Godwin Ifedi Editor Photo by Darren Goldstein/DSG Photo

Good morning folks

Happy new month. As we wind down the celebration of the 2024 Black History Month, we cherish memories of what is easily the busiest Black History Month in our beloved capital region. The number of new entries to the Black History Month calendar surpassed the wildest expectations of the city’s premier heritage organization, Black History Ottawa. Congratulations to all the organizers of the 2024 Black History Month events for this unprecedented record. Needless to say, our Top Story for the March 2024 edition, is the annual Black History Month gala, reinstated after a 3-year hiatus in the wake of the Covid pandemic. Global Community Alliance leaders Yomi and Kelly Pratt outdid themselves with a memorable and exciting fun-filled evening.

African Day on the Hill, the annual flagship of the African Canadian Association of Ottawa (ACAO), lived up to their track record with an evening filled with music, good food, networking and more. Kudos to ACAO leaders John Adeyefa and Hector Addisson for a job well done

Other noteworthy Black History Month events, and there are so many to choose from, include the very first YM/YWCA Black History Month in the city, the Government of Canada BHM celebration, Black Hockey History Appreciation Night, and the brand-new Afro-Caribbean Indoor Tennis Championship. A different insight on Black History Month is provided by our columnist Andy Kusi-Appiah with his piece: I did not create Black History Month.

A troubling note in this edition is the report by the Ottawa Police Service on the sharp increase in the number of hate crimes in the city, a matter of serious concern to the city’s ethnically and racially diverse communities.

R.I.P. Rt. Hon Brian Mulroney

As we go to press, we just received the sad news of the passing of the Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney, former Canada’s Prime Minister (1984 -1993). Mulroney is fondly remembered for his staunch and unrelenting support of Nelson Mandela and the ANC’s successful fight to dismantle the evil regime of apartheid in South Africa. Rest in peace, dear friend of Africa!

Here is the result of the February 2024 poll: Have you attended or do you plan to attend a Black History Month event this February? Yes 100% No 0% Thank you to all who voted. Remember to vote in the March 2024 poll: Do you know anyone whose vehicle has been stolen in recent months?

Continuity and Sustainability of Black Ottawa Scene

One problem facing Black Ottawa Scene in this our eleventh year of publication, is continuity and sustainability. As many of our readers already know, our news magazine is entirely volunteer-driven. Production costs are partly covered by the few adverts we are able to procure, plus some support from Black History Ottawa. However, the bulk of these expenses comes out of my own pocket as publisher, plus the fact that I undertake what is in essence a full-time job, without any remuneration. This situation is particularly challenging and troubling, as my ability to sustain this arrangement is declining by the day. Donations from readers would be most welcome, by way of alleviating the financial load on me. To make a donation please visit: Donate – Black Ottawa Scene

Advertising from businesses, government and non-government agencies and community organizations, would also be of immense help. To find out more about our low-cost advertising rates, please visit: Advertising on Black Ottawa Scene – Black Ottawa Scene

We are also looking for sponsorship from financial institutions and multinational corporations. To find out how to sponsor Black Ottawa Scene, please send an email to: [email protected].

Be that as it may, readers should, rest assured that I am working hard to develop a plan to maintain and sustain this important community resource for years to come.

Wishing you and you and your loved ones a happy, peaceful and productive month of March.

Godwin Ifedi Editor

The edition of Black Ottawa Scene is funded in part by the Ontario Trillium Foundation