Flag-raising ceremony held to celebrate the start of Black History Month

Members of the community came together on Wednesday for a flag-raising ceremony at the Chatham Civic Centre to celebrate the first day of Black History Month.

“Black History Month is a time to honour the people who came before us, who created pathways where they didn’t exist,” stated Chatham-Kent CAO Michael Duben, in a media release.

“As a young Black lawyer 28 years ago, I had to work hard, but I didn’t experience as many challenges because of the work of people who went before me, people like Robert Sutherland, Delos Davis and Violet Henry. But there is still a lot of work to be done. This month we honour those who have gone before us and continue our work to pave the way for an inclusive and fair Chatham-Kent.”

The flag-raising was held by the Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History, the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society and Black Mecca Museum, and the Buxton National Historic Site and Museum.

“Chatham-Kent was a historic destination of refuge for those fleeing slavery and oppression,” said Mayor Darrin Canniff, in a media release.

“Our communities were founded on hope. Black communities have shaped who we are today. I encourage everyone to participate in our local Black History events and activities this month. Together, let’s build a stronger understanding and appreciation for our local Black history today and for generations to come.”

Chatham-Kent Tourism is promoting community activities throughout the month of February celebrating the rich Black history in Chatham-Kent.

Learn more about how you can participate at: https://www.chatham-kent.ca/visitck/doandsee/heritage/undergroundrailroad/Pages/black-history-month-in-chatham-Kent.aspx.

In honour of Black History Month, Chatham-Kent Public Library is hosted a variety of programs throughout the month of February that celebrate Black heritage and culture.

Upcoming Kid’s Events:

Black History Month PA Day Activity
Blenheim Branch
Friday, February 3
10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Drop in to the Blenheim Branch during open hours for Black History themed activities. Make paper Kente Cloth, build a log cabin home, and grab a “100 Steps to Freedom” game to take home and play!

200th Birthday Party for Black Icon Mary Ann Shadd
Chatham Branch
Saturday, February 11
10:00 am
Celebrate the 200th birthday of Canadian icon, Mary Ann Shadd, the first Black female newspaper publisher in Canada. Enjoy a special storytime and activity. This program is presented in partnership with the Chatham-Kent Historical Society and the Black Mecca Museum. All ages. Registration is required.

Black History Month Family Storytime
Blenheim Branch
Thursday, February 23
11:00 am to 11:30 am
Celebrate Black History Month at the library by joining us for our monthly before-opening-hours Family Storytime! This event is geared towards participants between the ages of 0-5, though older siblings are welcome.

Buxton Museum Special Storytime
Chatham Branch
Saturday, February 18
11:00 am
Join us for an interactive family storytime focusing on the book “Barefoot, Escape on the Underground Railroad”. Drop in.

Black History Month Kids Trivia (Virtual)
February 18
9:30 am to 5:00 pm
A special kids trivia game that celebrates Black heritage and culture will be posted on CKPL’s Facebook page. Thanks to the Chatham-Kent Museum for partnering with CKPL on this program.

Win a Special Prize Pack!
Chatham Branch
During the month of February, read a Black voices book and get a ballot to win a bag filled with books, goodies, and museum passes. Thanks to Chatham-Kent Historical Society and Black Mecca Museum for sponsoring this giveaway.

Upcoming Adult Events:

Black History Month Puzzles (Virtual)
February 7, 14, 21, 28
Head over to CKPL’s Facebook page for a new virtual puzzle each week that celebrates the rich history of Chatham-Kent’s Black community. Special thanks to the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society and Black Mecca Museum for supplying the puzzle photos.

Black History Month Adult Trivia (Virtual)
Wednesday, February 8
6:00 pm to midnight
A special trivia game will be posted on CKPL’s Facebook page that celebrates Black heritage and culture. Thanks to the Chatham-Kent Museum for partnering on this program.

Discovering the Black Mecca
Chatham Branch
Wednesday, February 15
7:00 pm
Join us for a presentation honouring and celebrating Black History in Chatham-Kent with our guest speaker from the Chatham-Kent Black History Society & Black Mecca Museum. No registration required.

Visit any CKPL branch during the month of February to browse Black History Month themed book displays and complete crafts and stay-n-plays.

To find out more about programs and events at Chatham-Kent Public Library, visit www.ckpl.ca.

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