Feb. 1, 2021 | UNB

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College of Extended Learning

Black History Month

Rediscovering the Roots of Black New Brunswickers

The UNB Art Centre recognizes Black History Month with Rediscovering the Roots of Black New Brunswickers. This special ongoing research project engages UNB students and members of the black community in bringing to light those Black New Brunswickers who have made a significant contribution to shaping contemporary New Brunswick in their fight for freedom and equality. During Black History Month, banners featuring the portraits of these outstanding individuals are on display on the streets of downtown Fredericton. Learn more about the UNB Art Centre’s various exhibits celebrating Black History Month.

Rediscovering the Roots of Black New Brunswickers

Feb. 1-28, 2021

The UNB Art Centre celebrates Black History Month with a special project that brings portraits of Black New Brunswickers to the streets of Fredericton. In partnership with UNB’s Bi-Campus Standing Committee on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Human Rights and the City of Fredericton, this project recognizes the achievements and experiences of remarkable individuals. Banners will be displayed on Regent and Westmorland Streets throughout the month of February. As well, posters from Rediscovering the Roots of Black New Brunswickers will be on display at the Saint John Free Public Library, Market Square.

As part of this year’s celebration, in our online galleries we are listening to the voices of young black artists from the New Brunswick Black Artists Alliance. In the West Gallery, Poets Chevelle Malcolm, Thandiwe McCarthy, Savannah Thomas, Emmanuelle Jackson and singer/songwriter Ms. Thomas perform original works.

The East Gallery features Dr. Mary McCarthy-Brandt reading and discussing the letter written by Mary Matilda Winslow to her classmates in 1954 for their 50th class reunion. Mary Matilda Winslow was the first black woman to graduate from UNB in 1905 and her letter chronicles her experience of racism as a black educator.

Dr. Mary McCarthy-Brandt is a well-known activist, writer, and educator who has worked tirelessly to restore and uncover New Brunswick’s Black histories and honour the community’s ancestors. Her research is focused primarily on forgotten and segregated graveyards across New Brunswick. In addition to her scholarship, McCarthy also served as the president of the New Brunswick Black History Society for six years. In 2015, McCarthy won a human rights case against Shoppers Drug Mart for an incident of racial profiling that occurred in 2011. McCarthy’s work is featured in the 2019 collection, Black Writers Matter, edited by Whitney French with a foreword by Afua Cooper. McCarthy holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from York University, two Master’s degrees from the University of New Brunswick, and is currently completing her Ph.D. in the department of Social Justice at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. When asked why she is so dedicated to preserving the histories of Black New Brunswickers, McCarthy stated, "I want my ancestors to be revered and respected. I have to tell their stories."

East Gallery

Black History Month

Mary McCarthy-Brandt

Mary Winslow McAlpine’s letter to the Class of ‘54

Courtesy of UNB Archives and Special Collections
Alumni Office fonds (UA RG 183)

West Gallery

New Brunswick Black Artists Alliance

Chevelle Malcolm

Thandiwe McCarthy

Savannah Thomas

Emmanuelle Jackson

Ms. Thomas

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