February is Black History Month

February is Black History Month! It is no secret that Nova Scotia is home to the oldest Black community in Canada and that Nova Scotia has produced many venerable and illustrious Canadians. One example is Portia White, born in Truro, who rose to international fame as an opera singer in the 1940s, earning critical acclaim for her magnificent talent, before retiring to teach future mainstays of the genre. One of her final performances was held for Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her visit to Canada in 1964. Portia White’s legacy is commemorated in the Truro community with a plaque in the Zion Baptist Church on Prince Street, where she first began singing at 6 years old. Generations of Black Canadians have left an indelible mark on the Canadian story. They have and continue to make Canada a better place. They have shown iron-willed perseverance in the face of the evils of racism and discrimination, and their legacy continues to shape Canada.

I invite everyone to join me in honoring the amazing accomplishments of Black Canadians across the country.