Juno-nominated songwriter Glenn Marais is among the artists helping York public school students celebrate Black History Month. The events commemorate the history of people of African heritage and increase awareness of their contributions to the cultural, economic, political and social fabric of Canada dating back to the 1600s.
“Black History Month is an excellent opportunity to reflect on the contributions of members of the African-Canadian diaspora,” says Cecil Roach, Indigenous education and equity coordinating superintendent. “We welcome our partners and members of our community to celebrate the diversity of our schools.”
Marais and the Mojo Train perform at Stephen Lewis Secondary School in Thornhill on Feb. 13. NHL referee Shandor Alphonso, one of the few active black referees in the league, will discuss his life and career there on Feb. 19.
Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School in Markham will host Sean Mauricette, a.k.a. Subliminal, a beat-boxer, disk jockey, lyricist, actor and filmmaker, on Feb. 19. Students there will take part in African drumming tutorials with arts administrator and multi-disciplinary artist Rudi Quammie Williams on Feb. 26. That school hosted spoken word artist Patrick Walters on Feb. 11.
In Dec. 1995, the federal government officially recognized February as Black History Month in Canada following a motion introduced by Jean Augustine, the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament.
Photo: Glenn Marais and the Mojo Train.