COMMEMORATING HOCKEY Canada Post’s stamp for Black History Month 2020 is a recognition of the Colored Hockey Championship, a Maritime hockey league in place from 1895 to the early 1930s. (Canada Post photo) (Canada Post photo)

EDITORIAL: Black History Month stamp a reminder that there’s more to the story

A Canada Post stamp for Black History Month represents inadequate understanding of Canada’s past

A postage stamp issued by Canada Post for this year’s Black History month has become the source of controversy.

Earlier this week, Summerland mayor Toni Boot, who is black, went public with concerns surrounding the stamp.

The stamp features a group of black hockey players with the words “Colored Hockey Championship.” This league existed in the Maritimes from 1895 until the 1930s and the American spelling of “Colored” was used by the league.

Boot has questioned the choice of this image for the stamp and has said it conveys a colonial tone.

Many members of the public expressed their outrage over the stamp, and suggested it to be a result of racism.

READ ALSO: Black History Month stamp leaves Summerland mayor concerned

It would be easy to suggest racism is behind the choice of this stamp for Black History Month, but such a conclusion is an oversimplification and is not necessarily accurate.

Instead, the stamp represents an inadequate understanding, or ignorance, of Canada’s past.

This country has not always behaved well in its treatments of blacks and other visible minorities.

Slavery was once practiced in what is now Canada, and court documents from the late 18th century refer to the existance of slaves and slave owners. In fact, slavery was not banned until 1833.

While Canada did not become a country until 1867, pre-Confederation history cannot be ignored.

Even since Confederation, Canada’s record with members of minority groups has not always been stellar.

Today, activists are continuing to call for a better level of treatment of blacks and other visible minorities.

The image of the hockey players on the stamp shows one aspect of the experience of black Canadians. But it does not tell the entire story.

Furthermore, a stamp by itself cannot enlighten Canadians on the uncomfortable parts of this country’s history.

But perhaps the stamp and the controversy surrounding it will encourage a greater understanding of our history, including the parts that are difficult to own.

We cannot move forward until we first acknowledge our history.

— Black Press

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

racism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Young Shuswap wheelchair athlete spreads message of hope

Lilly Brook wants to help bring wheelchair boxing into international spotlight

Shuswap boy wins stick from hockey hero with rock, paper, scissors

Chase’s Payton Koch’s exchange with Minnesota Wild’s Kevin Fiala caught on camera

Salmon Arm gives tax break to Canoe Forest Products plywood plant

Company tax bill to be reduced while residential taxpayers to pick up shortfall

Rezoning proposed for Salmon Arm farmland to allow for future development

Portion of parcel in agricultural land reserve will be sold to large-scale farming operation

Salmon Arm truck stop task force on hold

Mayor waiting on highway construction and related negotiations

Morning Start: Abraham Lincoln’s dog was also assassinated

Your morning start for Thursday, February 27, 2020

Column: Springing into Sicamous’ Communities in Bloom projects

Time to promote wellness and downtown beautification

First arrests made at BC Legislature after Wet’suwet’en supporters spray chalk on property

Legislature security arrested two people, allegedly for mischief

Sicamous school makes super-sized shirt to share anti-bullying message

Parkview Elementary students recognize Pink Shirt Day

Canada’s 13th coronavirus case confirmed as husband of 12th patient

More than 81,000 cases of COVID-19 have occurred since the virus emerged in China

Former Victoria Secret model skiing in Revelstoke

Australian model Miranda Kerr has been in the area for several days

Trainwreck Comedy to celebrate 10 years of laughs in Kelowna

The open-mic event will take place Mar. 10. at O’Flannigan’s Pub in Kelowna

CRAFT Beer Market to host Brewchella in Kelowna

The festival features local craft beer and bites

Brother and sister thrive with Silver Star ski program

Carter Classic supports kids like Adam and Amy, diagnosed with autism, hit the slopes

Most Read