This February, celebrate the successes and acknowledge the struggles that constitute Canadian black history with a series of events that give voice to the past, present and future.
“For years, we have been doing the celebration of Black History Month in one way or another and it’s been great, but I think it’s time that we move on to something bigger,” said Black History Month Brantford 2013 committee member Yvonne Wright.
Events kick off on Sunday, Feb. 3, when guest speaker Adele Halliday, team leader of transformational ministries for the United Church of Canada, speaks during Sydenham Street United Church’s 10:30 a.m. service.
The event will include a vocal and instrumental performance by members of the black community, liturgical dancing and a parading of flags of different nations represented.
“We will give a bit of history around the countries and the islands while parading the flags,” Wright said.
On Wednesday, Feb. 13, a panel discussion will be held at Nipissing University’s Brantford campus beginning at 7 p.m.
Physician Mark Miller, pharmacist Sandra Kagoma, principals Verne Payne and Michelle Newland and university student Patience Simba make up a panel that will discuss the month’s theme: “the acknowledgement of our struggles and celebrating our successes.”
The evening begins with the screening of a film by Laurier Brantford student Rebecca Godbout. Over the past month, Godbout has gone straight to the people of Brantford, asking a series of questions about black history, racism and culture.
A film festival will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Sydenham Street United Church featuring the film Speakers of the Dead at 7 p.m. and Black Hands at 8:30 p.m.
Black History Month events come to a close on Saturday, Feb. 23, with the Celebrate Black History Month wrap up party featuring food, poetry readings and drumming at Sydenham Street United Church from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m.
“You are going to be getting different messages at each event,” said committee member Donnaree Douglas. “If you just go to one event, you might not be getting the full picture of the theme and the different perspectives and voices and opinions that are out there.”
Visit www.facebook.com/bhmbrantford2013 for more information about Black History Month events in Brantford.