Shirts honouring Black inventors to be passed out at Winnipeg schools

A Winnipeg city councillor is doing his part to honour Black History Month in a unique way by involving thousands of local students.

Markus Chambers has designed shirts with a list of inventions by people of colour printed on the back. The message on the front reads: “Know Their Names.”

St. Norbert – Seine River councillor Markus Chambers wearing a “Know Their Names” shirt at city hall. Jordan Pearn / Global News

“Inventions like the elevator, the traffic light, the cell phone, the GPS system, all of those were created by Black individuals,” said the St. Norbert-Seine River councillor.

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The back of a shirt listing over a dozen inventions by people of colour. Jordan Pearn / Global News

He plans on handing out over 3,000 shirts to students at high schools across Winnipeg over the next few weeks.

Read more: Students lead charge to have more Black history taught in Canadian schools to fight racism

He’s recruited some help from likes of Bombers’ running-back Andrew Harris, Jets’ head coach Paul Maurice, and Jets’ captain Blake Wheeler to assist in the promotion and distribution of the shirts.

Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice sporting a “Know Their Names” shirt in the Jets’ locker room on Sunday. Submitted Photo

“A lot of these discoveries that were made by Black individuals are not commonly associated with Black individuals. That’s what information like this seeks to disseminate,” said Chambers as he unpacked a box of shirts at city hall.

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Read more: Moose forward C.J. Suess reflects on Black History Month’s meaning

Chambers is partnering with the Black History Manitoba celebration committee to get the shirts in the hands of students at no cost.

“Having a name on a jersey for a Black individual is more commonly associated with sports. Now having it associated with education and technology, I think is a great accomplishment for Black people,” Chambers said.

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