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The Intersection of Black History & Button History | Black History Month Buttons

Buttons and pins have been used to elevate the message of many social justice movements around the world and throughout history. But did you know that black history and the antislavery movement in particular played a major part in the history of pinback buttons?

Black History Month in Ottawa

Black History Month is a time for Canadians to pay tribute to the people of African descent who have contributed to shaping the heritage of our home and native land.

Mathieu Da Costa has become known as the first black person to visit Canada (in the early 1600's). He was a free Black African who worked as a translator and navigator for French and Dutch traders and explorers.

This year, the theme of the Government of Canada's Black History Month campaign is Black Canadian Youth: Boundless, Rooted and Proud.

There will be a number of Black History Month events taking place around Ottawa this February, including workshops, lectures, exhibitions, book launches and African Day on The Hill


Fascinating Connection Between Black History and Button History

The antislavery movement came to play a major role in the humble beginnings of the pinback button. 

First Slogan Product In HistoryIt all began in the year 1787, when Josiah Wedgewood's British pottery firm designed one of the most commonly recognized images from the British antislavery movement, an image known as The Supplicant Slave

The design depicts a person in chains, kneeling with pleading hands, and features the slogan “am I not a man and a brother?" The design was reproduced as porcelain cameos and medallions. This is believed to have been the first time someone put a slogan on a product.

Those anti-slavery porcelain cameos from the 18th century could today be considered the forefathers of our modern pins and buttons.


Order Custom Buttons for Black History Month 

If you are looking to spark social change and need an effective way to spread your message this Black History Month, you can design and order your own Black History Month buttons right here.

Just choose your size, click *customize* and create your Black History Month designs with our online button designer. Once you're happy with your design, *add to cart* and head to checkout.

Then sit back and relax while one our custom button locations in either Ottawa or Toronto prints and presses your buttons in no time! If you are local, you can pick up your custom buttons in store, if not - have them shipped right to your door!