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Black History - Black Futures

Black History - Black Futures

The Black History - Black Futures working group is a collaboration between the University of Windsor, the Black Council of Windsor Essex, the Essex County Black Historical Research Society, Coalition for Justice, Unity, and Equity, UWSA AfroFest, the Alumni Association, Leddy Library, UWindsor Public Affairs and Communications, and other campus and community groups, which aims to share events and initiatives not only during Black History Month but all year round.

Black History – Black Futures month, every February, is an opportunity to normalize discussions about the accomplishments of people, not only in the past tense. It is essential to speak to the present and the future. We all stand on the shoulders of those trailblazers who came before us, who paved the way for many who thought the impossible was not possible. Remaining in the past is deficit thinking which limits mobilization. These rich histories do not focus only on the trials but also on the triumphs.

Events Calendar

Celebrating Black History Month in Canada

In 1978, the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) was established. Its founders, including Dr. Daniel G. Hill and Wilson O. Brooks, presented a petition to the City of Toronto to have February formally proclaimed as Black History Month. In 1979, the first-ever Canadian proclamation was issued by Toronto.

The first Black History Month in Nova Scotia was observed in 1988 and later renamed African Heritage Month in 1996.

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.


Friday January 26, 2024

Poster with text Save the Date 2024 Windsor-Essex joint Black history month kick-off Fri. Jan. 26 7pm The Caribbean Centre 2410 Central Ave. and the logos for the Amherstburg Freedom Museum Essex County Black Historical Research Society and Windsor West Indian Association

Windsor-Essex Joint Black History Month Kick-Off
7 p.m.
The Caribbean Centre, 2410 Central Avenue - Windsor

Thursday February 1, 2024

green  black and red stripes with UWindsor shield in background and text Save the Date Black History Black Futures Month Kick-off Flag raising Feb. 1 2024 12pm Chrysler Hall Tower West Flag Pole

Pan African Flag Raising Ceremony
12 p.m.
Chrysler Hall Tower, University of Windsor


12:00 p.m.
Greetings and Land Acknowledgement
Marium Tolson-Murtty, Director Anti-Racism Organizational Change

12:05 p.m.
Singing of the Black National Anthem

12:10 p.m.
Dr. Clinton Beckford, Vice President People, Equity, and Inclusion

12:13 p.m.
Dr. Shetina Jones, Associate Vice-President, Student Experience

12:16 p.m.
Kaitlyn Ellsworth, Black Student Support Coordinator

12:19 p.m.
Flag Raising

12:20 p.m.
Alma Alao – Afrofest Coordinator

12:25 p.m.
Adjournment, followed by refreshments and fellowship

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Blue graphic for Black Entrepreneur showcase at EPI Centre Feb 7 5-7:30pm 2nd floor of Joyce Entrepreneurship Centre

Join us on February 7th for our newest installment in the Connect For series, Connect For: Black Entrepreneurs Showcase. Connect For is EPICentre’s bi-monthly series to connect Windsor-Essex community members with the UWindsor student body.

In recognition of Black History Month, this iteration of the series will feature a showcase of BIPOC owned businesses in the Windsor Essex Community. This evening is a part of EPICentre’s ongoing commitment to embracing diversity and inclusivity in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, both on campus and within the wider Windsor-Essex community.

The showcase will spotlight the remarkable achievements and contributions of Black entrepreneurs from the University of Windsor, including current students and alums.

Join us for this in-person gathering where you can connect with fellow supporters of diversity, entrepreneurship, and innovation. It’s an opportunity to engage with inspiring Black entrepreneurs, hear their stories of resilience and creativity, and celebrate their successes.

Mark your calendars for an evening of inspiration, networking, and community celebration.

Follow the link to register:


Thursday, February 29, 2024

book cover for Black Activist Black Scientist Black Icon

Black Activist Black Scientist Black Icon Book Launch

Feb. 29, 2:30-4:30 

COR Atrium, UWindsor (attached to Essex Hall)

The program will feature acclaimed author George Eillott Clarke, as well as Dr. Brenda McCurdy, Dr. Gregg French, and Marium Tolson-Murtty

The following are some recommend books regarding Black history in Canada:

Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America by Fergus M. Bordewich

Unsettling the Great White North: Black Canadian History edited by Michele A. Johnson and Funké Aladejebi*   *UWindsor alum!

Black Loyalists: Southern Settlers of Nova Scotia's First Free Black Communities by Ruth Holmes Whitehead

Blacks in Canada: A History by Robin W. Winks

Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis

Underground to Canada by Barbara Smucker

The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

Africville by Shauntay Grant

Viola Desmond Won't Be Budged! by Jody Nyasha Warner

#BlackInSchool by Habiba Cooper Diallo

The Freedom-Seekers: Blacks in Early Canada by Daniel G. Hill

Historic Black Nova Scotia by Henry Bishop

Silenced: Caribbean Domestic Workers Talk with Makeda Silvera by Makeda Silvera

Birchtown and the Black Loyalists by Wanda Taylor

The Journey from Tollgate to Parkway: African Canadians in Hamilton by Adrienne Shadd

The Kids Book of Black Canadian History by Rosemary Sadlier

The History of Immigration and Racism in Canada: Essential Readings edited by Barrington Walker

We're Rooted Here and They Can't Pull Us Up: Essays in African Canadian Women's History edited by Peggy Bristow

They Call Me George: The Untold Story of the Black Train Porters by Cecil Foster

Back to the Drawing Board: African-Canadian Feminisms edited by Njoki Nathani Wane

Deemed Unsuitable: Blacks from Oklahoma Move to the Canadian Prairies in Search of Equality in the Early 20th Century Only to Find Racism in their New Home by R. Bruce Shepard

A Place in the Sun: Haiti, Haitians, and the Remaking of Quebec by Sean Mills

The African Diaspora in Canada: Negotiating Identity and Belonging edited by Wisdom J. Tettey

Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present by Robyn Maynard

The Underground Railroad: Next Stop, Toronto! by Adrienne Shadd

Queer Returns: Essays on Multiculturalism, Diaspora, and Black Studies by Rinaldo Walcott

Share your celebration of Black History Black Futures Month 2024 by adding a graphic to your email signature or using one of the below backgrounds for your virtual meetings:

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Virtual Meeting Backgrounds

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