BC Premier commemorates Black History Month

BC's Premier has issued a statement commemorating Black History Month.

John Horgan says pioneers of African descent have shaped British Columbia's past and present, and were important economic, cultural and spiritual leaders, renowned athletes, and held pivotal roles in B.C.'s government.

In 1858 James Douglas, born in Guyana to a Black mother and a Scottish father, became the first British governor of the united provinces of Vancouver Island and B.C.

Douglas set out to abolish slavery, and welcomed 800 Black people to Vancouver Island from San Francisco, where they had faced violent discrimination.

In 1972 Rosemary Brown became the first Black woman elected to a provincial legislature in Canada. IT was the same year Emery Barnes was elected to the legislature and in 1994 Barnes became the first Black person to be elected speaker in any Canadian province.

Horgan urges residents to celebrate the legacy and contributions of Black pioneers who helped build this province, and who are still playing important roles in B.C.

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