February has been Black History Month in Canada since 1995 when the Honourable Jean Augustine introduced a motion to the House of Commons. It was carried unanimously and Canada’s Black History Month was born. It was timed to coincide with the February Black History Month celebrations in the United States, which have been officially celebrated there since 1976.

Events got started this month with a flag presentation on February 1 at Brampton City Hall, but there are a bunch of other events happening. Here are just some of the happenings in Brampton for Black History Month 2019.

North Is Freedom

This photographic essay from Canadian photographer Yuri Dojc celebrates the Canadian descendants of freedom-seekers who escaped slavery in the United States in the years before the American Civil War.

Their stories are both personal and historical. These Canadians are attuned to their histories and proud of their ancestors’ courage.

Opens Saturday, February 16 at Peel Art Gallery Museum + Archives (PAMA) — 9 Wellington Street East

Underground to Canada: Stealing Away to the Promised Land, a Talk with Karolyn Smardz Frost

Karolyn Smardz Frost, educator, archaeologist, and author of prize-winning books, Steal Away Home and I’ve Got a Home in Glory Land, will be at PAMA for an afternoon of conversation. She will discuss her research, process and books. Karolyn will also be available for a book signing after her talk. Her books can be purchased in the PAMA store. Included with the cost of admission, members are free.

Saturday, February 16, from 2 pm – 3:30 pm at Peel Art Gallery Museum + Archives (PAMA) — 9 Wellington Street East

18th Annual Black History Month Concert

This event is hosted by Peel United Cultural Partners and features guest speakers such as Natasha Henry (President, Ontario Black History Society), Kathy McDonald (Trustee, Peel District School Board) and Colleen Taffe (writer/producer of “A Piece of Mind”).

There’s also lots of music (the featured performer is Liberty Silver), dancing, and poetry and other activities that you won’t want to miss. Also happening: the Community Leadership Award will be presented to the Hon. Justice Donald McLeod.

Saturday, February 16, from 5 pm – 9 pm at Century Gardens Recreation Centre — 340 Vodden Street East

Brampton’s Very Own Presents In This Skin

Curated by Brampton’s Very Own, In This Skin celebrates black excellence through arts and culture as part of Black History Month. Hosted by Jemane Kent & Lola Waheed, featuring Tracey Kayy, Keziaa, Prempz and his crew, as well as Adubea. There will be food by Naija Jollof of Toronto.

Thursday, February 21, at 8 pm at The Rose Theatre (1 Theatre Lane)

Taste of Black History Month

In celebration of Black History Month, the City of Brampton will be hosting a Taste of Black History Month by inviting 2-3 local restaurants to offer paid lunches and specialty dishes.

Friday, February 22, from 12 pm – 2 pm at the West Tower Conservatory (41 George Street)

Writers at the Rose: Angie Thomas

The Festival of Literary Diversity and The Rose Theatre present #1 New York Times bestselling author Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give. She will discuss her new novel, On the Come Up, which is a story of fighting for your dreams, and about how, especially for young black people, freedom of speech isn’t always free. There will be a book signing after the talk.

Monday, February 25, at 7 pm at The Rose Theatre (1 Theatre Lane)

Closing Event

To mark the conclusion of Black History Month, the City of Brampton will be hosting a closing event. There will be free refreshments, vendor booths, kids activities along with stage performances that will include dance, poetry, spoken word and music.

Thursday, February 28, from 4:30 pm – 8 pm. Stage performances to begin at 6 pm. City Hall Atrium at 2 Wellington Street West)

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