01-22-2015BHM peeps

Montrealers are preparing to celebrate the 24th edition of Black History Month in this city with a laundry list of events and activities that will highlight the efforts of the many individuals and groups here.
The annual celebration was launched at a press conference at Place des Arts where organizers, The Round Table On Black History Month, introduced some of the events and people behind this year’s celebration, themed “Stand for Something.”
Two of this city’s most recognized artistes, Valerie Daure and Allan Prayter; both highly talented singers/songwriters are serving as spokespersons for Black History Month 2015.
They talked about the need for the community to unite around music as a way of consolidating our place here in Montreal and celebrating Black history.
Prayter, who moved here from Jacksonville, Florida, is a true veteran of the R&B and funk era, having worked and toured with icons such as Michael Jackson, Millie Jackson, The O’Jays and Cameo. He remembers a time when music was integral to our struggle.
“Just remember the 1960s and 70s when our community had the musicians and music helped to push the struggle forward.”
Daure, a Montrealer, who established her stardom on La Voix, the popular Quebec version of U.S. television special The Voice, says music has to be one of the foundations upon which community unity and history is built.
“There’s no denying the power of music, when you think that more people voted on La Voix than in the recent provincial elections,” she says.
“It’s also a way for our young people to empower themselves,” she says. “But it’s important that they are connected with our performers from the past.”
“A lot of battles were fought and a lot of mistakes were made in the past, musicians of today should learn from them and not have to relive them.”
‘This year’s Black History Month celebration will feature more than 150 events, including expositions, films, conferences and concerts.
One of the featured events will be an exposition titled Have Fingers, Will Travel, tracing the life of Montreal’s world-renowned Jazz pianist Oliver Jones. And by extension the history of Jazz in Montreal.
Under the direction of Stanley Pean, the exposition will track the biggest moments in Oliver Jones’s life and career.
Organizers also presented the 2015 ‘lureates’ for the annual BHM calendar.
Black History Month celebration run throughout February. Information on events and activities can be accessed at: moisdeshistoiredesnoir.com