Black History Month 2022 Resource List
Every February, people and organizations across Canada participate in Black History Month. It’s an opportunity to focus on the legacy and contributions of Black Canadians in our society. The theme for Black History Month 2022 is “February and Forever: Celebrating Black History today and every day,” a reminder that supporting and including Black voices and Black creators is something we can do every day, and not just during the shortest month of the year.
During last year’s Black History Month, EC3 launched Spotlight on Local Black Artists, presenting profiles of Black artists living and working in Peterborough. These six profiles were shared on social media and have a permanent home on our website. This is an ongoing project for EC3 and a resource for anyone looking to learn about, program, work with and support Black artists in our community. This program continued throughout 2021, and will return with more artist profiles again in 2022.
To mark Black History Month, EC3 has put together a list of resources to help us honour and inform ourselves about the legacy of Black Canadians, to support Black causes and Black creators, and to celebrate some of the fantastic art being created by Black artists in Peterborough and across Canada. We encourage everyone to take a deep dive into some of these great websites, books, documentaries, and events listed below.
Black History Month Events
Celebrating Black Joy with Sandy Hudson, founder of BLM Canada. At the Trent Student Centre, hosted by the Trent Central Student Association (TCSA) and Black Student Support.
February 18, 12:00pm
Adult Book Club discusses Gutter Child by Jael Richardson. Presented by the Peterborough Public Library.
February 22, 2:00pm and 7:00pm
Diversity & Allyship in the Conservation and Environmental Industry. Live virtual panel discussion, Fleming College.
February 24, 12:00pm
Journey to Justice - Film Discussion. Hosted by the Community Race Relations Committee of Peterborough, via Zoom
February 25, 7:00pm
3rd Annual Black History Month Blowout. Held by Black Lives Matter Nogojiwanong (OPIRG).
February 26, details TBA
Fragments of Epic Memory. Exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the first exhibition organized by the AGO’s new Department of Arts of Global Africa and the Diaspora. It invites visitors to experience the multiple ways of encountering the Caribbean and its diaspora, from the period following emancipation through today.
September 21, 2021 to February 22, 2022
The Underground Railroad, Next Stop, Toronto! York University panel discussion of Toronto's 19th century Black history with historians Adrienne Shadd, Afua Cooper and Karolyn Smardz Frost, authors of the classic work, The Underground Railroad, Next Stop: Toronto!
Toronto Black Film Festival
February 16 to 21
Spotlight on Local Black Artists. EC3 project featuring profiles of local Black professional artists.
Black Girls Chatter. Podcast featuring "just a couple of black girls keeping the conversation going.”
Borderless Records. Peterborough-Nogojiwanong based DIY label and collective.
Collectives and Organizations
Community Race Relations Committee Peterborough. A resource hub for educators, employers, students, youth, and anyone looking for info on race, anti-racism, and anti-discrimination.
Black Lives Matter (BLM) - Nogojiwanong Chapter, in partnership with OPIRG.
Peterborough Public Library presents reading lists, events and more for Black History Month.
Trent Arthur Newspaper has published a series of articles throughout Black History Month, including "The erasure of Canada's racism in public school curricula" by Alicia McLeod; "Canada, the land of equality, diversity, and racism" by Sutton Hanna; and "No black educators" by Shaela McLeod.
United Artists 4 Change. Organized by The Freedom Marching Project, including over 40 Black and racialized artists from around Canada. The Freedom Marching Project was founded by Rufus John: the project uses the creative power of music and video to demonstrate the everyday pain, anguish and trauma experienced by Black, Indigenous & Racialized communities, along with aiming to inspire those who want to do more and are willing to listen, learn and join the movement.
Virtu Arts. A community arts organization that focuses on creating virtual space to educate, develop, and share Black/African/Caribbean diasporic creators and their stories with the world. Artistic Director: Vanessa Spence, who is also a producer at the Obsidian Theatre Company.
