February is Black History Month. The 2021 theme is: “The Future is Now”

Feb. 23, 2021,

February is Black History Month. The 2021 theme for Black History Month is: “The Future is Now”.

Our students are learning about the history and legacy of Black Canadians. It’s also a time to celebrate and acknowledge the transformative work that Black Canadians and their communities are doing now.

At. St. Patrick CES, students and staff connected with Babarinde Williams, an ethnomusicologist, master drummer, storyteller and motivational speaker who has traveled throughout his native West Africa studying traditional percussion, dance, and storytelling techniques. The school experienced his virtual assembly “I am YOU,” which was an anti-bullying, character building session.

Photo of Babarinde Williams

Babarinde Williams performs virtually during a St. Patrick CES school assembly.

“Through song and story we learned all about Ubuntu: ‘I am what I am because of what WE are,’” said principal Jennifer Fisher. “It was a great experience for all of us.”

At St. Anne CES, each day students are walking by an inspiring Black History Month bulletin board with powerful images and messages created by EA Tesla Douma. (See featured image above).

At Monsignor O’Donoghue CES, the Grade 7 students (led by teachers Laura Firth and Gregory Nugent) and Grade 8 students (led by teachers Ashlea Fitzgerald and Krista Wells-Skinner) are currently studying financial literacy. The classrooms are in the process of scheduling a live Google Meet with NHL prospect and former Peterborough Petes player Akil Thomas to discuss his clothing business, ZALE, and his journey in hockey as a black player.

Photo of hockey player Akil Thomas

Akil Thomas


At St. Joseph CES in Cobourg, French teacher Katherine Hilts has been working with her Grade 7 and 8 students to spread Black History awareness by creating posters that “have filled our hallways and sparked great conversation about the impact of these important people,” VP Nancy Jones said.

Pictures of a Black History Poster Collage

Black History posters fill the halls at St. Joseph CES in Cobourg.

At St. Peter CSS, students joined the Ontario Heritage Trust’s presentation of bestselling author and two-time Scotiabank Giller Prize-winner Esi Edugyan for an exclusive talk on her internationally acclaimed novel Washington Black – touching on the themes of Black heritage, identity, belonging and displacement. In the lead up to the presentation, Grade 9s examined black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) voices in literature.

Author Esi Edugyan

St. Peter CSS students take in a presentation by  two-time Scotiabank Giller Prize-winner Esi Edugyan.