Oshawa hosting Black History Month events to honour the contributions of the Black community
Published February 1, 2023 at 4:37 p.m
Black History Month has been celebrated in Ontario since 1993, and several events are planned in Oshawa to recognize and celebrate the resilience and tremendous contributions made by the black community in Oshawa, the Durham area and throughout the province.
- The Durham Region and several local partners are hosting Together we rise: excellence through the arts Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in downtown Oshawa
- Sonia Collymore and Dwight Davies will perform at the Oshawa Seniors Community Center (Conant branch) on February 9th at 6pm
- The History of Club Carib will be the focus of the speaker series at 6:00 p.m. on February 21 at the McLaughlin Branch of what was then the Oshawa Public Library
- The Ghost of Harriet Tubmana virtual play by the Oshawa Public Library at 1 p.m
The Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) was founded in 1978 and founders Dr. Daniel Hill and Wilson Brooks petitioned the City of Toronto to officially declare February as Black History Month, a motion that was granted the next year.
The proclamation went provincial in 1993, and OBHS President Rosemary Sadler then took the motion to Ottawa and to Jean Augustine – the first black Canadian woman elected to Parliament – recognizing Black History Month nationwide in 1996.
Black Canadians and their communities have played a part in shaping Canada’s heritage and identity since the arrival of Mathieu Da Costa, a navigator and interpreter believed to be the first free African man to set foot on Canadian soil, as early as the 17th century.
Black stories and contributions have been largely excluded from the key narrative of Canadian history. Few Canadians know that people of African descent were among the Loyalists who came here after the American Revolution. Unknown to many, these Black Loyalists, along with other settlers and ex-slaves, have stood against racism and segregation to build strong and vibrant communities. Some of these communities, like Africville in the Maritimes, have been destroyed by local governments.
Few people are aware of the fact that black people were once enslaved in what would eventually become Canada, nor are they aware of the stories of black resistance that helped lay the foundation for a more diverse and inclusive country.
Black History Month is an opportunity for people to learn about this largely untold story and to learn more about Black people’s past and ongoing contributions to the development of Canadian society on the ground.
The City of Oshawa has zero tolerance for racism and condemns all acts of racist intimidation and violence. In July 2020, the council passed a motion reaffirming the city’s support for zero tolerance of racism in our community. The council and staff are committed to reducing racism, and specifically anti-Black racism, in the Oshawa community.
Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and resilience of the black community and to learn more about black history and culture. Attend one of the many events held in honor of Oshawa #BHM2023. Learn more: https://t.co/tXRpMs2OaM pic.twitter.com/s7vDnHE4Zt
— City of Oshawa (@oshawacity) February 1, 2023
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