Over 300 elementary school students from across the Catholic District School Board attended a presentation as part of African Canadian Heritage Month.
The show included cultural songs, dances, and instruments – all performed by the students.
“We can no longer ignore this history. It must be taught and celebrated everywhere,” Superintendent Josephine Di Giovanni said, in a speech to the crowd.
She also called African Canadians “groundbreakers and achievers” and when asked to name some of them, the students shouted out the names of famous black inventors, civil rights leaders, and abolitionists they’ve learned in class.
Grade six students from St. Maria Goretti in Scarborough wrote poems about some of these African Canadians. Some students learn about black history only in the month of February, but some teachers try to extend it into the rest of the curriculum.
“It’s all very individualistic,” Karen Quan King Thompson said, vice principal of St. Maria Goretti.
The African Heritage Expo is in addition to the black history assemblies that each school puts on.