During Black History Month, Canadians celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation it is today. Throughout February, the Burnaby Central community aims to increase community awareness about the contributions of Black Canadians and to foster an understanding of the history of Canada as the history of Black Canadian experiences.  We strive to encourage a critical understanding of the challenges Black Canadians have faced, and continue to encounter, and lay the foundation for the necessary conversations around how these challenges are a reflection of a larger social prejudice in Canadian society.

Considered for millennia as the one universal language, music has been shaping and defining Canadian identity for centuries.  As the fourth largest visible minority group in Canada, African-Canadians have contributed significantly to this language of hope and inspiration, and deserve to be recognized for their extraordinary accomplishments. Through rhythm and passion, the first slaves that brought their song oversees, those who developed Canadian jazz music, and those who continue to keep this Canadian tradition alive have unequivocally shaped our musical history and identity.


The Historical Roots of Hip Hop_LESSON

Historical Roots of Hip Hop_LESSON PPT

Note to teacher: The video and song lyrics of “The Message” contain some explicit language. The teacher is advised to assess whether or not these materials are appropriate for their students. Also note that the video clip ends before the third verse, but students should be able to complete the assignment using the lyrics on the handout. 

If the teacher does not wish to show the video clip, Handout 4 with the redacted song lyrics to ‘The Message” will suffice to complete the assignment. The teacher is also advised to asses if further redactions to the lyrics are required prior to use .  

The Historical Roots of Hip Hop_Discussion Questions_Activities

Handout 1_Map of New York City

Handout 2_Bronx Demographics_1960_2000

Handout 3_New York City Timeline_1960s and 1970s

Handout 4_The Message Lyrics