For the 2022-year, Black History and African Heritage Month efforts have been spear-headed by the Human Rights and Equity Anti-Racism department in collaboration with various campus departments and student groups.
Black History Month, also known as African History Month at Brock, was typically organized through the Brock African Heritage Recognition Committee (BAHRC). The BAHRC works to develop events throughout the year, primarily in February. Canada’s House of Commons recognized February as Black History Month in 1995 to honour Black Canadians. Senate followed in recognizing Black History Month in 2008. Over the years the BAHRC has worked to organize talks, guest lectures, panel discussions, film screenings, and more art exhibits for the Brock public and local Niagara Region community.
About Black History Month
Black History/African History Month at Brock has been an opportunity to celebrate and embrace Black Canadians and encourage everyone to learn about the accomplishments, histories, stories, and strengths of the Black community here in Canada.
Over the years, a wide range of themes have been an opportunity to jump start conversations around Blackness on camps. Through conversations and information sharing, we are able to take a deeper understanding of what Canadian History and present day society looks like. In similar vein to Brock’s strategic plan, BAHRC works to enhancing Brock’s culture to be one of inclusivity, accessibility, reconciliation and decolonization.
The Political Origins of Black History Month
Some may wonder about the history of Black History Month in Canada, where it started, when it started, and who put these conversations into field. Canada’s connection to Black History Month is one that works from the development of Black History Month in the United States of America.
The development of Black History Month found its footing in 1926, when Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard-educated African American historian, suggested that there be dedicated time in the year specifically for the recognition of African Americans and develop an awareness of Black history in the United States. This birthed Negro History Week in 1926. In the early 1970s, the title changed to Black History Week which then became Black History Month in 1976.
In December 1995, the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament, the Honourable Jean Augustine put forward a motion that the House of Commons officially recognize February as Black History Month in Canada. This motion was carried universally 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 and February as Black History Month. It received unanimous approval and was adopted on March 4, 2008.
Source: Black History Month – Canada.ca
Black History Month 2022
Join in across campus as we celebrate Black History and African Heritage Month! Check out the events and initiatives that will be taking place this month into March. Every year, the Anti-Racism department is devoted to providing anti-racist education, resources, community engagement, and more.
Events at Brock University
Lawrence Hill: African Diaspora in Literature
Friday, February 18th
Time: 1:30pm to 3:00pm
This event is open to everyone!
Sponsored by the Dean’s Discretionary Fund from the Faculty of Humanities
Join internationally bestselling author Lawrence Hill as he discusses identity, displacement, courage in the face of oppression, and the search for home. His recent book, Beatrice and Croc Harry,is an allegory about the migration and loss of identity of people in the African Diaspora. The book starts off with a young girl who awakens with total amnesia in a forest, with no other humans in sight. She eventually befriends a 700 pound crocodile named Croc Harry and together, Beatrice and Croc Harry embark on a journey in which she attempts to find out who she is, the meaning of her racial identity, where her home is, and what family or loved ones might be waiting for her.
Hill will share how he navigated his racial identity in Canada and share how literature and storytelling can be a tool of empowerment and self-discovery.
Black Student Voices: What my Culture Means to Me
Thursday, February 17th
Time: 2:00pm to 4:00pm
This event is open to all students, staff and faculty!
Please join Black domestic and international students for a student-led panel discussion on Black Experiences in at Brock University. They will discuss how they experience community and define their identities while navigating daily life at a predominantly White institution, community and country. The panel will consist of five graduate and undergraduate and a student moderator, who will tackle questions around the successes and challenges of their journeys.
Wining, Women and Wotlessness Workshop
Wednesday, February 16th
Time: 7:00pm to 8:30pm
“Carnival in T&T is so special to all ah we, like we need blood in we vein, dats how we feel about Port-of-Spain”
Are you interested in learning more about Carnival? From the rhythmic chipping of paint-soaked revellers in the early J’ouvert morning to fire breathing Jab Molassie that seek to disturb order and revellers. Join this workshop to explore the origins of Carnival, elements of Ole’ Mas that hold such cultural significance that contribute to the seamless beauty of Carnival. Examining the evolution of the rich melodic beats of Kaiso and Calypso, while looking at the emergence of the heavily adorned carnival costumes. It will be done through a cross-cultural lens as we start in the ‘home of Carnival’, Trinidad and Tobago, while these public demonstrations on the streets.
