Michaël P. Farkas
Reaching 30 years is a remarkable feat, and I congratulate all the individuals and organizations, past and present, that worked relentlessly to preserve and promote our history. Without them, none of this would have been possible. In this 30th year, we applaud all the actors and spectators; they all deserve credit for this milestone. February is dedicated to Black history thanks to the tradition instituted by Carter G. Woodson in 1926. His legacy lives on through all these years. This cradle of knowledge is shared; this true wealth is embraced. We owe it to our predecessors, who took the time to forge the cause of Black history and who vehemently fought for it to be told and taught. This endeavour took the form of examinations of who we are and our inventions, traditions, and journeys—in which the culture of peace is the only possible solution and where dialogue between civilizations gives rise to practices and customs that are human and universal. By honouring our heritage, we carry—from generation to generation—the legacy of an amazing village, which has stretched across the expanse of history, revealing the extent of our voyages to the four corners of the world. To survive, we must give and take, unite and grow, and simply free ourselves. Our collective memory and our renewed values attest to past eras and nourish the seeds of a better future. The more the years go by and the greater the recognition of our presence, the more our contributions must be evoked and imagined anew. Our passion to act provides us dreams of, together, building a bridge and a place where each individual’s efforts contribute to the common good. It’s paramount that we reclaim our values and history, for only then can we imagine a new world. Now is the time, because none of us can achieve success alone. Let’s uphold our principles, and stand and rise, because the foundations of the Round Table will persist. There’s no need to fear or to resort to exaggeration—because the reality of the past has built our shared history and is written every day. We applaud the voices that call for emancipation. They fight and insist, here and now, that all Black men and women have their chance to find fulfilment and recognition of their value. We thank the City of Montreal for 30 years of loyal support that was crucial to highlighting the undeniable role we’ve played during the last 350 years on this unceded Native land. We acknowledge the Ministry of Immigration, Francisation and Integration for their important contribution to making Quebec an inclusive place for all. We are grateful to Heritage Canada for their unequivocal support for the “Our Real Montreal” project. Let’s celebrate and reflect on 30 years of success to ensure that we all work and share the stories of Black people in Quebec, from 1628 to today. Let’s remember the pinnacles of dignity and celebrate those that share accounts of our lives and times so that we can pass them on to future generations.
Photo Credits: Kétiana Bello