Charlottetown raises Pan-African flag for Black History Month
Flag will fly outside city hall for all of February
A special celebration for Black History Month took place this week as Charlottetown raised a Pan-African flag for the first time in front of city hall.
The tri-coloured flag, also known as the Black Liberation flag, has remained a symbol of Black freedom and a representation of the African diaspora across the world for generations.
Tamara Steele, executive director of the Black Cultural Society of P.E.I, attended the ceremony and said it felt amazing to see the flag raised in the province's capital.
"It was so great given, you know, the makeup of the Black population here in P.E.I., which is really representative of the African diaspora," said Steele.
The flag will stay up for the rest of February, and Steele said it will continue as an annual tradition.
Uniting Black ancestry
Several members of the community attended despite the short notice for the occasion, which Steele said was a "surprisingly good" turnout.
She said being on the Island is like being in a melting pot of Black cultures.
"We've got lots of people from different Caribbean countries, we've got lots of people from different African nations."
"Our goal as [a society] is uniting those communities and bringing those communities together all the time," said Steele. "So having this flag flying… is a really beautiful symbol of that."
The flag was created in 1920 by political activist Marcus Garvey and members of the Universal Negro Improvements Association.
Garvey was motivated to create an emblem after hearing a minstrelsy, anti-Black folk song containing a racial slur that insinuated Black people were not worthy of their own flag.
The colours he chose are symbolic to the Black liberation movement: red for the blood shed by Africans in their fight for freedom, black for their skin and green for prosperity.
For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.
With files from Brian Higgins