Black History Month 2024 in Chatham-Kent

Dignitaries hold the Black History Month flag at the 2023 Black History Month flag raising.

February is Black History Month, a month dedicated to honouring and celebrating the accomplishments of Canadians of African descent.

This month and all year long, we encourage you to learn about Black communities and community members who have helped shape what Chatham-Kent is today.

See below for some of the events taking place across Chatham-Kent throughout the month. Feel free to share with colleagues and community.

We would like to thank the Buxton National Historic Site & Museum, Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society and Black Mecca Museum, Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History, and our colleagues across the Municipality of Chatham-Kent for their partnerships and continued work to preserve and share our local and national history.

Why do we Honour Black History Month?

Black History has largely been excluded from mainstream recounting of Canadian history. That means the contributions of Black community members have often been excluded, even though they are important parts of our shared history. For example, many people don't know that soldiers of African descent made sacrifices in wartimes and actually had to advocate to be able to fight for their Country. Or, that African people were enslaved in Canada, in addition to the United States of America. Because of this exclusion of Black stories and contributions, having a dedicated month helps ensure that these stories are told. And, it helps to highlight the continued struggles for liberation, equity, and justice.

How was Black History Month Established?

In Canada, Black History Month was first proclaimed in 1978 by the City of Toronto as a result of advocacy by the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS), including Dr. Daniel G. Hill and Wilson O. Brooks.

In 1993, the OBHS successfully filed a petition in Ontario to proclaim February as Black History Month. Following that success, Rosemary Sadlier, president of the OBHS, introduced the idea of having Black History Month recognized across Canada to the Honourable Jean Augustine, the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament.

In December 1995, the House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month in Canada following a motion introduced by Dr. Augustine. The House of Commons carried the motion unanimously.

In February 2008, Senator Donald Oliver, the first Black man appointed to the Senate, introduced the Motion to Recognize Contributions of Black Canadians and February as Black History Month. It received unanimous approval and was adopted on March 4, 2008. The adoption of this motion completed Canada’s parliamentary position on Black History Month.

What is Happening to Honour Black History Month in Chatham-Kent?

Thursday, February 1, 12:00PM

Black History Month Flag Raising, 315 King St W, Chatham (Civic Centre)

Bundle up and show your support for the kick-off of Black History Month in Chatham-Kent!

Join the Buxton National Historic Site & Museum, the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society & Black Mecca Museum, and the Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History to honour the start of Black History Month and learn about what is happening in Chatham-Kent throughout the month.

Thursday, February 8, 10:00AM – 11:00AM

Buxton Museum Storytime, Chatham-Kent Public Library, Chatham Branch

Join us for a special story time celebrating Black History Month with special guests from the Buxton National Historic Site & Museum. Best suited for children 5 and younger. Drop-in.

Saturday, February 10, 6:00PM – 1:00AM (cost to attend)

Chatham-Kent Black Excellence Awards, Retro Suites Hotel

This inaugural event to recognize the outstanding accomplishment of local Black community members and celebrate Black cultures, and community advocates. Attendees from all cultures are welcome.

Learn more and purchase tickets through EventBrite.

Thursday, February 22, 6:30PM – 7:15PM

Twilight Tails, Chatham-Kent Public Library, Dresden Branch

February is Black History Month, and we have all kinds of treasures to help celebrate. Play the jumbo Match-Up of famous athletes, entertainers, and inventors. Registration is not necessary.

Tuesday, February 27, 6:00PM

Trivia Night, Red Barn Brewing Co.

Join Red Barn Brewing and Buxton's Next Generation (BNG) for a fun night of trivia, including Black History Month questions. A portion of proceeds go to BNG.

Buy tickets from Red Barn Brewing company.

Wednesday, February 28, 2:00PM and 7:00PM

Screening of The Color Purple, Chatham Capitol Theatre

A story of love and resilience bast on the novel and Broadway musical. Rated PG-13. Admission $7 at the door. No registration required.

All Month-Long

Black History Month Quiz

Test your knowledge about Black History in Chatham-Kent and enter to win tickets to a screening of The Color Purple on February 28th!

Take the quiz here:

Thanks to our friends at Buxton National History Site & Museum, Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society & Black Mecca Museum, Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History, Buxton's Next Generation, Chatham Capitol Theatre, and Living CK for this partnership!

Buxton National Historic Site & Museum

Visit Ontario’s second largest national historic site, a tribute to the Elgin settlement virtually or in-person.

Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society and Black Mecca Museum

Learn about the Black community that settles along McGregor’s Creek in Chatham at the end of the 18th century to present day. Self-guided tours available.

Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History

Site of the Dawn Settlement, built by Rev. Josiah Henson in 1841. In-person tours available for groups of 15 or more. Virtual tours also available.

Chatham-Kent Municipal Museums

Let Us March on till Victory is Won: The Struggle for Racial Equity in CK and Ontario

The exhibit traces the National Unity Association’s crusade for justice and determination to end practices of segregation in Chatham-Kent and Ontario. Visit the virtual exhibit or book the travelling exhibit to see it in-person.

Chatham-Kent Public Library

Read Black Voices, All Branches

Celebrate the diversity of Black experiences by reading books by Black authors and illustrators. Participants will earn a ballot when they borrow a book with the Black Voices bookmarks for a chance to win a prize pack.

Black History Month Quizzes, Tilbury Branch

Drop-in to the Tilbury Branch each week in February for a new quiz about notable Black figures and historic events.

Living CK

Stay tuned to the Living CK Facebook or Instagram channels for information about Black History Month in Chatham-Kent.

Thames Art Gallery

Visit their Facebook and Instagram pages to learn about Black artists with local ties throughout the month.

Categories: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, BlackHistoryMonth, BlackHistoryMonth2024, BHM2024, BlackHistory, CKOnt
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