By Chantelle Gray-Wheeler
Every February marks Black History Month in Canada. This year’s theme is “The Future Is Now.” Now is the time for us to recognize the legacy and achievements of Black people in Canada – not just historical contributions, but to recognize the transformative work that Black people and communities are doing in the current moment. Now is also the time for us to recognize and learn about the ongoing struggle for equity and social justice within our society.
This year, Black History Month 2021 is being celebrated with a slate of virtual events – allowing us to celebrate and learn from the comfort of our own homes. Many of these events are free of charge.
If there are any events that you know of that you think we should add – especially those that are relevant to the non-profit sector – please let us know.
Events Hosted by GTA Organizations
Ontario Black History Society Speaker Series
The Ontario Black History Society is hosting multiple speaker series events throughout the month.
- Black History Matters – February 9th, 2021: President Natasha Henry, Cheryl Foggo, and Lawrence Hill engage in an intimate conversation on Black Canadian history, discussing its importance and sharing their interests and their research.
- Black History Marks These Places – February 18th,2021: This panel discussion will examine history of Amherstburg Freedom Museum, Buxton Museum, Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site, and the Guelph Black Heritage Society.
- Stories of the African Diaspora – February 23rd, 2021: Storytellers Sandra Whiting and Kesha Christie share rich stories of the African diaspora.
Celebration: “FEAST of Black Excellence”– February 6th, 2021
Run by the Cultural Expressions Art Gallery, the 14th Annual Durham Black History Month celebration features musical and comedic performances, spoken word poetry, and a keynote panel discussion on community representation and community service. Learn more and register here.
Symposium: “Honouring the Diversity of Black Leaders and Agents of Change” – February 8th, 2021
The University of Toronto’s 2021 Black History Symposium “Honouring the Diversity of Black Leaders and Agents of Change” will explore anti-Black racism activism in diverse spaces and the role of post-secondary environments in transforming anti-Black racism advocacy. Learn more and register here.
Film Screening: “Ninth Floor” – February 12, 2021
The University of Toronto is screening the Ninth Floor, directed by Mina Shum. The film takes a penetrating look at the Sir George Williams University sit in of February 1969, when a protest against institutional racism snowballed into a 14-day student occupation at the Montreal university. Learn more and register here.
Film Screening: “She Did That” – February 14, 2021
The Congress of Black Women of Canada is screening She Did That, which celebrates the theme of Beyond 2020: Roadmap to Reshaping and Inventing Our New Reality. This documentary explores the passionate pursuits of Black women entrepreneurs and offers a peek inside the lives of Black women committed to opening doors for future generations. Learn more and register here.
Events Hosted by Peterborough Organizations
Black Lives Matter Nogojiwanong
Black Lives Matter Nogojiwanong, in partnership with OPIRG Peterborough, The Trent Centre for Women and Trans People, Arthur Newspaper and Sadler House is hosting Black History Blowout 2021.
- For those performers and artists out there looking to contribute, check out Black History Month 2021 Artists & Performers call-out.
- Keep an eye on BLM Nogojiwanong’s website and Facebook page for more Black History Month events, coming soon!
Community Race Relations Committee of Peterborough
Community Race Relations Committee of Peterborough has a number of talks and information sessions planned, including film screenings, panel discussions, and more. Check out their Calendar of Events for more information.
Women’s Business Network
Women’s Business Network is hosting an event, Black Women Empowerment – Past, Present and Future (this event is members-only).