This a collaboration event with Graduate Student Association for their annual Culture Week!
I Am a Black Queen
Date: Monday, February 28 2022 at 6:00 PM – 8:00PM
Open to Black, female-identifying students.
A panel-like discussion of 3 executive members of the BLSA that will focus on uncovering the truths, hardships, and struggles of being a black woman and also tips and tricks on how to prevail over it all. Panelists will participate in sharing personal testimonies related to addressed topics. Potential topics include but are not limited: to dating, texturism, abuse, identity and will be discussed in a candid fashion.
Headliner: Francine Spencer, will be a part of this discussion and can share her personal experiences, perspective, and expertise on these topics. Francine will inspire and empower young black women to be the best version of themselves, and how they can emulate that in their daily lives through self-care, retreats, programs, exercise, etc.
Goal: To create a safe space where the young black women of our future can learn how to embrace themselves, overcome relatable hardships and experiences, and feel empowered through it all!
ig live trivia
Every Friday starting Febuary 4th!
Time: 12:00pm to 12:30pm
Join HRE’s Anti-Racism and Inclusion Advisor to participate in a live game of trivia showcasing Black North American changemakers, icons and trailblazers! Participate in answering the questions to win a gift card prizes!
- Featuring special guests!
Black voices: Black History and African Diaspora in Academia. Meet the academics!
Wednesday, February 2nd
Time: 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Black History will kick off with a panel series called “Black Voices” where we amplify the voices of black individuals in all aspects of life, including academia. “Black History and African Diaspora in Academia. Meet the academics!” will be an event where black professors would share the importance of incorporating Black, African history, culture and knowledge in academia. This will be a faculty meet and greet of some of the Black faculty and instructors on campus whose work focuses on Black, African and equity issues. We will briefly highlight our newly incorporated Africana Studies program as well as the importance of incorporating our stories in academia. Furthermore, attendees will about the panelists, their research and insights into their academic a Black professor in a predominantly White institution. This panel will be moderated by Eve Nyambiya, the Interim Anti-Racism and Inclusion Advisor!
Black Hairstory: Black beauty from the roots
Wednesday, February 9th
Time: 5:00pm to 6:00pm
This workshop will be an educational event about celebrating Black hair and beauty. This workshop will cover the history of black hair, beauty standards and how to embrace your beauty in a society that celebrates Eurocentric standards of beauty. This will be an interactive presentation, open to all staff, faculty and students. This event will be an opportunity for the Brock community to learn about how our hair is integral to our cultural roots, and identity.
This event will be hosted by York University PhD candidate Shaunasea Brown.
Followed by an exclusive Black students only debriefing from 6:30pm to 7:30pm via teams. This will be a safe space to share unfiltered thoughts and feelings. This is in collaboration with the Black Student Association for their Living in Colour Series, where they host discussion sessions about topics that affect the black community.
NB: An option to register for the *Black student/staff/faculty only* after-presentation workshop will be emailed once you’ve RSVP’d to this event.
I Am A Black King
Date and Time: Friday February, 11th. 6:00pm to 8:00pm
This event is open to Black male identifying students only
A panel-like discussion of 3 executive male members from the BLSA team that will share their experiences being a black man in Canada, personal hardships, and overcoming stereotypes, discrimination. Francis Atta will headline the event and speak to his experience growing up and the challenges he had to face while emphasizing the steps he took to overcome. Questions and open discussion will also take place with attendees to speak about their own opinions on topics discussed such as social media’s portrayal of the black image, negative connotations associated with society’s view on black culture, and how to rise from it all.
The goal is to create a safe space for black men to feel comfortable in discussing their experiences. We will do this by not only unpacking the trials and stereotypes that Black men face but by also providing tips on how to overcome them through self-care, self-confidence, and empowerment.
