On Friday, March 17th, I attended an important and inspiring event held at the First United Church in Waterloo. The evening was in recognition of Canadian Black History. There were many dignitaries present and the church narthex was packed. The evening opened with the Acknowledgement of Territory and the National Anthem. There was a tribute to Oscar Peterson and a DVD piano duet with him and Oliver Jones. Dr. Carl Jones gave a presentation on Canadian Black History and why it matters. The audience also enjoyed and participated in some soul music. The hi-light of the evening and the genesis to the Hymn to Freedom Project, a dream of Lauris Da Costa’s, was the creation and performance of a comparable Canadian version of Oscar Peterson’s Hymn to Freedom. It was performed by a joint choir made up of (The Laurier Singers, Community members, and the Waterloo Mass Choir: Black History Month), while images of Canadian Black History played across the screen. It was an evening I was privileged to attend, and I congratulate all involved.
In my workbook, Grounded, I have a section relating to American Black history since my story Grounded took place during the time of Dr. Martin King, Jr. However, you will notice if you follow my blogs, I am now concentrating on Canadian Black history. Regardless, each story is unique and should be recognized and appreciated as part of our history whether in Canada or elsewhere.