By Damon Levine, PRUDE Inc. Anti-Racism Coordinator
On Thursday, October 27, I was honoured to present a New Brunswick Black history presentation to 130 Grade 4-through-Grade 6 students, and their teachers, at Forest Hills Elementary School in east Saint John. New Brunswick Black History Society Managing Director Ralph Thomas attended the presentation and, together, we fielded students’ questions during and after the presentation.
I covered the breadth of Black history in the province and region; from Mathieu DaCosta’s arrival with Samuel De Champlain in the 1600’s, through the African Slave Trade, Loyalists, Refugees and Willow Grove, and into modern times with the No. 2 Construction Battalion, civil-rights fighter Joseph Drummond and Shippagan Mayor Kassim Doumbia.
Not content to merely consume the information I presented, students asked insightful questions throughout–questions that demonstrated they’d been paying attention in their history classes. I’d like to extend thanks to teacher Tomalyn Young, who both started teaching her students about Black history in the province and invited PRUDE to present at the school.