February is Black History Month 2024

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February marks Black History Month in Canada. Each February, Canadians are encouraged to celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians and their communities who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada a culturally diverse, compassionate, and prosperous nation.

Join the City of Quinte West as we celebrate Black History Month by showcasing local, provincial and national resources, activities, and opportunities.


What is Black History Month?

In 1978, the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) was established. Its founders, including Dr. Daniel G. Hill and Wilson O. Brooks, petitioned the City of Toronto to have February formally proclaimed as Black History Month. In 1979, the first-ever Canadian proclamation was issued by Toronto.

The first Black History Month in Nova Scotia was observed in 1988 and later renamed African Heritage Month in 1996.

In 1993, the OBHS successfully petitioned Ontario to proclaim February as Black History Month. Following that success, Rosemary Sadlier, president of the OBHS, introduced the idea of having Black History Month recognized across Canada to the Honourable Jean Augustine, the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament.

In December 1995, the House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month in Canada following a motion introduced by Dr. Augustine. The House of Commons carried the motion unanimously.

In February 2008, Senator Donald Oliver, the first Black man appointed to the Senate, introduced the Motion to Recognize Contributions of Black Canadians and February as Black History Month. It received unanimous approval and was adopted on March 4, 2008. The adoption of this motion completed Canada's parliamentary position on Black History Month.

To learn more about Black History Month in Canada, watch the video Black History Month: Exploring the Past and Future of February's annual celebration | CBC Kids News.


Black History Month Digital Toolkit

The Government of Canada has created a detailed digital toolkit to celebrate this year's theme for Black History Month, "African Americans and the Arts."

Find promotional materials, colouring sheets, videos, and links to vital information to help you celebrate Black History Month in the toolkit here.


Ontario's Black Heritage

Learn about Black history in Ontario through a collection of museum sites, web resources, publications, and more with Ontario Heritage Trust.


The Ontario Black History Society

The Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) is a registered Canadian charity dedicated to studying, preserving and promoting Black History and heritage. The Society aims to encourage public interest in Black History through the following:

  • Recognition and documentation of the contributions of peoples of African descent and their collective histories, past and present, through education, research and collaboration.
  • Development and support of educational initiatives and exhibits.
  • Inclusion of Black History material in the school curriculum.


CUPE honours Black History Month

CUPE celebrates Black History Month, highlighting the best of Black History and culture while honouring the ancestors and leaders of Black communities, their accomplishments, and their continued fight for liberation. This year, CUPE honours Nell Toussant, a human rights defender who led a long struggle for access to health care for everyone, regardless of their immigration status. Take a Black History Quiz, browse the National Film Board of Canada's list of films on Black history in Canada, and read the CUPE Anti-Racism Strategy.


Resource: Celebrating Black History Month Through Story (Webinar)

The Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion is hosting a "Celebrating Black History Month through story" webinar on February 1, 2024. Join the CCDI as they share stories from multiple lenses, highlighting different voices and experiences from within and across Canadian Black communities.

*This is an introductory-level webinar for those wishing to learn more about Black history in Canada.


Celebrating Black History Month in Quinte West


Black History/African Heritage Month recognized in Quinte West

On Wednesday, January 25, 2024, Quinte West City Council proclaimed "Black History / African Heritage Month" in the City of Quinte West. During the month of February, the Quinte West sign and the Veterans Skyway Bridge will be illuminated in the colour green to recognize the proclamation. View the Council meeting where the proclamation was approved here.


Black History Month reading list

Prepare your February reading list with the help of the Quinte West, Brighton, and Belleville public libraries.

Libraries throughout Quinte Region are showcasing Black History Month displays, reading lists and online content featuring Black authors, content creators and subject matter experts.

Visit your local library to learn more.


Second Annual Joy & Wellness Black History Month Family Friendly Event

Join this family-friendly event at These 4 Walls, showcasing the amazing artwork of Liz Hymans, featuring electric performances and attend a mini market fair. This event was well attended last year and is sure to grow in attendance this year. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow! Reach out if you are interested in sponsoring this event.

These 4 Walls poster


Hastings Prince Edward Public Health 

Statement text


Read the Hastings Prince Edward Public Health Unit statement on the importance of recognizing Black History Month and working together to address racism while building the foundation of a supportive and inclusive community.


