Black History Month (#BHM)

Posted On Wednesday January 26, 2022

Celebrations of Black history began in Canada in the late 1920s. In the early 1970s, these celebrations expanded into Black History Week. Then in 1976 it became Black History Month.

In December 1995, the House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month in Canada following a motion introduced by the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament, the Honourable Jean Augustine. The motion was carried unanimously by the House of Commons.

In February 2008, Senator Donald Oliver, the first Black man appointed to the Senate, introduced the motion to recognize contributions of Black Canadians as well as February as Black History Month. The motion received unanimous approval and was adopted on March 4, 2008. The adoption of this motion completed Canada’s parliamentary position on Black History Month*.

In honour of Black History Month, Halton Hills Public Library is offering programs, events, stories, and library collections that celebrate Black heritage and encourage diverse and unique voices. Learn more on our Black History Month website page.

Celebrations and events this month include:

  • Halton Hills Lecture Series – An Evening with Rob Green. Actor and singer-songwriter Rob Green joins us to present the dramatic story of a young African man who is enslaved. Rob then traces the history of his own families’ movement via the underground railway to Canada, discussing the racism they faced and the community they created in Owen Sound.
  • Local Lens: The Black Experience in Halton – The Halton Black History Awareness Society (HBHAS) is encouraging high school students across Halton to explore their local Black History and share their research in an essay narrative contest. The contest launches on Tuesday, February 22 and the essays are due on Friday April 15. The first-place essay will be presented at the HBHAS’s Gala and will be awarded a $500 prize. The second-place essay will win $250, and the third-place essay will win $100. The top 3 entries will be published in an annual journal, which will be added to HHPL’s collection.
  • Equity and Diversity Book Club – Join this roundtable to discuss a diverse collection of books and encourage thought-provoking conversations.
  • Be part of the #ReadingBlackout campaign where HHPL staff share information on social media about books by Black authors throughout the month.
  • Storywalk®(The Stone Thrower by Jael Richardson) – Stop by one of our library branches for a family Storywalk: Acton Branch, February 8-13; and Georgetown Branch, February 18-25.
  • Featured reading lists and educational resources will be shared on HHPL social media channels.
  • Winter Reading Challenge – Patrons are encouraged to explore diverse authors, including Black authors and creators.

For more information about programs and events happening at HHPL throughout the month, please visit the Halton Hills Public Library calendar of events.

To explore HHPL’s resources or to borrow and read books about culture, race, Black lives and anti-racism, please visit the Library catalogue.

For book suggestions, please fill out the My Next Read form on our website.

To see what is happening across Halton Hills, please visit the Town of Halton Hills calendar of events.

*NOTE – Black History in Canada (from the Government of Canada website)