So why should we celebrate or even acknowledge Black History Month? Well, as a black woman, I realize it’s important to know my history but also to be aware and acknowledge the accomplishments of my community so I’ll know that anything is possible. My future success has no limits because there are so many who have paved the way to give me more opportunities. That’s why I love this video on YouTube, The Most Searched: A Celebration of Black History.
So here’s a list of some of the events happening in the city.
Did you know that Canadian former NHLer, Willie O’Ree was the first black player in 1958? The NHL is celebrating black achievement in hockey with a mobile museum that includes stories from players from past to present. The roadshow will be stopping in Ottawa and Toronto between February 2 – 8.
I also didn’t know that Jamaican traded rum with Newfoundland who in turn traded their salted cod (aka saltfish) in the 1900s. Check out this Fish and Rum event – a fictional retelling of the real-life history of illicit trade between the islands of Newfoundland and Jamaica, during the Prohibition Era on February 14.
Caroline or Change, starring Canadian singer Jully Black and Canadian opera singer Measha Brueggergosman, is a musical combining spirituals, blues, Motown, classical music, Jewish klezmer and folk music that features the story of people facing extraordinary change during the Civil Rights Movement. It’s on now until February 15.
You can see Spike Lee in person at the Toronto Black Film Festival where you will watch the film Bamboozled then be part of an intimate conversation with the Oscar winner. The festival takes place February 12 to 17.
Kuumba25 is the Harbourfront Centre’s celebration has a variety of events happening. Notably
- D’Wayne Edwards from PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy is offering free workshops for those interested in learning to design their own sneaker on February 16 & 17. PENSOLE offers classes to students and design professionals. They partners with big shoe dI have a pair of to give away.
- Tre Anthony is a playwright, actor and producer best known for Da Kink in My Hair (I loved this play!) and she is back with the play Black Girl in Love on February 7.
- A full list of Kuumba25 events can be found here.
The City of Toronto has events all over the city including City Hall, North York Civic Centre, Fort York and Toronto Public Libraries See the full list.
Lastly, iff you like to read and make new connections, I will be hosting a book club meeting covering the novel Washington Black by Canadian author Esi Edugyan. This book won the Giller Prize in 2018.
For those who’ve read all the way to the end of this article, I have a pair of tickets to give away for the PENSOLE design workshop for beginners on February 16. If you want them, email me.