Quinte Local Immigration Partnership

The Quinte Local Immigration Partnership (QLIP) is one of 60 LIPs across Ontario designed to provide a collaborative framework to facilitate the development and implementation of sustainable solutions for the successful integration of newcomers to Ontario that are local and regional in scope. The QLIP hosts an Anti-Racism Committee, which provides information on initiatives that work on racism issues in our community.

Quinte Immigration logo


Did You Know?

 Information provided courtesy of QLIP.

  • Prince Edward County has a Rural BIPOC (Black Indigenous and People of Colour) Association called All Welcome Here. For information on their community work with Black citizens as well as other racialized communities, please go to: https://allwelcomehere.ca/
  • The history of Black inhabitants in Prince Edward County and surrounding regions goes back to 1760. Natasha Henry-Dixon, assistant professor of African Canadian History at York University and President of the Ontario Black History Society, is researching enslaved black persons living in Prince Edward County from 1760 to 1834. Click here to see the complete information presented by Assistant Professor Henry-Dixon and hosted by All Welcome Here Rural BIPOC Association in PEC in 2022: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bU0Ets5qbk
  • There is a rich history of black citizens in the Kingston area. Stones Kingston: Exploring Kingston's Social History has an interesting section on Black history in the Kingston region from 1780 to 1950, provided in French and English. An audio tour of this history is also available. For information, see the following link from Stones Kingston: www.stoneskingston.ca/black-history/
  • In the Hastings and Prince Edward regions, the 2021 Census indicates that approximately 1,785 people in the region identify as Black. In Hastings County, the population that identifies as Black has doubled since 2016, and Black populations have increased in PEC as well. (www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2021/) (www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2016/)
  • Temporary, seasonal agricultural workers in the Quinte region arrive primarily from countries in the Caribbean with high populations of Black citizens. At any given time, the Hastings and Prince Edward County region has about 300 migrant workers who often travel continually to the region seasonally, sometimes for decades, making this area their second home. Their contributions to agricultural production in our communities and across Canada cannot be overstated.

February marks Black History Month in Canada. Each February, Canadians are encouraged to celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians and their communities who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada a culturally diverse, compassionate, and prosperous nation.

Join the City of Quinte West as we celebrate Black History Month by showcasing local, provincial and national resources, activities, and opportunities.


What is Black History Month?

In 1978, the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) was established. Its founders, including Dr. Daniel G. Hill and Wilson O. Brooks, petitioned the City of Toronto to have February formally proclaimed as Black History Month. In 1979, the first-ever Canadian proclamation was issued by Toronto.

The first Black History Month in Nova Scotia was observed in 1988 and later renamed African Heritage Month in 1996.

In 1993, the OBHS successfully petitioned Ontario to proclaim February as Black History Month. Following that success, Rosemary Sadlier, president of the OBHS, introduced the idea of having Black History Month recognized across Canada to the Honourable Jean Augustine, the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament.

In December 1995, the House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month in Canada following a motion introduced by Dr. Augustine. The House of Commons carried the motion unanimously.

In February 2008, Senator Donald Oliver, the first Black man appointed to the Senate, introduced the Motion to Recognize Contributions of Black Canadians and February as Black History Month. It received unanimous approval and was adopted on March 4, 2008. The adoption of this motion completed Canada's parliamentary position on Black History Month.

To learn more about Black History Month in Canada, watch the video Black History Month: Exploring the Past and Future of February's annual celebration | CBC Kids News.


Black History Month Digital Toolkit

The Government of Canada has created a detailed digital toolkit to celebrate this year's theme for Black History Month, "African Americans and the Arts."

Find promotional materials, colouring sheets, videos, and links to vital information to help you celebrate Black History Month in the toolkit here.


Ontario's Black Heritage

Learn about Black history in Ontario through a collection of museum sites, web resources, publications, and more with Ontario Heritage Trust.


The Ontario Black History Society

The Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) is a registered Canadian charity dedicated to studying, preserving and promoting Black History and heritage. The Society aims to encourage public interest in Black History through the following:

  • Recognition and documentation of the contributions of peoples of African descent and their collective histories, past and present, through education, research and collaboration.
  • Development and support of educational initiatives and exhibits.
  • Inclusion of Black History material in the school curriculum.


