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.
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
Windsor-Essex Joint Black History Month Kick-Off
The Caribbean Centre, 2410 Central Avenue - Windsor
Thursday February 1, 2024
Pan African Flag Raising Ceremony
Chrysler Hall Tower, University of Windsor
Greetings and Land Acknowledgement
Marium Tolson-Murtty, Director Anti-Racism Organizational Change
Singing of the Black National Anthem
Dr. Clinton Beckford, Vice President People, Equity, and Inclusion
Dr. Shetina Jones, Associate Vice-President, Student Experience
Kaitlyn Ellsworth, Black Student Support Coordinator
Alma Alao – Afrofest Coordinator
Adjournment, followed by refreshments and fellowship
Wednesday, February 7, 2024
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: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/connect-for-black-entrepreneurs-showcase-tickets-795339601157?aff=oddtdtcreator
Thursday, February 29, 2024
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
The African Diaspora in Canada: Negotiating Identity and Belonging edited by Wisdom J. Tettey
The Underground Railroad: Next Stop, Toronto! by Adrienne Shadd
Queer Returns: Essays on Multiculturalism, Diaspora, and Black Studies by Rinaldo Walcott