Black History Month 2024: Black Excellence

Black History Month 2024: Black Excellence
Posted on 02/01/2024

Canada celebrates February as Black History Month.

While we recognize Black History throughout the year, this month gives us a focused opportunity to honour the ongoing contributions of Black Canadians and their role in shaping Canada's story.

The Government of Canada theme for 2024 is: Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate, A Future to Build. Further information can be found at  the Government of Canada website

This year’s theme encourages us to think about how we use our Black History materials in February and beyond as part of our ongoing work in celebrating Black excellence, and in our anti-racism work.

Throughout the month we invite you to join us on our website, Facebook, Instagram and X (formerly Twitter) as we celebrate the lives of black saints and holy people of the Catholic church.

Black History Month Resources are always available for SMCDSB staff to use in classrooms as part of Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy (CRRP) throughout the year.

We encourage you to visit your local library to explore books and media that celebrate Black Excellence. 

“We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life.” Pope Francis, June 2020

BHM Black Saints & Holy People of ColourSr. Thea Bowman BHM2024Daniel A. Rudd BHM2024Sts. Perpetua & Felicity BHM2024St. Charles Lwanga BHM2024St. Monica BHM2024St.Augustine BHM2024St. Josephine BHM2024BHM 2024 - St. Martin de PorresSt. Benedict the MoorCollage of featured Black Catholic Saints & Holy People featured during Black History Month 2024

Sister Thea Bowman, a Catholic trailblazer, devoted her life to education, Black spirituality, and music, leaving a lasting legacy. Art by Tianna Williams.

Daniel Rudd, pioneered the Black Catholic Movement. He fought for racial justice, founded 1st Black Catholic newspaper & National Black Catholic Conference, leaving lasting legacy in faith & journalis

Perpetua and Felicity, bravely faced martyrdom as young Christian women. Perpetua and Felicity found strength in their faith. Baptized in jail, their story of courage and devotion resonates in Christi

Charles Lwanga, Ugandan martyr and patron of youth, defended Catholic faith amid persecution. His courage inspires us to stand firm today. Art by Tianna Williams

Saint Monica, embodying hope, changed her husband and son through faith, guiding them to Christianity with God's love and grace. Art by John Nava

St. Augustine, a Church Father, renounced a life of indulgence for Christianity. He became a bishop whose writings are a rich source of theological insight. Art by: Tianna Williams

From slavery to sainthood. St. Josephine Bakhita, found freedom, embraced her faith and became a nun. She lived a life of service and holiness. Feb. 8 is her feast day. Art by: Tianna Williams

St. Martin de Porres is known for healing and charity to the poor, to slaves, and to animals. He is the patron saint of social justice. Artist: Tianna Williams

St. Benedict was known for his holiness, patience against racial prejudice. and profound knowledge of theology. St. Benedict is the patron saint of African Americans. Art by: Matt Watters

We hope that exploring these Black Catholic Saints & Holy People of colour, has inspired you to learn more about their remarkable lives.

A Prayer for Black History Month

God of every people, race and culture,

we rejoice in the wonderful diversity of our human family,

each person made in your own image.

As we observe Black History Month this February,

help us to honour and learn from the history of Black communities across Canada,

to stand in solidarity with them in their quest for justice and respect,

and to work together toward a future

where every person is cherished, where everyone’s dignity is upheld.

Where racism and discrimination still linger,

change our hearts and show us how to love like you.

We praise you, Father, through Jesus your Son,

in the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.