One of the most important months in the calendar year is February, and that’s because it is the month where we recognize the achievements of the African diaspora with Black History Month.
Rooted in 1926 when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History proclaimed that the second week of February would henceforth be “Negro History Week” (chosen become of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’ birthdays), the educational period has only grown in length since. In 1976, the federal government acknowledged the expansion of the week to Black History Month.
In 1995, after a motion by politician Jean Augustine, Canada’s House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month. In 2008, Senator Donald Oliver moved to have the Senate officially recognize Black History Month, which was unanimously approved.
The Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay W., Toronto ON) celebrates by hosting the 17th Annual Kuumba Festival from February 1-3, where both local and international artists from Africa and the Caribbean are highlighted.
- An Evening With Dwayne Morgan: The official launch of Dwayne Morgan’s new book, Everyday Excellence. An after-party following the launch includes spoken word performances and soul music. (Feb. 1, 8-11 p.m.)
- 10th Anniversary Celebration of The Trane Studio: An incredible night of music featuring both local and international artists including Ursula Rucker, Alexander Brown, Earnest Dawkins and Waleed Abdulhamid. (Feb. 2, 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. with admission priced at $15)
- Kuumba Hair Showcase – Film Screening & Discussion: Various salons including I Heart My Hair examine black hair through its depiction in film. (Feb. 2, 7-9 p.m.)
- The Known Unknown – Top 10 Emerging Artists Unplugged Edition: A showcase of the latest urban artists including Jelly TooFly and Savannah Re. (Feb. 2, 2-8 p.m. & Feb. 3, 2-6 p.m.)
- Kuumba Gospel Lounge: Gospel music at its finest, performed by a full choir (Feb. 3, 4-6 p.m.)