The Black History of Harm Reduction Matters

February is Black History Month, a time often observed by honoring Black excellence and celebrating the achievements and contributions of Black people in Canada and around the world. In 2021 as the drug overdose crisis continues to escalate, the Black History of the events leading up to this crisis and the Black History of the Harm Reduction movement is often overlooked, and remains largely unacknowledged.

Last years theme for Black History Month in Canada was “Going Forward, Guided by the Past”. Understanding and acknowledging this past is the only way we can move forward to end the overdose epidemic and advance Harm Reduction philosophy as the only viable, evidence-informed and humane path towards a better future – to move forward we must understand how we got here, and that history is Black history. This year, The AIDS Network’s Black History Month focus is on the History of Black Harm Reduction, because the Black History of Harm Reduction Matters.