Kojo Damptey

February as many of you are aware is Black History Month

Each year through the month of February figures and prominent individuals of african origin whether they be activists, politicians, artists, musicians, authors or historical figures, are front and centre in our schools and libraries.

People of African descent have lived and worked on this continent since the first Europeans arrived.  Slavery was a part of colonisation of the continent and is tied to the foundations of Canada as much as it is the United States.  The struggles for equality existed here in the 905 and in Canada too.  And yet, how can over 400 years of history in North America be confined to merely one month of the year in our schools?  

No doubt you can agree this is very very surface level telling of a rich and complex history in Canada.

So does this mean we aren’t doing a great job of telling what ultimately is our own story? The story of black Canadians and for that matter other minorities who have worked to build what today is the country of Canada that we all wish to enjoy?

On that note, we welcome back to the podcast Kojo Damptey to talk on the importance of Black History Month, and how it ought to be a stepping stone to a much more rich and diverse conversation of the true history of this part of Ontario and Canada as a whole.  And how it can help to dismantle systemic racism that permeates our culture.

Kojo is the former executive director of the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion.  He is a former candidate for Hamilton city council, an award winning musician and instructor at McMaster University.

Kojo joins us today.

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