Emancipation Month recognizes the struggle for human rights and the rich contributions made by people of African descent. Recognizing Emancipation Month in August acknowledges an abhorrent period in our history and our ongoing commitment to eliminate discrimination in all forms.
The Afro Caribbean Farmers’ Market
Canada’s first culturally-specific farmers’ market, runs every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m, ending in September.
A new Awakenings program with renowned artist and performer Jully Black, Think Like a Champion, aims to empower the mind, body and soul. A free two-hour session includes a Word to Rite writing workshop on one’s personal experience, followed by an exercise session led by Jully Black’s “The Power of Step” program. Registration is free.
In partnership with The Ontario Black History Society, the City hosted the annual Emancipation Day celebration at Fort York on August 1 at noon. The event commemorated the 188th anniversary of the Slavery Abolition Act.
Flag Raising Ceremony
On Tuesday, August 2, the City’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism (CABR) Unit hosted an in-person Flag Raising Ceremony and Community Gathering to commemorate the beginning of Emancipation Month 2022. This event took take place at North York Civic Centre, in Mel Lastman Square outside the building.
WHEREAS during Emancipation Month, we acknowledge and affirm the ongoing quest for equity, freedom and human rights for all Canadians of African Descent.
This month, as we reflect upon the ongoing global efforts to abolish slavery’s legacies, it is critical that we all acknowledge the persistent impact of colonial legacies, and the unwavering spirit of resistance and targeted universalism that continues to fuel the complete liberation of African-Canadians. For over 400 years, people of African descent endured and survived the transatlantic slave trade which included the French and British colonies. This experience of enslavement took place on lands that would eventually be called Canada and this month we acknowledge our commitment to shifting the impact of this legacy.
In 1833, the British Parliament passed the Slavery Abolition Act, which came into effect on August 1, 1834, formally marking the elimination of slavery within British colonies. As we observe this anniversary, the call to action is to recommit ourselves to learning and acknowledging our history, eliminating discrimination, and eradicating anti-Black racism in all of its forms. In March 2021, the City of Toronto proclaimed the International Decade for People of African Descent with the theme of “Ending Slavery’s Legacy of Racism: A Global Imperative for Justice.”
The City of Toronto is proud to have developed and enacted the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism with the goal of eliminating anti-Black racism in City services, planning, policies and spaces. Toronto City Council continues to work hard to establish an inclusive and compassionate city in which all of its members – regardless of race or ethnic origin – can live in conditions of good health, safety, dignity, respect and peace.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor John Tory, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim August 2022 as “Emancipation Month” in the City of Toronto.
Mayor of Toronto
The month of August marks many significant milestones in the struggles and successes faced by people of African descent on a journey that led to the abolition of slavery.
Source: Historica Canada