Students across Richmond and the Lower Mainland are taking part today in a somewhat impromptu inaugural Black Shirt Day.
A petition started recently by the Anti-Racism Coalition of Vancouver to have Jan. 15 declared Black Shirt Day was too late for the B.C. Ministry of Education’s Dec. 4 deadline for an official proclamation.
But it gained enough grass roots support for students and schools to take the initiative and recognize the day themselves, much like the anti-bullying Pink Shirt Day and the Indigenous awareness of Orange Shirt Day.
One very proud Richmond mom, La Toya Barrington, packed her three kids off to school this morning in their custom printed Black Lives Matter (BLM) t-shirts.
“I’m very proud and very happy to see them go off to school in those shirts; it’s good that it’s being recognized and I hope it will bring more awareness to racism,” Barrington told the Richmond News.
Barrington made the headlines last summer when she decided to stand up in front of thousands of people at a BLM rally in Vancouver to tell her life story of racist abuse.
“I just got my friend to make (the shirts) this week for me. People saw my shirt and asked me to get one for them,” added Barrington.
She said she hopes Black Shirt Day – which coincides with Dr. Martin Luther King Junior's birthday – will become an official day of anti-racism every year.