Windsor Essex Celebrates Black History Month

February is Black History Month and here in Windsor Essex we are proud to have played a pivotal role in assisting many black slaves escaping slavery in the United States and finding freedom here on Canadian soil.

For many American slaves Windsor Essex offered what they yearned for most – a new life of freedom.  Our region played a proud and pivotal role in the Underground Railroad Movement, helping thousands escape the brutality of slavery. The Underground Railroad was not a railroad nor was it underground. It was the name of a secret network of people who hid and guided slaves and refugees as they fled to escape enslavementIt was the largest anti-slavery freedom movement in North America, having brought between 30,000 and 40,000 fugitive slaves to Canada. Learn about the terminus of the Underground Railroad – right here in Windsor Essex, Ontario.

If you haven’t yet explored the landmarks in our regions we invite you discover more about our cultural heritage by visiting Sandwich First Baptist Church, Amherstburg Freedom Museum, the Tower of Freedom monument in downtown Windsor and John Freeman Walls historic site where you will hear stories that recount the travels and the trials

Local Black-Owned Businesses & Black Artists

In honour of Black History Month, we celebrate our local black artisans and black-owned business here in Windsor Essex.  The diversity of offerings extends to retail shops, handmade items, fitness & wellness advocates, poets and artists, and of course chefs and restaurants that celebrate cultural heritage.

Black history month Virtual Event guide

If you are looking for ways to honour and celebrate black history this month consider making time for a virtual tour experience or celebrate with our compilation of events, readings and activities in our Black History Month Virtual Event Guide.  Take a stroll by the River Bookshop for their window display showcasing award-winning black authors and tune in for a virtual reading in conjunction with Amherstburg Freedom Museum.

Virtual Showcase

February 10-28, 2021 – The Coalition for Justice Unity Equity “Youth in Action Club” presents a virtual showcase on the Coalition for Justice Unity Equity Facebook page and on the web site, “2nd Annual Wall of Fame with a Twist!” Each day the page will feature posters created by youth, inspired by their favourite historical figures.

Black History Collections

February 1-28, 2021 – Museum Windsor will feature a series of Facebook posts which will highlight various parts of their Black history-related collections throughout the month of February.

Raise a Glass

The Grove Brew house

The Grove Brew House is proud to announce the first craft beer in the region that recognizes the area’s rich Black History with their Henderson Jacobs Honey Kolsch.  Brewed with local honey, this Kolsch offers a clear golden colour, pleasant honey aroma and slightly tart but smooth finish. Henderson Jacobs tells the tale of two formerly enslaved families who escaped through the Underground Railroad to gain freedom near Kingsville.

Locally-acclaimed Black historian Elise Harding-Davis graciously volunteered her time to work with the local craft brewer to research and develop the story of Henderson Jacobs to ensure historical accuracy. Henderson’s and Jacobs, two former slave families, crossed the Great Lakes together to gain freedom

Carving out a new life was hard, but rewarding. The Henderson’s, George and Catherine, were UGRR Conductors helping “The Black Thread in the Canadian Tapestry” settle in. Jacobs Farms produced honey. Jack Miner School is located on their former farmland. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the Henderson Jacobs Honey Kolsch is being donated to Amherstburg Freedom Museum. 

Windsor Essex proudly celebrates Black History month and honours the rich history, accomplishments and the road that led to freedom for Canadians of African and Caribbean descent.  We proudly recognize our region’s pivotal role in assisting many achieve freedom and live a new life full of possibility local black artisans, entrepreneurs and businesses.  Get a further understanding of Black History in Windsor Essex Pelee Island through visiting our historical sites, read our blogs, and explore itineraries.





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