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Your guide to Black History Month events in York Region

February is Black History Month. 

Although the celebration of Black achievement in Canada dates back to the 1920s, it wasn’t until 1995 when Black History Month was officially recognized in Canada after a motion was introduced by the Honourable Jean Augustine, the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament. For more information please visit Black History Month in Canada.

For your convenience, experienceyorkregion.com has compiled a list of activities across the region. We will update our listings when new events are announced.

Aurora

An Evening with George Elliott Clarke

Thursday, February 3, 7 – 8:30 p.m. 

Online. 

An evening with George Elliott Clarke: Where Beauty Survived – Where Beauty Survived is the memoir of George Elliott Clarke, distinguished poet, author and scholar. He was born 1960 in Windsor, Nova Scotia, just a few miles away from what is called Africadia. At the heart of the book is George’s turbulent relationship with his father, a self-learner who valued art, music and books but worked an unfulfilling railway job. George was raised with high expectations only to come to the stark realization that no matter how hard one worked to excel in athletics, arts and intellectual endeavours, they would still be “poor, dumb, criminals in the eyes of the rich, white world.”

Click here for more information.

Black History Opening Celebration

Saturday, February 5

Time: 6  to 7:30 p.m.

Location: Online: Register through Aurora Black Community Association

Host and More Information: Aurora Black Community Association 

Keynote Address

Keynote Speaker: Honorable Jean Augustine 

Time: 6. to 7:30 p.m.

Location: Online: Register through Aurora Black Community Association

Host and More Information: Aurora Black Community Association 

John Ware Reclaimed l Documentary

Sunday, February 6

Filmmaker Cheryl Foggo examines the mythology surrounding John Ware, the Black cowboy who settled in Alberta before the turn of the 20th century. Her research uncovers who this iconic figure might have been and what his legacy means in terms of anti-Black racism, both past and present.

Time: All Day Screening

Registration: John Ware Reclaimed screening

Host: Aurora Public Library

Paint & Writing Night

Sunday, February 20 @ 7 p.m.

Location: Online, Register through Aurora Black Community Association

Host: Aurora Black Community Association 

Ninth Floor

Sunday, February 20

Director Mina Shum makes her foray into feature documentary by reopening the file on a watershed moment in Canadian race relations – the infamous Sir George Williams Riot. Over four decades after a group of Caribbean students accused their professor of racism, triggering an explosive student uprising, Shum locates the protagonists and listens as they set the record straight, trying to make peace with the past. With original footage.

Time: All Day Screening  

Registration: Register for Ninth Floor

Host: Aurora Public Library

If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes

Thursday, March 3

A discussion around diversity and inclusion from lived experiences of Black women who share perspectives and suggestions on becoming an ally and doing self-work around anti-Black racism. Presented by Debbie Opoku-Mulder. Q&A.

In collaboration with Making Change

Time: 7 p.m.

Registration: Register for this virtual event

Host: Aurora Public Library

East Gwillimbury

Meet the Author with Akilah Newton

Thursday, February 24                       

Grades 3 – 6 : Session one: 9 am; Session two: 10:30 am

In recognition of Black History Month and this year’s theme: Harnessing allyship and leadership, the Town of East Gwillimbury’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee and the Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association, are pleased to present  “Meet the Author” Akilah Newton.

There’s something so magical about seeing and hearing an author read their own book to a group. When people hear first-hand from an author, it encourages and inspires them to write and share their own stories. Akilah Newton, Author of the popular book series “Big Dreamers: The Canadian Black History Activity Book for Kids” and “Movers, Shakers, History Makers: The Canadian Black History Book of Rhymes”, wants to share her love of storytelling with your community! She is thrilled to offer virtual “Meet the Author” sessions where she’ll share her story, read excerpts from her book(s), and answer questions.

Register here as an individual for the 10:30 am session or to register your class, email sclare@egpl.ca

 

King Township

BLACK EXCELLENCE IN STEM CAREERS AND RESEARCH

Monday, February 7 @ 7 p.m.

Margaret Ikape, PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, shares her passion for science, her career journey, and her research interests in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics. Presented in collaboration with York & Durham Libraries. Find out more and register for this free virtual program here.

 

Newmarket

Events presented by The Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association

NACCA is an emerging association formed by like-minded individuals in the Newmarket area who are committed to providing strong leadership to share and celebrate stories of people from African and Caribbean heritage.

Join NACCA for these free virtual activities!

