Today, Mayor John Tory proclaimed February as Black History Month in Toronto, recognizing the history, heritage and contributions of African-Canadians in the city.
Residents are encouraged to take part in the programs the City of Toronto has planned, in addition to any virtual community-based programs and events that are taking place. To comply with current orders and regulations to help stop the spread of COVID-19, recognition and celebratory programs and events will be held virtually this year.
To commemorate Black History Month, the City’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism (CABR) unit will use their Twitter account, https://twitter.com/CABR_Toronto, to highlight the great work being done by some of the community-based agencies and groups that the City has partnered with to support Black residents in need throughout the pandemic.
The Awakenings program – a virtual series of art projects by Black, Indigenous and artists of colour within Toronto History Museums, will launch new online content including music, film and journeys of the effects of racism on physical and mental health on February 4 for Black History Month. The new content will include more Awakenings Reflections: Behind the Scenes Discussions. Awakenings first launched in December 2020 and explores untold stories, awakens new perspectives and invites the public to join the conversation.
The series is part of the City’s efforts to address anti-Black racism and operates under the principles of anti-oppression and anti-colonialism. The Awakenings program information and content are available at toronto.ca/museums.
The Toronto Archives is proud to share its Black History in Toronto webpage, launched in November 2020: https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/accountability-operations-customer-service/access-city-information-or-records/city-of-toronto-archives/using-the-archives/research-by-topic/black-history-in-toronto/. Created with the support of the Ontario Black History Society and the City of Toronto’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism unit, the webpage highlights the history of Black communities, activists and leaders, service organizations and much more.
Social media users can follow the City of Toronto Archives’ Twitter account, https://twitter.com/TorontoArchives and Instagram account, https://www.instagram.com/toronto_archives/, as they will post images and links to celebrate #BlackHistoryMonth, and help followers discover more about the records and resources available at the Archives and beyond.
Toronto Public Library celebrates Black History with year-round events and programs that honour Black heritage and consider the historical significance and contemporary contributions of Black activists and artists from around the world. Discover upcoming events, reading lists, videos, podcast episodes and more at tpl.ca/blackhistory.
A listing of all these Black History Month events and how to access them is also available at toronto.ca/blackhistory/.
The City strives to create and sustain equity in government to serve and reflect all people, and is implementing positive change in its workforce and communities to achieve access and realize equitable outcomes for all residents.
To help achieve these systemic changes, the City developed the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism. The plan was unanimously adopted by Toronto City Council and is being implemented by the CABR unit. More information about the action plan, milestones achieved and the City’s commitment to anti-Black racism is available at http://www.toronto.ca/abr/.
“Every year, Black History Month is our opportunity to learn more about the history of Black Canadians and the role they have played in building up our city. This year’s celebrations are more important than ever as we acknowledge the protests that occurred in 2020 and the reality that COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on Black residents in our city. While we spend time this month honouring the achievements and contributions of Black Canadians, we are reminded of the work that lies ahead in building a better, more inclusive and equitable city for all. I encourage residents to participate in this year’s events, to learn more and to better understand the history of our country and the role Black Canadians have played in it.”
– Toronto Mayor John Tory
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.