At the Black Coalition For AIDS Prevention, we recognize Black History Month as an opportunity to honour the invaluable contributions that African, Black, and Caribbean (ABC) people and culture have made to Canada, both past and present. We honour the trailblazers and changemakers who fought to thrive in the face of ongoing anti-Black racism. We are inspired by their resilience and empowered by their resistance.
We understand how important it is to celebrate those who have blazed a path of accomplishment despite being overlooked, undervalued, discriminated against, and ignored. For us at Black CAP, this also means recognizing the 2SLGBTQ+ activists, advocates, and innovators who have too often been erased from Black History Month celebrations.
We cannot and will not disregard the way that homophobia, transphobia, biphobia and other forms of discrimination have pushed so many in our community to the margins of even Black History and Black liberation movements. We will not be silent or passive about the ways that their contributions have been erased, their voices have been silenced, and their struggles have been overlooked.
This Black History Month, as we reflect on the experiences of ABC peoples in Canada, we must also be committed to examining the ways that the intersection of anti-Blackness and queerphobia have harmed—and continue to harm—our community. This includes acknowledging the way that racism and queerphobia have subjected our community to ineffectual healthcare, disparate rates of homelessness, and hate incidents. We especially refuse to ignore the reality that HIV/AIDS continues to disproportionately impact queer ABC communities and that far too little is being done to remedy this crisis.
This Black History Month, we call you to break the silence and move the needle on the needs of ABC queer communities, especially around our mandate of HIV/AIDS advocacy. We ask you to commit to advocating for and funding comprehensive and inclusive HIV/AIDS prevention and care. This work ensures that queer people of ABC descent receive the effective treatment, meaningful support, quality of life, and equitable experiences they have been denied.
It is time to look beyond lip service and surface-level celebrations. We must move away from passivity and inaction. Let this Black History Month (and beyond) be about funding the resources, tools, and spaces that will ensure a better future for ABC queer communities.
Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention