Blind Dates and Black History Month

If at first you don’t see the connection between a blind date and Black History Month, I wouldn’t blame you. The month of February brings about two very different subjects: dating and Black History and our school library has creatively thought of a way to recognize both at once.
Why do we recognize Black history? “The celebration of Black History Month in Canada began with the creation of the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS). In 1978, the founders of the OBHS, including Dr. Daniel G. Hill and Wilson O Brooks, presented a petition to dedicate February as Black History Month to the city of Toronto. After their success, OBHS President Rosemary Sadlier pitched an idea to Jean Augustine, the first black woman elected to Parliament, that across Canada, Black History Month be celebrated in February. In December 1995, the House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month in Canada. (Heritage, 2021) Black History Month is important because it is an opportunity for people to learn about the different ways that black people have contributed to world history. Black history is intimately tied to Canadian history. Nevertheless, black history should be celebrated independently of Canadian history, as black history is less recognized than Canadian history.” (https://www.cnpngo.ca/en/blog-post/why-black-history-month)
This month students are encouraged to go on a blind date with a book. Take it out, learn something new or maybe reconnect with a character they have heard about. The books are wrapped with a barcode and just like a blind date, they won’t know what they have picked until they check it out. Do they like adventure, romance, biographies, graphic novels, or athletes? All the wrapped books have black characters or are written by black authors. It's a fun way to be introduced to new authors, viewpoints or books that they may have judged by the cover or title. Once students try their new book, they can rate their date and hand in the slip for a chance to win a prize at the end of the month. The more books they check out, the more chances to win and they just might learn something new in the process 🙂 Until next time, Happy Reading!

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