Mobilize to perpetuate this Black History Month
On February 9, as part of Mois de l’histoire des Noirs à Gatineau, the Conseil de la Communauté noire de Gatineau brought together support structures for authors, artists, and cultural groups to discuss the opportunities they offer to the Black community of Gatineau.
Throughout February, the Conseil de la Communauté noire de Gatineau and its partners organize various events for the 22nd edition of Mois de l’histoire des Noirs à Gatineau. With this year’s theme of “Mobilizing to perpetuate”, the Conseil has launched a call for mobilization aimed at increasing and perpetuating the participation of the Gatineau community in the search for solutions to current issues.
Host Sylberte Desrosiers was joined by director of the Salon du Livre de l’Outaouais Mélanie Rivet, general director of Culture Outaouais Julie Martineau, founder of Éditions l’Empreinte du Passant Dr. Kalula Kalambay, as well as president and general director of Mosaïque Interculturelle Nicole Baptiste.
The panelists touched on the challenges, successes, and future prospects for the members of the artistic and literary community of Gatineau. While exploring the issues, the panelists also shared ideas on how support structure can be improved to better meet the specific needs of Black artists.
“Why do artists of African, Indigenous, or other descent have difficulty integrating into artistic institutions? This is because there is a hierarchy of culture,” said Baptiste. “Maybe I’ll quote Martin Luther King, but it’s not a dream. We must work to ask the question of what value we attribute to each culture. That is to say, all cultures should be seen. If all cultures are seen as having the same value, there is no longer any hierarchy.”
This would allow, as Baptiste explained, for the works, the authors, and the artists to be evaluated not in comparison with another culture but for the work itself.
“Black History Month continues and, as we like to say, it’s not just in February that we should celebrate the Black community. We are there every day, so we will find other actions, other initiatives that will undoubtedly allow us to come together,” said Conseil de la Communauté noire de Gatineau president Mamadou-Garanké Bah.
He highlighted the Closing Mois de l’histoire des Noirs Gatineau Gala on February 29 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. For more details and information on other events, check out the Mois de l’histoire des Noirs Gatineau website at mhngatineau.com.
Photo caption: Literary and visual artist Sylberte Desrosiers kicks off a Mois de l’histoire des Noirs à Gatineau event surrounding authors, artists and cultural groups on February 9 at the Maison du Citoyen.
Photo credit: Taylor Clark