Obsidian Theatre Company. Canada’s leading culturally diverse theatre company that specializes in works Black Canadian artists.
CBC's Being Black in Canada. A variety of news articles, reading lists, sports coverage, arts coverage, spotlights on Black Changemakers and moments in Black Canadian history. Ongoing programming through February. A few highlights: “How Black artists use citational art to build upon one another’s legacies” by jamilah malika abu-bakare, “This month’s logo celebrates Black love and the power of ‘raising one another up."
TVO: Black History Month. A selection of articles, videos and documentaries to celebrate and honour Black History Month in Canada and internationally. Some links include a review of the “Fragments of Epic Memory” exhibition at the AGO, and a video review of the “Subjects of Desire” documentary by Jennifer Holness.
Ontario Black History Society. Featuring educational resources, leadership and mentoring programs, and more.
Borderless Discussions w/ Muna & Sahira Q. A late night roundtable discussion about gender, race, art, performance, community, intersectionality, and so much more. Part of the 2021 Borderless Music & Arts Festival in Peterborough.
Subjects of Desire. (2021). Jennifer Holness, Canada, 103 minutes.
The Porter. TV series (2022-), premiering on CBC Television February 21, 2022.
Learn to Swim (2021), Thyrone Tommy, Canada, 90 minutes.
Bringing Overlooked Canadian Black History to the Fore. The Agenda with Steve Paikin, TVO, February 7, 2022.
Black Lives Matter Reading List. From the Peterborough Public Library.
Dr. Afua Cooper. Speaker, scholar, historian, author, poet, performer, and social and cultural commentator. Published works include: Black Writers Matter; Dear Canada: Hoping for Home; A Fluid Frontier: Slavery, Resistance, and the Underground Railroad in the Detroit River Borderland; The Hanging of Angélique: the untold story of Canadian slavery and the burning of old Montréal
The Underground Railroad: Next Stop, Toronto!. Adrienne Shadd, Afua Cooper, Karolyn Smardz Frost, Dundurn Press, 2009.
Beauty in a Box: Detangling the Roots of Canada’s Black Beauty Culture. Cheryl Thompson, Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2018.
Inspired by Black Lives Matter, over 40 Canadian artists record Freedom Marching. Rebecca Zandbergen, CBC News (web article), February 9, 2022.
Gutter Child: A Novel. Jael Richardson, HarperCollins, 2021.
Black Writers - A Reading List. Published by the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.
So Since I’m Still Here Livin’: A YouTube Reader. Ed. Kelly Xio, Domain, 2021.
Sisters of the Yam: black women and self-recovery. bell hooks, South End Press, 1994.
Talking Back | thinking feminist, thinking black. bell hooks, Between the Lines, 1989.
Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement. Angela Y. Davis, Haymarket Books, 2016.
How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective. Keeyanga Yamahtta Taylor, Haymarket Books, 2017.
The State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation. An online archive of the activities of a conference of the same name taking place in 2014, bringing together 42 artists, curators, academics, students, and multiple public participants to engage in dialogue and, in effect, problematize the histories, current situation, and future state of Black diasporic artistic practice and representation in Canada. The site also serves as a repository for information about ongoing research geared toward making visible the artistic production and dissemination of works by Black Canadian cultural producers. Curated and organized by Dr. Andrea Fatona (OCAD University; Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Canadian Black Diasporic Cultural Production).
Commit Us to Memory: Black women curators disrupting the canon. 2021 roundtable between Alyssa Fearon, Nya Lewis, Kosisochukwu Nnebe and Geneviève Wallen.
Mapping Ontario’s Black Archives Through Storytelling. Research project by Dr. Cheryl Thompson, 2021-2026. This project aims to catalogue Ontario’s Black archival collections, and through ethnographic interviews with the province’s creative community, collect stories about the collections that will culminate with a public exhibition curated by Dr. Thompson and her research team, which includes postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Karen Cyrus.