Black History Month Guide 2018

Essex County is rich in Black history. Canadians of African descent have played important roles in the cultural, political, social, and economic progress of our communities. To celebrate our heritage here are some of the Black History Month events happening around our region.

2018 Windsor-Essex Black History Month Kickoff

Friday January 26, 2018. This event is presented by the Essex County Black Historical Research Society, Windsor West Indian Association, and Amherstburg Freedom Museum. For the fifth year in a row, the community will celebrate the launch of Black History Month with an evening of music, poetry, performing arts, Black history highlights, and the release of the annual Windsor-Essex Black History Month community calendar. Featured artists will include Teajai Travis, Amina Abdulle, Mbonisi Zikhali, and Lana Talbot. Light refreshments will be served.

7 pm, free
The Caribbean Centre – 2410 Central Ave, Windsor

Blues inside the Black Box Theatre

Saturday January 27, 2018. Celebrating an art form that emerged from African American culture, the Black Box Theatre features Jamie Thompson from the 519 Band with special guests Benny Dredful and Ryan Thompson.

8 pm, $10 suggested donation
S.T.A.G. – 3735 King St., Windsor

The Spirit of Harriet Tubman

Sunday January 28, 2018. Windsor actor/dancer/choreographer Leslie McCurdy is performing only one local (Detroit/Windsor) show this winter. This play is open to the general public and is sponsored by the Oak Park Recreation Department. In 2017, McCurdy celebrated twenty years of her highly interactive and interactive one woman show, which introduces the audience to the entire life story of Harriet Tubman.

3 pm, free
Oak Park High School. – 13701 Oak Park Boul., Michigan

$1 off Admission to The Amherstburg Freedom Museum

February 1st to Feb 28th, 2018. For the entire month of February, the Amherstburg Freedom Museum (277 King Street, Amherstburg) is offering $1 off admission per person to celebrate Black History Month. To claim the discount, tell us when the Nazrey African Methodist Episcopal Church National Historic Site of Canada was built and by whom, when you purchase your ticket. This discount is only available in February and only if the correct response is given. (Hint: In 1848, people fleeing American slavery built this church by hand to serve Amherstburg’s growing Black community.)

Tues-Fri 12 pm – 5 pm, Sat & Sun 1 pm – 5 pm, Admission: Normally $7.50/adult, $6.50/student or senior.
Oak Park High School. – 13701 Oak Park Boul., Michigan

New Exhibit! “Breaking the Colour Barrier:
Wilfred ‘Boomer’ Harding and the Chatham Coloured All-Stars”

February 1, 2018 to March 31, 2018 (Opening Celebrations February 1, 2018). A travelling exhibit about the Chatham Coloured All-Stars, the first African-Canadian baseball team to win an Ontario Baseball Amateur Association (Intermediate B) in 1934. The exhibit is an outreach project related to the recently-launched website, “Breaking the Colour Barrier: Wilfred ‘Boomer’ Harding and the Chatham Coloured All-Stars”  ( Begun as a collaboration between the Harding family, the Chatham Sports Hall of Fame, and the University of Windsor, the project aims to bring this important story about race, sports and community to a wider audience.

Tuesday – Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm, Sunday: 11 am – 5 pm
Chimczuk Museum – 401 Riverside Dr. W., Windsor

Free Admission – Chimczuk Museum

Thursday, February 1, 2018. In honour of Black History Month, the Chimczuk Museum will be offering free admission. This date will mark the official opening of the new temporary display, “Breaking the Colour Barrier: Wilfred ‘Boomer’ Harding and the Chatham Coloured All-Stars”.

In the evening, there will be a free talk at the Chimczuk Museum hosted by the Museum Volunteer Group. This talk will feature Dr. Miriam Wright and Dr. Heidi Jacobs from the University of Windsor, who directed the Breaking the Colour Barrier project, and Dave Johnston of the Leddy Library who created the project website. In addition, sets of baseball cards featuring the Chatham Coloured All-Stars will be available for sale with proceeds going to the Chatham Kent Black Historical Society.

10 am – 5 pm, Free
Talk 7 pm
Chimczuk Museum – 401 Riverside Dr. W., Windsor

Exhibit Opening for “Journeys”

February 2, 2018. The Amherstburg Freedom Museum in partnership with the Artists of Colour will host the exhibit opening for “Journeys”, featuring 14 works of art from a group of local Black artists who form the committee of the Artists of Colour. The event will feature live entertainment, providing a musical accompaniment to the exhibit.