BIPOC Gender & Sexual Violence Support Drop-In
Date: Every Wednesday starting January 26th
Time: 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Seeking gender & sexual violence support resources specifically for BIPOC communities? Curious about healthy relationships and consent? Come and join us for our weekly BIPOC GSV SUPPORT drop in! This student- lead space is ran by our BIPOC Peer 2 Peer staff who will listen to any culturally-specific questions and concerns regarding consent, sex, healthy and unhealthy relationships, or just need someone to talk to. We can also help get you the resources and information you need if you want further support surrounding sexual violence, safe accommodations, mental health, physical health, or spiritual support.
Check out some other events taking place off campus! Please note that the Human Rights and Equity office is not affiliated with these events and is only promoting them. Please click on the website for more information on how to attend these events
Future Black Female (FBF) presents:
Black Health and Well-being 2022
Monday February 21, 2022 05:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Click here for more info about the event.
Join Future Black Female in celebrating Black History Month with our Black Health and Well-Being event. experts be discussing Black health and wellbeing. Be empowered by Black women and learn about ways to enrich your life! Prepare for an interactive evening with our four expert speakers:
– Debbie Clarke-Grant, Community Dietitian
– Semirath Fagbemi, Professionelle en finance corporative et en gestion de programme
– Tanisha Matthews, Credit Card Specialist and Founder of Purpose and Finance
– Dr. Solange Ngambia, Médecin de famille et propriétaire de clinique médicale
Enjoy Afrobeats with DJ Sekinat.
Be in for a chance to WIN a registration prize.
We’d like to invite you to our complimentary Black History Month event. In alignment with this year’s theme – Black Health and Wellbeing – this session, entitled “A Day In The Life: The cost of wellbeing for Black identifying individuals” will explore many themes around the health and wellness systems, external environment, self-care and their impact on Black health.
Host: Paula Allen, Global Leader, Research and Total Wellbeing
Speakers: Dr. Joseph Smith & Michelle Gardner
Michelle Cameron (University of Toronto)
“How Humans Negotiated Environments in the Past”
Date: Sunday, February 6 at 3:00pm
Registration for this event is mandatory. The Department of Classics and Archaeology is affiliated with the Niagara Peninsula Society of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) and to help facilitate its programming. Check out the page here
Join Dr. Michelle Cameron, from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto for her lecture on “How Humans Negotiated Environments in the Past.” This event will take place on Sunday, February 6th at 3:00 pm. The lecture is free and open to the the public. Pre-reregistration through this link is required: https://forms.office.com/r/y33WAK0k07. Please mark your calendars; we’ll look forward to seeing you soon!
Niagara parks: Black History Speaker Series
Discover three different perspectives on Black history and culture in Canada with this three-part online speaker series. This inspiring series will explore the power of the Black community in Niagara. From those who made headlines by escaping the bondage of slavery to settle in Niagara, to those who influenced the political and business scene on both sides of the Niagara River and throughout Ontario.
This year’s Black History Speaker Series is delivered as a live-streamed, digital event. Tickets grant access using any computer, tablet or mobile device for these live, interactive sessions with leading community historians and commentators specializing in Black history and culture.
Tickets are $15 per event, or gain access to the entire series for $35. All sessions begin at 7:00 PM.
Meet the Speakers
Exploring Black History in Essex County with Irene Moore Davis
Gain a new perspective on the rich heritage of Black communities and individuals in Essex County during the eras of slavery, abolitionism and the Underground Railroad
Black and in the Niagara Borderlands Before the Civil War with Dr. Dann Broyld
Dr. Dan Broyld emphasizes that Black inhabitants of Rochester, New York and St. Catharines, Canada West possessed transnational identities and strategically positioned themselves near the American-Canadian partition where immigration, movement and interaction occurred.
Sale of Said Negro Woman’: Chloe Cooley and the Enslaved Black People in Niagara with Natasha Henry
On March 14, 1793, Chloe Cooley, an enslaved Black woman in Niagara was bound and taken across the Niagara River by her enslaver to be sold in New York. Cooley was one of many Black women, men and children held as chattel in the Niagara region. This intriguing session alongside Natasha Henry will explore their lives and experiences and the role of slavery in Upper Canada.
Black history month at Brock
January 27, 2022
February 26, 2021