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Recognizing queer black Canadians

Adding voices to Black History Month

Egale Canada will honour six queer black Canadians as part of Black History Month in February.

The national lobby group, along with Stop Murder Music Canada, is seeking nominations for the honours.

“To commemorate Black History in 2009, Egale Canada and Stop Murder Music Canada (SMMC) will recognize the outstanding contributions of six queer black, African or Caribbean Canadians,” states a press release. “Nominators are strongly encouraged to nominate LGBTQ people from across Canada. People can also nominate themselves.”

Akim Larcher, the founder of SMMC, says the awards are intended to recognize names that often get ignored both within queer and black communities.

“With any racialized group within the queer community the voices or names of people can be left off,” he says. “Within the wider black, African or Caribbean communities queer names and people tend to be a bit invisible during Black History Month.

“There tends to be no discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Nominees must “either be a resident of Canada or must have contributed significantly to Canadian society” and “must identify as either black, African or Caribbean.”

Nominations must include a resum√© highlighting the person’s achievements and a recent photo.

The winners will be recognized on a postcard that will be distributed nationally and may be required to participate in speaking engagements during Black History Month.

The deadline for nominations is Mon, Jan 19. Nominations may be submitted to akim_larcher@egale.ca. For more information visit Egale.ca.