Vancouver marks Black History Month with community-led celebration of key voices

The City of Vancouver has launched an interactive photomap, curated by BlackArt Gastown to mark Black History Month.

The interactive photomap, Give Them Their Flowers, centres the experiences, hopes, and wishes of 10 Black residents who have made impactful contributions to life in Vancouver.

Give Them Their Flowers aims to celebrate and pay respect to ambitious local Black leaders and creators, daylighting the rich Black settlement history in Vancouver, adding to the scope of public representation, and uplifting the presence of Black community. Learn more about these leaders and their hopes for Black communities in Vancouver

Black History Month provides us with the opportunity to celebrate and learn about the very many achievements and contributions of Vancouver’s Black and African diasporic communities, even while enduring a history of inequity, oppression, and erasure,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart.

I encourage everyone in Vancouver to take a look at the map and find out more about the exceptional contributions these community members have made to this city and the lives of their fellow residents. I would also like to thank BlackArt Gastown for creating this map and for their ongoing work to shine a light on some of the very many historic and ongoing achievements of Vancouver’s Black communities.”

“This February will mark the 25th anniversary of the acknowledgement of Black History Month across Canada. It is an honour to lend artistic expression and voice to celebrating the contributions of Black Vancouver residents. Though we will never be able to shine a light on all the stories of Black excellence and resilience, we can as a city move towards a more supportive and equitable community,” said Nya Lewis, Founder and Director of BlackArt Gastown.

It was especially exciting to be able to share what the honourees’ hopes and wishes are for Black futures. We owe a debt of gratitude to these honourees and so many more that often go unnamed for their relentless commitment to Black joy, well-being, and liberation.

Visit the Give ThemTheir Flowers profiles.

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