EMSB Schools Mark Black History Month
St. Gabriel Elementary School in Pointe St. Charles, as well as St. Monica and Royal Vale Elementary schools in N.D.G., welcomed Gotta Lago. Born in the Ivory Coast, Gotta Lago presented the history of music in West Africa. He explained how his society is divided into caste occupations, including the griots, who were carriers of oral culture, including music. The students learned about the various instruments including the djembe, as well as traditional African singing and dancing.
Additionally, James Lyng High School in Ville Emard and Royal Vale High School in N.D.G. both welcomed back Overture with the Arts. To celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, OWTA created a presentation called “Slam Obsidian: An Exploration of Influential Black Canadians” that marks the contributions of African Canadians over the course of Canada’s 150 years of confederation.
Guest speaker Omari Newton gave an interactive presentation that addresses the important role that African Canadians have played in weaving a rich fabric of Black History worldwide.
“Unfortunately, African Canadians are often overlooked in light of household African American names like Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks,” said Veronica D’Agata, Spiritual and Community Animator. “As such, it is important to educate young people on the historical contributions of notable African Canadians in order to distinguish and celebrate our unique Canadian cultural heritage. The students were truly moved by the presentation.”
A number of schools also welcomed local hip hop artist Annakin Slayd, who gave a unique presentation about Jackie Robinson and his impact on both a local and global scale.