Black History Month in Niagara
Welland Heritage Council
The Welland Heritage Council and Multicultural Centre/Employment Solutions’ second free virtual ‘Black History Celebration’ is tomorrow. The sessions, held in partnership with Meridian Credit Union, will run throughout February.
- February 9th, 2022, from noon to 1 p.m. – An hour with ‘Dr. Christopher Taylor, Kimberly Madume and Emily Radcliffe’ on CBC Radio Station
- February 16th, 2022, from 11 a.m. to noon. – Panel Discussion focusing on ‘Black Health and our finances’.
- February 23rd, 2022, from 1 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. – Small Business Panel Discussion – exploring the opportunities for small businesses.
To register, please visit the link below:
Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley remarked that Niagara is fortunate to have an especially rich history that intersects with that of the Underground Railroad and key figures in Black history, including Harriet Tubman, Anthony Burns, Richard Pierpoint and others. Niagara’s connection to Black history is of importance, and I invite everyone to take the time to reflect on our community’s role.
While we take the time to look back on Niagara’s historical connection to the Underground Railroad, the events we have witnessed in recent years continue to highlight the fact that anti-Black racism is still an issue that deserves everyone’s attention.
This year’s theme – February and Forever: Celebrating Black History Today and Every Day challenges us to continue recognizing the many ways Black communities contribute to the inclusive, diverse, and prosperous communities that make up the Niagara region. It also calls upon each one of us to reaffirm our shared commitment to work toward policies that eradicate racism and discrimination, and promote human rights and diversity.
Click here to read the Chair’s message.
St. Catharines Museum
The St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre is celebrating Black History Month in February with virtual and in-person programming with a special focus on local history.
Niagara residents are invited to learn more about local Black history at the St. Catharines Museum by participating in virtual presentations of On the Liberty Line: Early Black History in St. Catharines. Members of the public have two opportunities to join in the virtual experience, including a Facebook Live event on Feb. 10 at 11 a.m., and a Youtube live stream on Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. Those wishing to tune-in on Youtube can contact the museum to register.
Visit www.stcatharinesmuseum.ca to learn more about its Black History Month activities, including a link to the museum blog, which will feature a special Black History Month series published Sundays in February.
Niagara Falls holds a place in history as one of the final destinations of the renowned ‘Underground Railroad’, a secret network of routes from Fort Erie, Niagara Falls and on to Niagara-on-the-Lake that enslaved people from the United States followed to find freedom in Canada. It is estimated that 30,000-40,000 enslaved people escaped into Canada from the US from 1800-1865. Among those who escaped to Canada was a heroine named Harriet Tubman who made 13 return trips to liberate others through the Underground Railroad between 1852 and 1857. Burr Plato also escaped to Canada where we he went on to become a prosperous businessman and politician in local government and had property acquisitions on what is now Stanley Avenue in Niagara Falls.
For those who wish to retrace the final steps of the thousands who found freedom in Canada and pay homage to the heroes and heroines who helped them, click here to find some ways to explore the region.
Niagara Parks will also host a three-part virtual speaker series exploring perspectives on Black history and culture in Canada, delivered by leading historians and commentators. The online interactive events will be held on the last Wednesday of the month in January, February and March. Additional event details and tickets are available at niagaraparks.com/blackhistory.
Niagara Bound Tours
Skip the self-guided options and pre-book a unique and memorable bespoke tour with Niagara Bound Tours led by Lezlie Harper, a fifth-generation Canadian descendant of freedom seekers who came to Canada from Kentucky in 1851. Niagara Bound Tours for individuals, groups and schools provide historical perspective while capturing the essence of what those forced to flee were faced with.
Is your organization celebrating Black history this month? Contact the GNCC to be included in the Daily Update and/or Community Calendar.