Chatham-Kent Black History Month Events in Chatham-Kent
Wednesday, 13 February 2019, 03:30:00 PM
Chatham-Kent Events Celebrating Black History Month
February is Black History month and it is only fitting, since Chatham-Kent is steeped in Black history, that there are several local events to celebrate.
First, it is important to note that Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site in Dresden received the Harriet Tubman Award, Commitment to a purpose by the Ontario Black History Society. The award recognizes dedication to Black History preservation, programming and historical site stewardship. The society elevates the stories of African Canadians and how their lives help us to understand and appreciate their race, identity and their fight for freedom and how precious our individual freedom and that of our country is. to all of us. A plaque was presented to Beth Hanna, CEO of the Ontario Heritage Trust which owns and operates Uncle Tom's Cabin Site. The site commemorates Reverend Josiah Hensen, his tireless efforts as a abolitionist and his many contributions to The Underground Railroad and the lives of the many slaves who fled to this area fighting for their freedom.The site is an excellent source of history and one that would be a great stop to add to your adventures.
In addition to Rev. Hensen's original home,there is an Interpretive Centre, a visitors Centre and Museum with 19th century books and artifacts related to abolition and Hensen's Life. There are also educational films to view.The Underground Railway Freedom gallery features the geographic journey and history of enslaved people in the United States, from their path from Africa through slavery in the United States, and on to freedom in British North America. The gallery also exhibits the life and times of Josiah Hensen. The outbuilding include a sawmill, a smokehouse and even an 1850 pioneer church complete with Rev. Hensen's original pulpit.
The surrounding area was originally part of the 300 acres Dawn settlement where many fugitive slaves found freedom and free blacks settled. It was the largest of its kind in the 1800's. The freed slaves and their brothers made and changed history, helping to build our city and towns. Without their contributions Chatham-Kent would not be the community it is today.
Chatham-Kent Tourism hosted travel writer Heather Greenwood Davis in the fall of 2018. She wrote an article as well as an on-line tribute to Uncle Tom's Cabin which was recently released.
Uncle Tom's Cabin, Buxton National Historic Site and Museum and the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society & Black Mecca Museum are also featured in the January/February edition of Canadian Geographic.
Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site is holding a workshop on February 15 to encourage the teaching of Black History. The workshop reaches out to educators and parents to encourage them to incorporate the history of African Enslavement into Canada in their grade 3 to grade 10 History curriculum. The site is also hosting "A Chatham-Kent Tapestry: A Visual History to 1950 by Jim and Lisa Gilbert" February 18.
The Thames Art Gallery is featuring a new exhibit through March 10 by Allyson Mitchell and Madelyn Beckles which focuses on Black Feminism. The Gallery will screen a National Film Board movie called, Sisters in the Struggle at the Kiwanis Theatre on February 15. On Family Day Feb 18 the Gallery will host a poster-making workshop from 11 A.M. to 4 P.M. in Studio One. The participants will take creative action by visual interpretation of an issue they feel is important to them.
Bring the family to some of these great events and celebrate Black History month and Chatham-Kent`s past.
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