Amherst proclaims African Heritage Month

A proclamation declaring February as African Heritage Month in the Town of Amherst was signed by Mayor David Kogon on Jan. 29.

“The provincial theme this year is Our History is Your History. It reminds us that when we understand the truth of our shared history, we can, through awareness, co-operation, dialogue and learning, facilitate positive change in not only the province, but in Amherst as well,” Mayor David Kogon said after signing the proclamation.

“We hope the residents of Amherst, through the events organized by CANSA, will take the time to learn of our shared history and educate themselves on the important role African-Nova Scotians have played and continue to play in the Town of Amherst.AHM2019 1 B

“Learning our shared history will help unite us as a community and help us celebrate the diversity that makes Amherst a strong community and a great town in which to live, work and play.”

The proclamation was signed in the presence of Elizabeth Cooke-Sumbu, CANSA executive director and a director of the African-Nova Scotia Network.

Celebrating African Heritage Month is extremely important, Cooke-Sumbu said, adding it provides “an opportunity to engage people in the community … about the significant role we’ve played in the community from Day 1, whether we were brought here as an enslaved person or today working and trying to thrive in the community.”

“For me it is a lived experience and it’s all year long. Everything I do, whether it be in my regular day job or in the community, I try to put that element of education into what I do and what I say and how I perform.”

Through this year’s theme, “we’ll be able to demonstrate, through word and a little bit of music, that we have a shared history,” Cooke-Sumbu added. “We wouldn’t be here without everything and everyone that’s been a part of this community.

“We’d like to showcase that, from the early arrivals at Beaubassin right up to today in history, how we’re intertwined in the work we do together, how we partner with stakeholders who look like us and those who aren’t; just how we work together as a community, as a people.”

Several events have been planned for African Heritage Month in the Cumberland region. They include:

  • Feb. 1 – African Heritage Month official launch and poster unveiling. Dr. Carson & Marion Murray Community Centre, Springhill, 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Feb. 4 – Winter Solstice Souls of Sirens featuring Jeri Brown, Linda Carvarery and the ARHS Jazz Band, Dr. Susan Taylor Auditorium, Amherst Regional High School – 6:30 p.m. (Tickets $5 at CANSA or CFTA, $10 at the door. Proceeds to CANSA annual scholarships.)
  • Feb. 21 – And Still I Rise, Jason McLean, NSGEU president keynote speaker, Community Credit Union Business Innovation Centre – 6:30 p.m. (Features roast beef and roast turkey dinner and entertainment. Tickets $15 in advance. Proceeds to support CANSA annual scholarships)
  • March 1 – Concert – Our history is your history, Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre, Springhill, 6:30 p.m. (Tickets $5 in advance at the community centre and CANSA, $10 at the door.)