The art works chosen are part of the first stage of the “Journeys” Project which the Artists of Colour have begun to construct, will be an art exhibit that will celebrate and relay the story of Black enslavement and the long journey back to freedom. This exhibit will tell the story to all generations of the courage and determination of a people who refused to accept the degradation of slavery. White and Black stood up against the injustice and demoralization of slavery, risking their lives and livelihood opposing the injustice inflicted upon their brothers and sisters. They unselfishly dedicated their lives to the cause of liberty. Exhibit runs from Feb 2 – April 1, 2018

7:30 pm, Opening Reception is Free, donations are welcomed
Facebook:Exhibit Opening for “Journeys”
Amherstburg Freedom Museum – 277 King St., Amherstburg

Reading of Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt

Friday February 2, 2018. Join the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society and Black Mecca Museum and the Chatham Public Library for a reading of Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt and make your own special quilt square.

10:30 am, free
Chatham Branch- 120 Queen St., Chatham


February 3 – February 13, 2018. The “Atonement” exhibition will display visual art pieces of local Windsor-Essex artists. The “Atonement” will explore historical and contemporary social and political issues, including ecological destruction, poverty, discrimination and the effect institutions and the legal system have had on marginalized communities through the medium of art.

During the “Atonement,” Mackenzie Hall, formerly the County Courthouse, will symbolically link arts and the law to create a powerful tool for spreading a message. This exhibition is an opportunity for artists to share their thoughts on social justice and the legal system, and encourage dialogue.
Mackenzie Hall Cultural Centre – 3277 Sandwich St, Windsor

Open House at the Windsor Public Library

Saturday February 3, 2018. Celebrate Black History Month at the Windsor Public Library. Join us for a terrific afternoon of discovery. Explore authors, artists, explorers, inventors, scientists and so much more.

1 pm – 3pm at the Central Library, 2 pm – 4 pm at the Sandwich Branch, free
Windsor Public Library – 850 Ouellette Ave, Windsor

Bob Marley Birthday Bash Featuring Universal Xpression

Saturday February 3, 2018. Get ready to Jam at the Bob Marley Birthday Bash, a Black History Month Celebration, featuring Universal Xpression. Enjoy an evening of delicious authentic Caribbean cuisine and live entertainment. The featured act Universal Xpression has thrilled thousands all over America, Canada and the Caribbean.

9 pm, $15 (Dinner available for purchase)
Caribbean Centre – 2410 Central Ave, Windsor

Working Together for Change: Stories of Faithful Collaboration between African Canadians and their Allies

Sunday February 4, 2018. Local historian Irene Moore Davis presents during the Sunday morning service.

10:30 am, free
Unitarian Universalist Church of Olinda – 2953 Olinda Side Rd, Ruthven

AfroFest 2018

Monday February 5 – Friday February 9, 2018. AfroFest is a week-long celebration at the University of Windsor that commemorates the rich history of Africa along with the contributions of its people throughout the world.

519.253.3000 Ext. 4527,
University of Windsor, CAW Student Centre – 401 Sunset Ave, Windsor

Stamp It!

Thursday February 8, 2018. The Northstar Cultural Community Centre will host the unveiling of the 2018 Canada Post Black History Month Stamps. Learn about the lives of Lincoln Alexander and Kay Livingstone. Bring a blank envelope with you. Stamps will be available!

1 pm – 2 pm, free
Northstar Cultural Community Centre, 225A Erie St. E, Windsor

Black History Month Film Festival

Saturday February 10 to Sunday February 11, 2018. Join the Coalition for Justice, Unity, and Equity. There will be an opening ceremony with guest speakers, followed by a series of film screenings and film discussion.

2 pm, free or by donation
S.T.A.G. – 3735 King St, Windsor

Black History Brunch

Sunday February 11, 2018. The Windsor West Indian Association will host its annual Black History Brunch.