CUPE honours Black History Month

CUPE celebrates Black History Month, highlighting the best of Black History and culture while honouring the ancestors and leaders of Black communities, their accomplishments, and their continued fight for liberation. This year, CUPE honours Nell Toussant, a human rights defender who led a long struggle for access to health care for everyone, regardless of their immigration status. Take a Black History Quiz, browse the National Film Board of Canada's list of films on Black history in Canada, and read the CUPE Anti-Racism Strategy.


Resource: Celebrating Black History Month Through Story (Webinar)

The Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion is hosting a "Celebrating Black History Month through story" webinar on February 1, 2024. Join the CCDI as they share stories from multiple lenses, highlighting different voices and experiences from within and across Canadian Black communities.

*This is an introductory-level webinar for those wishing to learn more about Black history in Canada.


Celebrating Black History Month in Quinte West


Black History/African Heritage Month recognized in Quinte West

On Wednesday, January 25, 2024, Quinte West City Council proclaimed "Black History / African Heritage Month" in the City of Quinte West. During the month of February, the Quinte West sign and the Veterans Skyway Bridge will be illuminated in the colour green to recognize the proclamation. View the Council meeting where the proclamation was approved here.


Black History Month reading list

Prepare your February reading list with the help of the Quinte West, Brighton, and Belleville public libraries.

Libraries throughout Quinte Region are showcasing Black History Month displays, reading lists and online content featuring Black authors, content creators and subject matter experts.

Visit your local library to learn more.


Second Annual Joy & Wellness Black History Month Family Friendly Event

Join this family-friendly event at These 4 Walls, showcasing the amazing artwork of Liz Hymans, featuring electric performances and attend a mini market fair. This event was well attended last year and is sure to grow in attendance this year. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow! Reach out if you are interested in sponsoring this event.

These 4 Walls poster


Hastings Prince Edward Public Health 

Statement text


Read the Hastings Prince Edward Public Health Unit statement on the importance of recognizing Black History Month and working together to address racism while building the foundation of a supportive and inclusive community.


Quinte Local Immigration Partnership

The Quinte Local Immigration Partnership (QLIP) is one of 60 LIPs across Ontario designed to provide a collaborative framework to facilitate the development and implementation of sustainable solutions for the successful integration of newcomers to Ontario that are local and regional in scope. The QLIP hosts an Anti-Racism Committee, which provides information on initiatives that work on racism issues in our community.

Quinte Immigration logo


Did You Know?

 Information provided courtesy of QLIP.

  • Prince Edward County has a Rural BIPOC (Black Indigenous and People of Colour) Association called All Welcome Here. For information on their community work with Black citizens as well as other racialized communities, please go to: https://allwelcomehere.ca/
  • The history of Black inhabitants in Prince Edward County and surrounding regions goes back to 1760. Natasha Henry-Dixon, assistant professor of African Canadian History at York University and President of the Ontario Black History Society, is researching enslaved black persons living in Prince Edward County from 1760 to 1834. Click here to see the complete information presented by Assistant Professor Henry-Dixon and hosted by All Welcome Here Rural BIPOC Association in PEC in 2022: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bU0Ets5qbk
  • There is a rich history of black citizens in the Kingston area. Stones Kingston: Exploring Kingston's Social History has an interesting section on Black history in the Kingston region from 1780 to 1950, provided in French and English. An audio tour of this history is also available. For information, see the following link from Stones Kingston: www.stoneskingston.ca/black-history/
  • In the Hastings and Prince Edward regions, the 2021 Census indicates that approximately 1,785 people in the region identify as Black. In Hastings County, the population that identifies as Black has doubled since 2016, and Black populations have increased in PEC as well. (www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2021/) (www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2016/)
  • Temporary, seasonal agricultural workers in the Quinte region arrive primarily from countries in the Caribbean with high populations of Black citizens. At any given time, the Hastings and Prince Edward County region has about 300 migrant workers who often travel continually to the region seasonally, sometimes for decades, making this area their second home. Their contributions to agricultural production in our communities and across Canada cannot be overstated.

How do you celebrate Black History Month?

The City of Quinte West invites the public to share thoughts and ideas on how you celebrate Black History Month. Leave a comment below and keep the conversation going!

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