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A local church hosted a Valentine's Day banquet this past weekend to celebrate Black History Month right here in Winnipeg.

Mavis McLaren is the president of the Black History Month committee at Truth and Life Worship Centre. On February 10, a Valentine's Day banquet was held at her church that also was a celebration of Black History Month. Black History Month is an important time to celebrate the achievements in Black History because, for the most part, they are not known.

McLaren says, "take someone like Elijah McCoy. He was the one who developed an automatic lubricator for machinery. Say, Garrett Morgan . . . how many people know that it was a black man who made the traffic light? This was because of a bad traffic accident that he had seen. Or Charles Drew who researched blood plasma for blood transfusions. How many around really know about all of them?"

"It's about telling our history... that which isn't in the history books. It is a celebration of many of the successes and sufferings of experience throughout history."

She says, "it's important to focus on education and human rights as well as social justice for minorities. These are things we need to focus on and bring attention to in Winnipeg and elsewhere . . . Black History Month is to ensure history is remembered today, tomorrow, and forevermore."

McLaren highlights Viola Desmond as an important woman in Black history because of the impact she has had on American and Canadian history. Viola Desmond is soon to be featured on the Canadian ten dollar bill. 

The theme for this year's event by Truth and Life Worship Centre had focused on Black Canadian Women and the crossroads between freedom and equality. 

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