Black History Month kicks off with flag raising on Wednesday

Chatham-Kent Historical Society and Black Mecca Museum

Black History Month in Chatham-Kent is starting off Wednesday with a flag-raising event at the Civic Centre on King Street, starting at noon.

The flag raising kicks off a month of activities planned by Buxton National Historic Site & Museum, The Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society and Black Mecca Museum, and the Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History.

The theme for this year’s Black History Month events is “Ours to Tell” and will focus on the stories of Black residents and Black-led organizations that have “broken seemingly insurmountable barriers,” according to a statement from Canada’s Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion Amhed Hussen.

The schedule for this year’s Black History Month is posted on the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society & Black Mecca Museum’s Facebook page.

Executive Director Samantha Meredith said on February 11, members from the museum will be hosting a Mary Ann Shadd story-time with activities at the Chatham branch of the CK Public Library. Registration is required through the library.

“This year we are focusing on presentations outside of the museum, but the museum will open for self-guided tours,” said Meredith. “Every Friday for the month of February the museum will be open for tours from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Advance booking is required for groups of 20 people or more.”

On Thursday, February 9, the Buxton Museum will be hosting Black History Jeopardy night at Red Barn Brewery at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and include one free beverage.

Buxton’s Next Generation will also be hosting a Night with Jamaal Cody at Red Barn Brewery on February 14 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 and include an appetizer, dessert, and free beverage.

“We’ve got a few things happening virtually throughout the month as well,” said Meredith. “We have a couple of giveaways for youth and educators.”

The Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History will be hosting a free virtual tour from 2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday, February 28. The public can reserve their spot on the museum’s website.

“We’re not going to be behind a computer giving presentations this year,” said Meredith. “Getting to be in front of people again, getting to bring some our artifacts to presentations, has got to be the most exciting part.”