The 2021 Windsor-Essex Black History Month Activity Schedule activity schedule will be officially launched January 29th, 2021 and updated regularly online. Please visit this page for the latest and most accurate information.
Essex County is rich in Black history. Canadians of African descent have played important roles in the cultural, political, social, and economic progress of our communities. Our region has been populated by people of African descent from the 18th century, when free Black Loyalists as well as enslaved Africans were among the area’s early residents; to the 19th century when formerly enslaved African Americans and free people of colour streamed into this area by the thousands, fleeing either bondage or oppression; to the modern era when immigrants from the continent of Africa and the Caribbean made this region their new home.
Stay tuned for some of the Black History Month events happening around our region!
The eighth annual Windsor-Essex Joint Black History Month Kickoff, an event co-hosted by the Essex County Black Historical Research Society, the Windsor West Indian Association, and the Amherstburg Freedom Museum, will be taking place on Friday, January 29th at 7:00 p.m. virtually via zoom. To participate please register via Eventbrite!
Every so often, someone makes profound and lasting impressions on one’s life and community. Such an individual was John Henry Alexander, my great-grandfather. I never knew him; he died before I was born. Even so, his presence, like a modest but charismatic actor in the wings, always seemed to hover nearby. This feeling was particularly strong when I visited my great-aunts in the Alma Street homestead, sitting in a great curved rocking chair, listening to the chiming of a wall clock, and breathing in the atmosphere of the old family home, while looking at a portrait of the tall, thin man.
As Emancipation Day approaches, it is worthwhile to reflect on the meaning that Emancipation once held for people in Windsor-Essex County and beyond. When people talk about the heyday of “the Greatest Freedom Show on Earth,” what they often describe is the annual parade, the midway carnival, the Miss Sepia Pageant, talent shows and of course the famous barbeque pit.
In the midst of the Depression, a group of black women, all married, all mothers, met at Ardella Jacobs’ home in Windsor to form the Hour-A-Day Study club. As the name suggests, the women pledged themselves to devote an hour a day to individual reading and analysis, the better to fortify themselves, their children, and their community.
David Van DykeEarly Highlights: The Hour-A-Day Study Club