12 pm to 6 pm, $20 adults, $8 children
Caribbean Centre – 2410 Central Ave, Windsor


Monday February 12, 2018 and Wednesday February 28, 2018. Join us as we study “Rollcall,” a poem by George Elliott Clarke, Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate. This poem was created at the request of the Government of Canada as part of its Black History Month 2017 campaign and in conjunction with Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. “Rollcall” underlines that African/Black Canadian history is Canadian citizens working heroically in the past, dynamically in the present and inspired for the future. The names represent individuals whose stories compose our history and our current struggles to triumph and success.

6 pm on Feb 12, 1 pm on Feb 28, free
Northstar Cultural Community Centre- 225A Erie St E., Windsor

Land of Canaan: Researching Black Ancestors in Canada before Confederation

Monday February 12, 2018. All are welcome to join the Essex County Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society for a large screen webcast of Guylaine Pétrin’s presentation, “Land of Canaan: Researching Black Ancestors in Canada before Confederation.” Guylaine Pétrin is a bilingual librarian at Glendon College at York University. She is also a genealogist and historical researcher, specializing in Upper Canada. Beginning in 1793, Upper Canada became a haven for African Americans seeking freedom and political rights. While this webinar uses examples from Black genealogy, many of the sources are useful for anyone whose ancestors lived in Upper Canada during this period.

7 pm, free
Windsor Public Library – 850 Ouellette Ave, Windsor

Khari Wendell McClelland’s Freedom Singer Album Release

Thursday February 15, 2018. Freedom Singer is the debut solo album of Khari Wendell McClelland and a true celebration of Black History. Khari collected and interpreted songs that might have accompanied his great-great-great grandmother Kizzy as she fled US slavery into Canada during the mid 1800s on The Underground Railroad. Khari uses a range of styles like hip-hop, gospel, folk and soul to create a bridge from past to present.

7 pm

Phog Lounge – 157 University Ave W, Windsor

Lemmon Slave Case Talk

Thursday February 15, 2018. The Essex County Black Historical Research Society is pleased to host historians Bryan and Shannon Prince for a talk about the historically significant Lemmon Slave Case, including some fascinating connections to both Buxton and Essex County.

7 pm, free
United Way – 300 Giles Blvd. E, Windsor

An Evening of Jazz

Friday February 16, 2018. An Evening of Jazz featuring Shahida Nurullah and Vaughn Klugh, with special guests Crissi Cochrane, Soul Brother Mike, and the Coffee House Combo. Refreshments available for purchase.

7:30 pm, $15 Adults, $10 Seniors, $5 Students
All Saints’ Anglican Church – 330 City Hall Square, Windsor

Black History Month Celebration

Saturday February 17, 2018. The African Community Organization of Windsor will host its 6th Annual Black History Month Celebration with keynote speakers Dr. Mark Awuku and critically acclaimed author Mrs. Fartumo Kusow. The theme is “Building a Strong Legacy through Meaningful Community Involvement.” A fashion show, dance performances, a cash bar, and a dinner featuring African and Canadian cuisine will be included.

6 pm, $30 in advance, $40 at the door (discounted rates for couples, seniors, and students available)
WFCU Centre- 8787 McHugh St, Windsor

Gospel inside the Black Box Theatre

Saturday February 17, 2018. Celebrating a form of expression that emerged from African American culture, the Black Box Theatre features Rodney Jones.

8 pm, $10 suggested donation
S.T.A.G – 3735 King St, Windsor

Family Day Youth Workshop

Monday February 19, 2018.  Explore a Black-focused educational activity booklet based on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM.) This experience will be suitable for young people aged 10 and older, while parents/guardians are welcome to observe.

2 pm – 3 pm, free
Northstar Cultural Community Centre – 225A Erie St E, Windsor

Black History Tea

Monday February 19, 2018. The focus this year is on the importance of reading, featuring books by the West Indian children’s author Zetta Elliott.

2 pm – 6 pm, Admission by donation
Caribbean Centre – 2410 Central Ave, Windsor

Poetry inside the Black Box Theatre

Friday February 23, 2018. Celebrating traditions of Black poetry.

8 pm, $10 suggested donation
S.T.A.G – 3735 King St, Windsor

If you have an event you would like to submit for consideration, please use our online form. Thank you for helping us to provide helpful information to visitors in our region.

The information provided in this Guide is for informational purposes only and is based upon sources believed to be accurate and reliable, and we have exercised reasonable care to assure the accuracy of the information. You are responsible for confirming the date, time, price, venue, and details of a listing by contacting the appropriate organizers directly.


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