and family trees of Black individuals and families living in the national capital region. In her presentation: “Connecting Generations”, she shared rewarding experiences of students researching Black military history and historic Canadian figures. Ms Grant also treated the small audience to hitherto unpublished family histories of ordinary Black Canadians who had settled in the country even as far back as the 1800s. Her own family history was equally fascinating; her father Owen Rowe had served in the Canadian Air Force during World War 2, before returning to Canada to a successful career as a social worker and activist. Black History Ottawa President June Girvan also regaled the audience with her own family history with ancestors from Scotland and Jamaica. Past President Godwin Ifedi spoke of his African roots, with oral history gathered from village elders in his native Nigeria.
All photos copyright Black Ottawa Scene