Press Releases


To mark Black History Month, CBC News will air the 2016 edition of Being Black in Canada, from Feb. 7 to the end of the month. 

Hosted by Asha Tomlinson, this 30-minute program focuses on black activism in Canada and will air multiple times on CBC News Network. It will also be available online on the CBC player, YouTube and Apple TV.
"In this edition, we walk the path paved by black activists in this country," says Tomlinson at the opening of show. "We meet men and women who found different ways: quietly in a theatre or loudly on the streets to fight injustice; each part of a long line of black Canadians who challenge privilege and power."

​Being Black in Canada tells the story of Nova Scotia business woman Viola Desmond, who challenged segregation in the 1940s. Desmond is a key figure in this country's history of black activism and the focus of Canada's newest Heritage Minute.

Tracing the footsteps of black activists in this country, Being in Black in Canada also features the members of The Black Action Defense Committee, who marched for justice in Toronto in the '80s and '90s, and looks at the demonstrations against police brutality and the growing list of black men shot by police in Canada.

Tomlinson also speaks with several young activists fighting for change today, including journalist Desmond Cole; co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto, Sandy Hudson; and community activist, visual artist, researcher, youth advocate, educator and radio host Syrus Marcus Ware. Together they form a panel to discuss what black activism (or #blactivism) means to them and what they envision for the future.

"Black History Month is an important time to recognize the contributions of this country's black community," says Jennifer McGuire, GM and editor-in-chief, CBC News, English Services. "CBC News is proud to present a program that honours the courage of Canadians such as Viola Desmond and the work of new activists today."

Confirmed air dates so far:

  • · Sunday, Feb. 7 -- 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 8 p.m., 11 p.m., and 2 a.m.
  • · Saturday, Feb. 13 -- 4:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.
  • · Sunday, Feb. 14 -- 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • · Saturday, Feb. 20 -- 7 p.m., 11 p.m., and (Sunday, Feb. 21) 4 a.m.

All times are ET, with more air dates to come.


About CBC News
For more than 75 years, CBC has been the source Canadians turn to, to keep them informed about their communities, their country and their world. Through regional and national programming on multiple platforms, including CBC Television, CBC News Network, CBCRadio,, mobile and on-demand, CBC News and its internationally recognized team of award-winning journalists deliver the breaking stories, the issues, the analyses and the personalities that matter to Canadians.

About CBC/Radio-Canada

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, internet, and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight aboriginal languages.

A space for us all is CBC/Radio-Canada's new strategy to modernize the public broadcaster and ensure that it continues to fulfill its mandate for Canadians and for future generations. Through to 2020, it will increase its investment in prime time television programming, and continue to create radio programs of the highest quality, while promoting the development of digital and mobile platforms and content.

For further information, please contact:
Nicola Makoway, publicist, CBC News

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