February is Black History Month! You can celebrate, discuss, and learn about Canadian Black heritage and culture with children by accessing multiple resources. Black Canadians have helped shape Canadian society and celebrating their contribution raises awareness and pays tribute to Black heritage and human rights. Here is a list of resources to help you get started:
Attend family friendly local Black History Month events:
- The Toronto Public Library has numerous Black History Month events scheduled! A sample of the offerings include:
- City Recreation Centres will be hosting diverse workshops to celebrate. The City of Toronto recommends contacting recreation centres in your area to see the list of programs available.
- The University of Toronto is celebrating throughout February with events on all three campuses.
Explore museums or archives to learn about Black History:
- Archives of Ontario
- City of Toronto Archives
- The Ontario Black History Society’s “Black History Month – Places to Visit”
- Mackenzie House offers exhibits highlighting published newspapers in the Black community with admission prices ranging from free (children under 5) to $8 for adults. You may even receive a print souvenir copy of Mary Ann Shadd Cary’s newspaper, originally printed in the 1850s!
Advice for speaking with your children:
- Celebrating Black History Month With Young Kids’ blog post provides resources and advice on how to approach the conversation.
- Huffington Posts’ article offers advice and shares a mother’s candid conversation with her six year old daughter.
- PBS’ article highlights the importance of celebrating historical and contemporary figures, and provides advice on how to continue the conversation with your child throughout the year.
Educational Books, Media and Resources
- The Toronto Public Library has a collection of Rita Cox Black and Caribbean Heritage Collection.
- In addition to books, storytelling, and film screenings, art exhibits will be offered at various Toronto Public Library branches.
- It’s important to celebrate and honour the rich diversity of Black History Month, but it is equally important to include contemporary books, film and media celebrating diverse cultures. Here are a few suggestions:
- Kids Explain Black History Month
- Canadian Heritage: Proud of our History – Black History Month
- Let’s talk about Black History: children sit down with their dads to talk about their culture for Black History Month.
Share additional resources you’ve discovered to celebrate Black History Month with your family!