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Online exhibits and live music: How Coquitlam is recognizing Black History Month

Coquitlam Heritage has created several exhibits, and is hosting a Family Day event too.
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Black History Month.

February and forever.

That's the theme for Black History Month in 2022 as many are already reflecting the history of Black Canadians and how their legacies have helped shaped society.

According to Coquitlam Heritage, Black families and individuals have called the city home since the 1960s, but they've actually been around longer in commuting to and from work for many years prior.

"They’ve been here all along, but finding the Black community in most official historical records has been challenging and frustrating," the society explains.

"Except for in a few specific collections, they have simply not been included."

Coquitlam Heritage has set up a series of in-person and online exhibits honouring Black History Month in hopes the public can be educated about the community's past.

This includes a month-long showcase by Tasia Valencia as part of the society's youth mentorship program for those who identify as IBPOC (Indigenous, Black and people of colour) or LGBTQ2S+.

Entitled Black Women Rock!, she shares the accomplishment of local Black women and explores the diverse paths they have taken to become titans of excellence in the past and in the present.

Coquitlam Heritage also has an online exhibit as a follow-up to understanding B.C.'s Black history, known as We’ve Been Here a Long Time

Its goal is to provide interested residents with a perspective on the city's Black community "through the lenses of politics, family ties," and other contributions.

"The exhibit will explore the routes some of these people took to arrive in Coquitlam, why they came, and what they do here."

Among the pieces included are interviews, recipes and spotlight videos.

Coquitlam Heritage is inviting local residents to take in the sights, smells and sounds of Black History Month with a Family Day weekend event for all ages at Mackin House (1116 Brunette Ave.).

It's the society's third celebration of the annual recognition, scheduled for Feb. 19 from 1 to 3 p.m.

A tribute band — Mostly Marley — is set to perform live music alongside steel drum pannist Kenrick Headley, while patrons feast on homemade foods and treats.

There will also be a craft station for kids and parents.

Coquitlam Heritage says space will be limited to adhere to COVID-19 public health and safety protocols, so interested families and individuals are being asked to register in advance and proof of vaccination is required.

For more information, you can visit the society's website.