February 28th, 2018
Today is the last day of Black History Month. It originated in America in 1926 as “Negro History Week,” and was first recognized in Canada in 1950. It is now recognized across North America and the United Kingdom.
Matthew Berard from our Southern Alberta Division spoke with Commissionaires Contract Supervisor Greg Amey about Black History Month. Greg is a dedicated father, pastor, commissionaire, and American who has made Canada his new home. He shared his insight on the importance of recognizing and celebrating Black heritage, in both countries.
Greg noted that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, “All men walking together hand in hand.” was not solely about equality but about everyone living, working, playing and loving together — really working hand in hand, from our hearts.
For Greg, issues of racism are more “prevalent in the United States, [though Canada has] a long way to go. It’s not about whether a person is black or white, it’s about what’s in a person’s heart that determines who they are.” He stressed that people need to learn to love everyone, regardless of what they look like and where they come from because, “if you peel back our skin, we’re all the same on the inside.”
“It’s been an eye-opening experience [living in Canada]. When it comes to racism and differences in the United States, you’ll know about it right away. Here, it’s covert, it’s undercover.” He still believes racism occurs in surprising places including workplaces, schools, and even at Church. “There’s a lot of work to do, and it’s been a challenge, but I’m up for it.”
When asked whether or not Black History Month should be about more than celebrating the past, Greg said “we battle ongoing prejudice across North America… and we’ve made a few positive strides, but every time something good happens, something else happens that takes us three to four steps backwards.”
Before wrapping up the discussion, Greg added “It’s true; we can learn from things done in the past and try to fix them. It’s a work in progress, for everybody…regardless of colour.”
“Love is stronger than hate, period.”