What is Black History Matters?
Black History Matters (BHM) is a thorough and grade appropriate school program highlighting the history, lives and contributions of Black Canadians to our country and the world.
This may be a new topic for students, teachers and parents. We strive to answer all questions that happen in the moment during our presentations, and recognize that further questions may arise at a later time.
With this in mind, BHM also offers presentations for educators and parents that provide a full overview of the content covered in each grade along with tools and resources to help answer future questions at home or in the classroom.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about the Black History Matters program. Grades K – 7.
Why should a school have the program?
Black History Matters enhances and informs existing curriculum at a time when it’s needed most. In a way that’s meaningful for teachers and students, with no added workload for the school.
What will the students experience?
- see representations of Black people through different mediums – books, film, music, and art
- learn about modern Black community leaders
- ask questions about what they have seen and heard
- learn about the good and the bad of Black history in Canada
Each classroom will receive grade-appropriate materials which will remain in the classroom for continued use and conversation. A list of additional resources is available upon request.
What does the school have to do?
Say yes to the program. Say yes to inclusion, equity and widening the scope of what has been traditionally taught about the Black people of Canada.
Technical requirements include a projector, an HDMI cable, a screen/surface to project upon OR a large TV with HDMI capability.
Is there a cost?
The fee is $150 per presentation to up to three classes in the same grade. If you have more than three classes participating in one grade, there is an additional fee of $25 per extra class.
Billing and Payment
- Invoices will be issued one week before the presentation date and are based on the number of classes booked at the time of invoicing. Payment can be made by school cheque, Visa, MasterCard or AmEx. Cheques are payable to Presentation House Theatre. Please include the PHT invoice number in the memo line.
- If your school needs to cancel the presentation after booking and invoicing, every effort will be made to reschedule within the school year subject to the presenter’s availability. If due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances PHT needs to cancel the presentation after booking and invoicing every effort will be made to reschedule within the school year.
Is Black History Matters available online?
It is important that presentations are offered in real time so that connections, questions and comments can be responded to immediately. While in-person visits are preferred, we recognize that schools must adhere to policies regarding visitors during the pandemic. At all times program presenters will respect and adhere to school COVID-19 protocols and safety procedures. Presentations can be livestreamed into the classroom in real time.
Learning about the history of Black Canadians is one aspect of the program. Equally important is the building of trust of those who look different, breaking down of stereotypes and increasing awareness through direct connections. It is also vital that teachers and students can learn together.
What is the content material for each grade?
- Introduction of Black people, their struggles and their excellence through stories, play, song and in-person connections.
Grade 1 & 2
- Start learning about Black Canadian history, pioneers of the North Shore through stories, songs and videos.
- Introduction of the timeline of Black Canadian history with more focus on the historical Canadian pioneers and trailblazers through stories and video and an introduction of the Rights Revolution.
Grades 6 & 7
- A closer look at Vancouver’s Black history (Strathcona and Hogan’s Alley); the Rights Revolution and modern-day Black people.
Can the school review the material in advance?
Educators are welcome to view the presentation with us before it is shared with the students. Our team is very aware of how images can affect the young and take extreme care to include only materials that are age appropriate for each class.
While each presentation has a flow, it is not a “lesson” in the traditional sense. Therefore it does not have a lesson plan. These stand-alone presentations increase awareness of the Black Canadian experience, inspire questions and create opportunities for conversations to start.
How long is a presentation?
The average length of each in class presentation is 60 minutes including time for a discussion.
How and when can we start?
Grade specific presentations are available year-round. We always do our best to accommodate your scheduling needs.
We also have several presentations that are appropriate for youth or adult groups beyond the school setting.
What they're saying about Black History Matters
“Thank you for your openness to engage and respond to all questions and comments in a curious and compassionate way. It was a safe space to grow in our understanding.”
“I hope the presentations can be done through the school as well to reinforce the learning that we did through our group.”
“It was a fantastic presentation; we are excited to book it for our younger students.”
“It was fully engaging and filled with learning from grade 7-K we can’t wait to have it back again!”