February is African Heritage Month

January 28, 2016

February is African Heritage Month

African Heritage Month Celebrates No. 2 Construction Battalion

February is African Heritage Month. Public libraries across the province will be celebrating with programs and collections that highlight African heritage and the contributions made to the culture of Nova Scotia.

The theme for African Heritage Month 2016 is:The Black Battalion: Legacy of Commitment - They Fought to Fight”, to honour the 100th year anniversary of the No. 2 Construction Battalion, the first and only Black battalion in Canadian military history.

Public libraries will be celebrating and adopting African heritage themes into a number of programs including: lectures, film screenings, crafts, puppet shows, book discussions, book displays, and more. Below is just a sample of some of the African Heritage Month programs taking place:

The Cal Best Project - a touring exhibit, celebrates the life and legacy of this extraordinary activist and local hero James Calbert Best (the son of Dr. Carrie Best). From his early days as a reporter covering the controversial Viola Desmond case, his Nova Scotia achievements, to his tenure as Canada’s first Black High Commissioner, Best’s efforts are brought to life through interviews, archival footage, and contemporary news accounts.
The exhibit is featured at the following libraries at the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library

  • January 29 - February 4 – Pictou Library
  • February 5-10 – Antigonish Town & County Library
  • February 11-18 – New Glasgow Library
  • February 19-27 – River John Library

Film screenings:
'Simply the Best: Cal Best' – February 10, 7-8pm – Antigonish Town & County Library
'Simply the Best: Cal Best' – February 17, 7-8pm – New Glasgow Public Library
'Simply the Best: Cal Best' – February 25, 6:15-7:15pm – River John Public Library
Documentary on the life and time of Cal Best, a major figure in Canadian Black history.

‘Guess Who's Coming to Dinner’ – February 17, 12pm – Truro Public Library

‘Honour Before Glory’ – February 17, 12pm – Bridgewater Margaret Hennigar Public Library
To honour the 100th anniversary of the No. 2 Construction Battalion, docudrama about Canada's one and only all-Black military battalion that was formed during World War I.

‘Portia White: Think on Me’ – February 18, 2pm – Truro Public Library
Documentary film on, famous Canadian opera singer and African Nova Scotian, Portia White.

African Drumming
February 13, 12:30-1:30Digby Library
Children aged five and up can learn about African drums and have a chance to play them. Adults are welcome to listen in as well. Registration required.

Afro Dance Workshop with Maritime Centre for African Dance
February 4, 6:30-8pm – North Sydney Library
February 5, 6:30-8pm – Sydney McConnell Library
February 6, 2-3:30pm – Glace Bay Library
February 13, 10-11am – Antigonish Town & County Library
All ages, from children (age 4) to adults, a fun, exciting way to learn about African Culture through African Drumming and African Dance.

African Heritage Month @ the Halifax Public Libraries
There’s lots of programs & events planned, check out the website to find out what’s happening – halifaxpubliclibraries.ca/ahm

Find out what’s happening at your local library and join the celebration. To find your local library, visit: library.novascotia.ca/map

To learn more about African Heritage Month events across the province and in your community, visit ansa.novascotia.ca/calendar



African Heritage Month Booklist

Ebooks - Celebrating African Heritage (adult)

Ebooks - Celebrating African Heritage (kids and teens)


Some other links you might enjoy include:

African Heritage Timelines

Black Loyalist Heritage Society:  Loyalist History

Black History Canada

Nova Scotia Archives – African Nova Scotia history

NS Museum – African Nova Scotians


No. 2 Construction Battalion

No. 2 Construction Battalion – African Nova Scotia Affairs

No. 2 Construction Battalion – Black History Canada

Black Canadians in Uniform: A Proud Tradition – Veterans Affairs Canada

Calvin Ruck and the Construction Battalion – CBC Digitial Archives (video)

No. 2 Construction Battalion: Blacks in Canada - Black History Month – Citizenship & Immigration Canada (video)