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Black History Month events taking place in London, Ont.

Several events are taking place this month to honour Black History Month in London, Ont.

Each February, Canadians participate in Black History Month to honour people in the Black community and their impact.

The theme for 2024 is “Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate; a Future to Build.”

It symbolizes the significant past and present contributions of Black people in Canada, with a focus on nurturing future opportunities, according to the Government of Canada’s Canadian Heritage page.

Christina Lord, one of the founders of the London Black History Coordinating Committee, says Black History Month is also an opportunity to relearn history.

“Sometimes we learn about history that isn’t completely true, so it gives us a chance to dig into some of the truth into the history of Black communities,” she said. “London has a very, very rich Black history that many of us are just learning about, so (the events) are opportunities for folks to go out and learn more and meet each other.”

980 CFPL has created a list of events and activities taking place in London for the duration of February and the first few weeks of March:

Feb. 4 – BHM: A Gospel Celebration, performed by London Gospel Collective featuring London Kids Community Gospel Choir. London Gospel Collective is a new choir that was first established in April 2022, singing pieces that emphasize hope and unity through faith. The London Kids Community Gospel Choir is based out of the London Children’s Museum, and is composed of children ages 7 to 17. Their pieces are inspired by African American-inspired melodies and harmonies. More information is available on Tourism London’s webpage.

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Feb. 8 – The Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce and the London Chamber of Commerce are hosting a seminar celebrating Canadian Black Innovation. “Honouring Black legacy. Building futures,” explores the celebrated history, contributions to Black Canadians’ innovation, and the work being done to drive the Black Business Renaissance. There will be a musical opening by Alexandra Kane, followed by three guest speakers. More information is available on the London Chamber of Commerce’s webpage.

Feb. 10 – London Public Library is hosting Black History Month Family Celebration taking place at Byron Branch Library. This event includes music, storytelling, singing, dancing, games, crafts, Black History trivia, scavenger hunt and prize giveaways. The event also has a Hair Braiding 101: Twists seminar from 2 to 4 p.m. More information is available on CUPE Local 101’s webpage.

Feb. 24 – The Community Cooking Festival at Carrefour Communautaire Francophone de London gives participants the opportunity to learn about and taste traditional African dishes. The event and hosts hope to highlight the diversity and richness of African cuisine as part of the celebration of Black History Month. More information is available on Carrefour Communautaire Francophone de London’s webpage.

Feb. 29 – Black History Slam: Leap Year Edition is a celebration of Black history and heritage through thought-provoking spoken word poetry and music takes place at the London Museum. These performances are followed by a panel discussion of Black history to give attendees the opportunity to learn more about the rich cultures. This event showcases the achievements, struggles and contributions of the Black community throughout the centuries. More information is available on Eventbrite.

Feb. 29 – Designed to showcase the diversity of Black-excellence across disciplines and professions, the Afrocentric speakers’ series called Speak on It is a lecture on plurality of black expertise and experience, Western University. Michaelle Jean is featured and provides her perspective on the importance of engaging Black youth and achieving Black excellence within communities overall. More information is available on Eventbrite.

March 12 – The Black History Games allows children 8 and older to learn while having fun. Through a hands on approach through games, children will learn about historical people and talk to others about what they’ve learned. The event will take place at London Public Library’s East London branch. More information is available on Happening Next’s webpage.

In addition, the London Black History Coordinating Committee is also hosting events throughout the month of February. Specific dates and times for each event will be posted on the organization’s Facebook page prior to taking place.

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