This is a republication of “Meet The Community” from 2014 in celebration of Black History Month. Like many Anglican and Episcopal churches, Black people are an important part of St. Philip's parish family. This series is offered in respectful appreciation of their esteemed place in our Parish as well as an acknowledgment of the important role of Black people in churches across North America.
Black History Month (BHM)
takes place in February each year and it is an opportunity for all
people to celebrate those who have championed civil rights, to remember
some very disturbing facts about the past and to acknowledge the social
justice work that still needs to be done.
In this article several parishioners from St. Philip's church explain what this month means to them.
has been a member of St. Philip's for 17 years. She explained that for
her BHM celebrates people that have worked for equal rights in schools
and in the wider society.
Paul has been coming to St. Philip's for a quarter
century. He was born in Uganda and for him BHM is a celebration of where
you come, it "honours those who have fought for your liberation and
Sam is another long time parishioner at St. Philip's he succinctly explained that BHM, "means a lot."
Andy has been coming to St. Philip's for decades, he
reviewed his experience as the only mixed race person in school and
later in his job. He stated that there should be no such thing as BHM
and it should be something we remember and celebrate all the time.
He recounted that when Black people came to Canada,
many were not welcome in predominantly White churches. He explained that
one of the first churches to openly welcome Black people was the Union United Church.
Una came to Canada from Barbados in the 1970's she
recounted her personal story about being Black both in Barbados and in
Some of Una's ancestors were slaves. She
explained that while slavery has been abolished there are still remnants
of racism that persist to this day. "We have to remember the past," she
said. Growing up, "white people never looked at us," it was as though
we were invisible. However, she noted that in some department stores she
felt very visible. White sales clerks would follow her around as if to
ensure that she did not steal anything.
For Una BHM is an opportunity for Black people to
express themselves. She stated that she is glad to see that we have come
a long way, but, she concluded, we still have further to go.
The Oldest Black Church in Montreal
The First Black Bishop in the Anglican Church of Canada
Chronological History of African American Contributions to the Episcopal Church (1624 - 1970)
A Charter for Racial Justice in the Anglican Church of Canada