12 Ways To Celebrate Black History Month in Toronto this February

February is a short month, but it’s jam-packed with all sorts of inspiring ways to celebrate Black History Month. Move your body, nourish your soul, and free your mind. This list will get you started:

Power to the People: Photography and Video of Repression and Black Protest, co-presented by Black Artist’s Network Dialogue & Ryerson U: 33 Gould St. From the insurrection at Attica to the 16th St. Baptist Church bombing, see photographs documenting those on the frontlines fighting inequality. Don’t miss Sister(s) in the Struggle (depicting leading female figures of the Black Panther Party).

Afro-Caribbean Dance Workshop: Presented by MoveU and U of T’s Black Students Association, this workshop will cover the history and origin of dance forms from Cuba, Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Mali, Niger and the Ivory Coast. You’ll also learn some Afro-Caribbean choreography! February 6th at The Athletic Centre – Dance Studio (55 Harbord).

#FNLROM: Afro Fête for Black History Month: This Friday night, four-time Juno award winner Exco Levi will pay tribute to the founders of reggae music through a modern twist of poetry and sound. Plus performances by Lucas DiPasquale, Ammoye, Matthew Romeo, Eyesus, Al-Beeno, Femi Lawson and Alexi Couto.

How Black Mothers Say I Love You: Trey Anthony’s play is a poignant (and frequently hilarious) examination of the desire for truth and understanding after mothers are seemingly left with no choice but to leave their children and seek better lives for their families abroad. Running at Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst) from February 4 to March 5.

Creating Through Queerness: Finding Ourselves, Love & Community: This event aims to re-insert the lives, experiences and achievements of queer and trans African, Black and Caribbean people in order to reflect, celebrate, honour and complicate all the magic that is cultivated in our various communities. (Ryerson Student Centre, March 10).

Black Owned: Black History Month Pop-up Market at CSI (720 Bathurst). A market in celebration of Black History Month that will feature Black-owned businesses. Come have fun, network and shop from young and up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Free admission for guests. There will also be performances, music, and refreshments.

Watch Hidden Figures on the big screen before it scoops up those Oscars. It’s the story of three brilliant women who crossed gender and race lines, defied expectations and battled stereotypes. Oh, they also helped NASA catch up in the “Space Race” with the Soviet Union, allowing John Glenn to become the first American astronaut to successfully make a complete orbit of the Earth.

Mix yourself up some Haitian cremas – or try out any of the delicious recipes on Black Foodie, a TO-based women-run blog that explores food through a black lens.

Go see TEN. This moving dance work reflects what it’s like to leave where you came from. It runs from Friday February 10 to Saturday February 11 for three shows only at Harbourfront Centre’s Fleck Dance Theatre (207 Queens Quay W).

Breakfast & Conversation – Celebrating Black Canadian Trailblazers at Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women’s Empowerment (101 Portland St.) on Saturday, February 11, 2017 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. At this free event, trailblazers will share their stories and personal anecdotes on what inspired them to choose their selected paths. They’ll also cover what younger generations should know and learn in order to make positive progress.

Passing Strange is a bold coming-of-age story told through sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. In the late 1970s, a black teen is driven from Los Angeles to Amsterdam and Berlin in search of himself and a place to call home. Stew, the writer of Passing Strange, is the first and only Black writer to win a Tony award for Best Book of a Musical. Showing at The Opera House from January 24 to February 5.

Black Creator’s Month: OCAD University is honouring Black History Month with a combination of exhibits and programming that explores the meaning of Blackness in Canada in 2017, through visual culture. The exhibition features twenty-eight artists spread throughout the OCAD campus. Events include receptions, open galleries and various panels and discussions. Black Creator’s Month takes place from February 3 to 24.

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