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
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
Saturday, February 11
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
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
Saturday, February 18
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)
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!
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
Wednesday, February 15
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.