Celebrating black Islanders past, present - and into the future
After helping her grandmother operate two busy restaurants in Nairobi, Kenya late last year, Kendi Tarichia is back home on Prince Edward Island.
February is Black History Month, and Tarichia believes the Island has a vital story to tell.
“It’s important to celebrate Prince Edward Island’s black history, but also to celebrate new diversity that is increasing every year,” said Tarichia, who moved to the Island with her family in 2002 after originally emigrating from Kenya to Montreal.
“PEI has a really strong black history that people don’t really know about,” she said. “It’s not visible, but a lot of Islanders have black ancestry if you delve into the history and the archives.”
Her mother Makena Tarichia runs the Out of Africa restaurant at the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market. Her younger sister (13-year-old filmmaker Zanetta Ambassa) was born on the Island and is one of the new generation of black Islanders who – Kendi says – make celebrating our black history even more important.
“For the longest time it was not something that was celebrated, but it is something I would not want to be forgotten,” she said.
A member of the Black Cultural Society, Tarichia said the provincial government is partnering with the society to host Black History Month activities in February.
“The Black Cultural Society are excellent leaders in educating Islanders on our province’s black history and culture,” Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Jordan Brown said. “We are very pleased to support the society in the variety of engaging events they have planned for Black History Month.”
The society will collaborate with the Confederation Centre Public Library and also host events at locations such as the Startup Zone, Upstreet Craft Brewing, and City Cinema.
Some of the events include:
- Seed mosaic – Confederation Centre Public Library, Feb. 10, 2.p.m.
- Privilege activity for teens – Startup Zone, Feb. 16, 2 p.m.
- Bean mosaic – Confederation Centre Public Library, Feb. 16, 2 p.m.
- Storytime – Confederation Centre Public Library, Feb. 21, 11 a.m.
There will also be book displays in many public libraries across the province including Montague, Charlottetown, Cornwall, Stratford, Souris, Summerside, Kensington, and O’Leary.