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.
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.
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.