Local News

Black Heritage Month goes beyond the history of Black people: GBHS

The Guelph Black Heritage Society wants people to focus on the future and not solely on the past.

It is celebrating Black History Month in February with its fourth annual Black Heritage Month.

“When people think about Black history, they think about the past,” said Denise Francis, president and treasurer of GBHS on the origins of Black Heritage Month.

“They think about the narrative of enslavement and we are so much more than that.”

Francis added that the purpose of Black Heritage Month is to honour the past, acknowledge the present, and look towards a bright future.

A number of events and activities are taking place in Guelph throughout the month of February. GBHS will have a booth at the Guelph Farmer’s Market on Feb. 3 and Feb. 17 between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on both days where visitors can learn more about the organization and purchase merchandise.

On Friday, Feb. 23, GBHS is hosting “Say It Loud: Celebrating a History of Black Music” at Royal City Church on Quebec Street. The concert will feature performances from a number of talented musicians, including Julian Taylor, Bry Webb, and Claire Stewart of the band Shebad.

Get the latest National news.

Sent to your email, every day.

Finally, GBHS will hold an open house at Heritage Hall on Saturday, Feb. 24, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The society says it is a great opportunity to learn information about the organization and see some of its exhibits and some of the programming that it offers.

There is also Black Vacation Week, running the week of Feb. 26. The initiative creates time and space for Black individuals during Black Heritage Month.

“We want to make sure the community take time for ourselves,” Francis said. “When we sort of over-program ourselves. We don’t have the time to enjoy what other groups are doing.”

Black history in Guelph dates back to the mid-1800s. Many early Black pioneers, both formerly enslaved and free people, arrived from the south and settled in Guelph. Today, the city is home to 2022 Order of Ontario recipient Marva Wisdom and others who are helping shape the Royal City.

“It is great to see that not only our past is being recognized but also great leaders like Marva who are doing great work in our community,” Francis said.

Proceeds from Black Heritage Month events will go towards the Heritage Hall Heart and Soul Campaign. The funds will pay for maintaining Heritage Hall and continuing to provide educational programming and events.

The University of Guelph is also recognizing Black History Month with a number of events happening on campus throughout the month of February.

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *