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City Library celebrates North Vancouver’s Black history

February is Black History Month, and North Vancouver City Library is hosting events for all ages
To celebrate Black History Month, the director of BC Black History Awareness Society, Fran Morrison, will be presenting an event which uses archival records from the City of Victoria Archives, Salt Spring Island Archives, Royal BC Museum and Archives, Beth Cruise, and the BC Black History Awareness Society.

The North Vancouver City Library is celebrating the region’s Black history this month, with virtual events and learning opportunities for all ages.

February marks Black History Month across the nation, with this year’s theme being “February and Forever: Celebrating Black History today and every day.”

Programming at the library kicks off on Feb. 17 where it will host a special presentation about three legendary Black North Vancouver residents who made significant contributions to the community, but who also faced racism and adversity on their paths to success: John Braithwaite, Valerie Jerome, and Harry Jerome.

Braithwaite was one of the province’s first Black politicians after being elected to North Vancouver city council in 1972. A torch bearer at the 2010 Olympic Games, Valerie Jerome is a former Olympian, educator and politician, and her brother Harry, who died in 1982, was one of Canada's greatest track and field athletes.

On Feb. 24, the library is hosting an arts event facilitated by the Teen Creators Collective which will explore the power of protest and poster design.

Looking at posters related to the Black Lives Matter movement and Civil Rights movement, the event is aimed at teenagers in grades 7-12.

Although the event will be held virtually via Zoom, supplies for the poster making can be picked up from the library prior to the event.

On Feb. 26, Fran Morrison, director of the BC Black History Awareness Society, will be presenting an event that focuses on the economic, political, and social influences of Black history.

Morrison herself originates from Nova Scotia, with her mother’s side coming from Black Loyalists and her father’s side coming to Nova Scotia via Maryland and the Underground Railroad.

The presentation will use archival records, including photos, genealogy records, newspapers, and manuscripts.

Registration for all events is required, and more information can be found at the North Vancouver City Library website.

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