Posted in Did you know?

February: Black History Month – Canada

Yonge Street Media Toronto

One thing I do miss this month no longer living in Toronto is Black History Month. At many corners of the city streets were gentlemen handing out bibliographies for Black History, with an extensive list of both fiction and non-fiction books. There are many events happening throughout the month as well.  But, there are also many events taking place in majour cities across Canada including my home, Montreal.

Lawrence Hill

In the past few years I enjoyed reading several of Lawrence Hill’s books.  He is the son of American immigrants who moved to Toronto a day after they married in 1953. His father  was black and mother who was white,  could not rent a flat in those days,  as landlords did not rent to interracial couples. For one day his mother took a surrogate white husband, friend and jazz bass player. His parents were active advocates for human rights and Lawrence was raised in the suburbs of Toronto (Newmarket).

One of his books, he wrote about the history of his family in a 5 generation saga (fiction) novel , Any Known Blood (1997).   I enjoyed this book because a lot of the history takes place between Oakville and Washington DC. My family lives in Oakville and I learned more of an important part of our Canadian history in this novel.   He is especially known for The Book of Negroes (a great addition to our collection of Canadian history) and which is now made into a television mini-series now in production in South Africa and Canada.

Here is an example of a downtown event at my favourite lunchtime hangout when I lived in Toronto at the Toronto City Hall Public Library.

Icon of the event George Elliott Clarke, City of Toronto Poet Laureate
Mon Feb 24, 2014 | 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
City Hall

In celebration of Black History Month, Mr Clarke will read from his works and discuss what it means to be our city’s Poet Laureate.

Now for Montreal events: there are  lots of events going on in Montreal. Montreal is a city of festivals and throughout February Montreal will put Black artists in the spotlight with music, theatre, fashion, food and more…

In its 21st year in Canada, Black History Month balances fun times with social awareness.  Antoine, one of favourite Canadian actors both in English and French television,  and co-spokesperson Montreal comedian Dorothy Rhau, stress that all of this month’s events, from blues nights to art shows, are reflective of Montreal’s year-round diverse culture.

I know there is more to add here and believe it or not, I wrote much more and yep, I did not save my post and lost all of it. Given the time 2:30 am., I think I will end here and urge you to peruse the sites of events hereinbelow and check out any other resources you will find in majour Canadian cities such as Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Vancouver.

Vox Sambou in Bamako


© Cheryl-Lynn, 2014/02/05


African Heritage Nova Scotia Rising Stars: Celebrating Youths.

TD Diversity Events

Annotated guide to on-line resources on the history of Canada’s Black community.

Montreal Black History Month

CBC Toronto celebrates Black History Month



A little bit about moi: I am a mom, a nana, a sister, a woman, a friend, a human being…a youth counsellor, Family Life Educator. I have been working in the helping profession for over 25 years and volunteered in various capacities from youths to seniors. Tournesol is my nom de plume for haiku and other Japanese form poetry here at Tournesoldansunjardin I hope you enjoy reading through my daily waka. I also have another blog "Stop the Stigma" where I may stand on my soapbox now and then and hope it will become a place to drop in and share or comment on issues important to you. In that vein this could be a great way to learn from each other. Namaste!

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