Black History Matters
Grades K – 7

by Marketing & Publicity Manager

A Call to Action

In 2020, the world awoke to the systemic racism in our society.  With the death of George Floyd and other public acts of egregious discrimination, people around the world rose up together to demand better of individuals, institutions and government policies.

This vital call to action extends to schools. It is imperative to include Black History in our curriculum, the books that are taught, and through equal representation in the classrooms.

“Because Black History is Canadian History” – Jean Augustine

Joe Fortes. Photo by J. White Studio

Black History Matters - Grades K-7

A Presentation House Theatre Response

Presentation House Theatre’s Black History Matters, is a thorough and grade appropriate program highlighting the history, lives and contributions of Black Canadians to our country and the world.

People like Sylvia Stark, a true Salt Spring Island pioneer in the 1800’s; the North Shore’s own John Braithwaite and Harry Jerome; beloved Vancouver lifeguard Joe Fortes. And stories of the Underground Railway, Africville in Nova Scotia- and so many more.

Giselle Clarke-Trenaman

Black educators, artists and community leaders

Since 2017 PHT staff member Giselle Clarke-Trenaman has been educating children in Greater Vancouver classrooms about the rich Black History in British Columbia and Canada.  Feedback from students and teachers is clear – her presentations are insightful and meaningful, provoking critical thinking and important conversations.

Black History Matters builds on these established presentations. It provides engaging in-class and online interactions with elementary students about Black History in Canada — with Black educators, artists and community leaders.

Djanet Sears, playwright, director, actor

Beyond Black History Month

Throughout the year schools have the opportunity to host one or many comprehensive Black History Matters presentations. Presenters visit your classroom to explore Black Canadian History with the students. Sharing this essential part of Canadian history with young students allows them to connect and question not only the past but the present and their futures. Designed for Kindergarten to Grade 7, with content tailored to each grade level.

Incendiary, Marie-Joseph Angelique © Kit Lang

Empowering through Education

Black History Matters provides a complete and valuable teaching module that addresses a need: to empower children to understand racial context, examine beliefs, and create solutions to world events, close to home.

Racism is not inherent; it is taught. Equality and inclusion can also be taught. Truly seeing and understanding Black people and learning about their past and present struggles and contributions is vital to creating a better world.

Contact Us

Questions? Check out our FAQs about Black History Matters here.

Interested in bringing this vital new program to your students? Please call us at 604.990.3473 or email Manami at

A note about the Sankofa

The Sankofa symbolizes the Akan people’s quest for knowledge with the implication that the quest is based on critical examination, and intelligent and patient investigation.

The symbol is based on a mythical bird with its feet firmly planted forward with its head turned backwards. Thus, the Akan believe the past serves as a guide for planning the future. To the Akan, it is this wisdom in learning from the past which ensures a strong future. The Akans believe that there must be movement and new learning as time passes. As this forward march proceeds, the knowledge of the past must never be forgotten.

The Akan are a tribe from Ghana in Africa.

Black History Matters is approved and supported by the BC Black History Awareness Society.
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