Black History Month – Rosemary Sadlier BA, B.ED, MSW

Recently, I listened to an interview with Rosemary Sadlier on CBC.  Rosemary was the volunteer President of  the Ontario Black History Society from 1993 -2015, its purpose being to promote awareness of black  history and issues in Canada. She helped in making Black History Month official first in Ontario in 1995 and in 1996, with the help of Jean Augustine, the first black female Member of Parliament, making it official across Canada. She would still like to see August 1st declared as Emancipation Day in Canada as well as a cultural centre  established in Toronto specifically for African Canadian history and culture .

Dr. Martin Luther King Day

Today, we remember and celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who has been referred to as the moral leader of his day. In his famous I Have a  Dream speech, he speaks of a day when all will be treated as equals.

His ten-year-old granddaughter, following in her grandfather’s footsteps also has a dream. Her dream is simply “Enough is Enough.” She is proving that you can make a difference even if, or in some cases, especially if you are a kid.

In my Grounded Activity Book–which compliments my novel, Grounded–as part of our study of discrimination  and segregation, one of the activities is to complete the line– I have a dream that one day _____________________________________________ followed by making a plan how this dream might be accomplished.

Dr. King in his speech also talks about using soul force instead of physical force, which leads to a discussion of what pacifism is and whether or not this would work today, the pros and cons of being a pacifist, what kind of person must you be to be a pacifist etc.

We also role-play the Rosa Parks story as well as the Viola Desmond story.

It is important to remember these and other people who are examples of heroism and can be an inspiration to us to make a more equitable world.