Good morning folks
February is Black History Month and I hope all of you will endeavour to attend at least one of the numerous events planned during the month, honouring the contribution made by people of African descent to Canada and worldwide. The February edition leads off with the Black History Month Launch and Opening ceremony at the Library and Archives Canada which held easily the most inspiring opening ceremony ever. This was preceded a week earlier by the annual Martin Luther King Jr day in Ottawa, hosted jointly by the DreamKEEPERS and Black History Ottawa. Former MPP Margaret Best is showcased as she receives a Lifetime Achievement award for her trail-blazing leadership in the political arena as provincial minister. Speaking of awards, we report on BBC 2016 Footballer of the year award to Algerian Riyad Mahrez. We also feature the annual new year levee hosted by Ottawa Centre MP Catherine McKenna and MPP Yasir Naqvi. We also join our Somali brothers and sisters in celebrating the appointment of Ahmed Hussein as Canada’s Minister for Immigration.
Our Interview features a conversation with Ottawa Special Police Constable Floyd Hutchinson. The continuing growth of women of colour in Canada is showcased with the appointment of Professor Maydianne Andrade, as Vice-Dean, University of Toronto. Speaking of women, we have included a report about a group of Toronto students who created their own Black Girls magazine. Our photo gallery presents the 2016 wedding pics of Black Ottawa Scene reporter MacAndrew Clarke and his bride Sandrine. On the overseas front there is a report on the MLK humanitarian award given to former Nigerian President, Goodluck Johnathan.
Guest columnist Jocelyn Constant asks the pertinent question, as to where African Canadians fit in, around the country’s 150th anniversary, while young poet Maya Basudde asks her her own questions about the colour of her skin.
In the Obituary section we feature two noteworthy passages: Larry McLarty, Toronto’s first Black Canadian Police Officer, and Nigerian feminist author, Buchi Emecheta.
Here is the result of the January 2017 poll:
Should persons with serious mental illness, be forced to take their medications, to prevent them from harming themselves or others?
Thank you to all who voted. Don’t forget to take part in the February poll: Have you ever attended a Black History Month event?
All these and more in the February edition.