Black History Month Reception

Saturday, February 5 –  10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Family Friendly | Must  Register in Advance

Join us for a Black History Month Reception featuring live entertainment with Enchanting Steelpan, featured guests, spoken word poetry, Keynote speaker on Allyship, and more.

Moderated Discussion – Harnessing Allyship and Leadership 

Tuesday, February 15, 2022 – 7 to 9 p.m.

In recognition of Black History Month, the Newmarket Public Library and the Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association are hosting a virtual moderated panel discussion. Moderated by Kim Wheatley, the panel will explore allyship and leadership with three professionals who are actively doing the work to disrupt injustice and inequities.

Moderator, Kim Wheatley

Anishinaabe Grandmother Kim Wheatley who carries the Spirit Name Shkoden Neegaan Waawaaskonen (Head or Leader of the Fireflower). She is Turtle Clan from Shawanaga First Nations and is a multi-award winning speaker who has appeared on television, radio and numerous written articles locally, nationally and internationally.

Meet the Author – Akilah Newton

Tuesday, February 15, 2022 from 7 to 9 p.m.

In partnership with Newmarket Public Library. Free webinar event

Akilah Newton, Author of the popular book series “Big Dreamers: The Canadian Black History Activity Book for Kids” and “Movers, Shakers, History Makers: The Canadian Black History Book of Rhymes”, wants to share her love of storytelling with your community! She is thrilled to offer virtual “Meet the Author” sessions where she’ll share her story, read excerpts from her book(s), and answer questions.

See, Celebrate and Support Black Owned & Operated Businesses

The Ujamaa Black-Owned Marketplace is the foundation to a social enterprise  that is intended to unite the Black community around the goal of economic development through cooperative economics.  Visit the marketplace to support local Black owned businesses featuring goods for purchase from throughout the Diaspora.

For more information or to register for these events, please visit: https://www.newmarket.ca/ThingsToDo/Pages/Recreation%20and%20Culture/Events/Black-History-Month.aspx

 

Richmond Hill

BLACK EXCELLENCE IN STEM CAREERS AND RESEARCH

Monday, February 7 @ 7 p.m.

Margaret Ikape, PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, shares her passion for science, her career journey, and her research interests in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics. Presented in collaboration with York & Durham Libraries. Find out more and register for this free virtual program here.

Richmond Hill Public Library presents Black History Month programs

All programs are free and offered virtually over Zoom

Virtual Author Visit with Ekiuwa Aire

Wednesday, February 9 – 11 a.m.

This Black History Month, RHPL’s Visiting Author series presents both elementary and high school students with the opportunity to connect virtually with award-winning authors: Virtual Author Visit with Ekiuwa Aire on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 11 a.m. (Grades 1 to 2) Students can discover ancient kings, queens, and landmarks in this workshop on African culture and history. Register your class for a virtual visit with Ekiuwa Aire, award-winning author of “Idia of the Benin Kingdom” and “Njinga of Ndongo and Matamba”. 

Virtual Author Visit with Antonio Michael Downing

Wednesday, February 16 – 10 a.m.

Virtual Author Visit with Antonio Michael Downing on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 10 a.m. Register your high school (Grades 9 to 12) classes for a virtual visit with critically acclaimed musician, writer and activist Antonio Michael Downing, author of “Saga Boy: My Life of Blackness” and “Becoming”. 

Educators in Richmond Hill can register their classes by calling 905-884-9288, ext. 5029.

 

Markham

The Markham African Caribbean Canadian Association

Presents a variety of programs during Black History Month – 2022 Black History Month Celebration: Building Family and Micro-enterprises, all of which are available via Zoom.

Parents and Guardians Wellness Workshop

February 3 – 7 p.m.

Parents and Guardians Wellness Workshop with Kamilah Clayton, Registered Social Worker and Psychotherapist

An Evening of Musical Giants with DJ Benjamin

February 5 – 6:30 p.m.

An Evening of Musical Giants with DJ Benjamin

Tie Dye Workshop

February 10 – 6:30 p.m.

Tie Dye Workshop with Catherine Chambers – LetsMakeIt

For more information or to register, please visit: https://macca1987.com/

Main photo: The Honorable Jean Augustine will be the keynote speaker Black History Opening Celebration presented by the Aurora Black Community Association on Saturday, February 5 at 6 p.m.

Photos, top row, from left: George Elliott Clarke; John Ware; Ninth Floor and Akilah Newton.

Photos, bottom row, from left: Margaret Ikape; Kim Wheatley; Ekiuwa Aire and Antonio Michael Downing

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