The Neighbourhood Group in Toronto Celebrates Black History Month

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The Neighbourhood Group in Toronto Celebrates Black History Month

By Kedar Ahmed

Kedar is a community journalist with FOCUS MEDIA ARTS CENTRE.

On February 1st, The Neighbourhood Group (TNG) hosted an event at the Central Neighbourhood House to commemorate Black/African History/Heritage month. The event included the following: drumming, musical performances, a travelling museum featuring posters of influential members of the community both past and present, and a panel discussion on Black resistance and struggles in Canada.

Panelist included: Sandy Hudson, Ginelle Skerritt, Anthony Morgan, Floydeen Charles-Fridal and Jacqueline St Kitts. The panel was moderated by Amina-Yassin Omar, the Director of Partnership at TNG.

One of the featured panelist’s was Black Lives Matter Toronto Co-Founder Sandy Hudson, a Jamaican-Canadian political activist, writer from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She grew up in North York and attended high school in Brampton. She attended the University of Toronto, where she earned a Bachelor's degree in political science and sociology. She also holds a Master of Arts in Social Justice Education from the University of Toronto. Sandy spoke about the Black Lives Matter Movement and the issues that drove her to start it.

A centrepiece of the event was the Travelling Museum, which profiled groups, movements and individuals of significance to Black history including Olivier Lejeune, Mifflin Wistar Gibbs, Marie-Joseph Angelique.

Olivier Lejeune was the first documented person of African descent to have lived on a permanent basis in Canada (New France) during the first half of the 17th century, as well as the first person of African descent known to have been enslaved in the colony decades before it became a participant in the Atlantic slave trade.

Mifflin Wistar Gibbs who was a politician, judge, diplomat, banker, entrepreneur (born 17 April 1823 in Philadelphia, PA; died 11 July 1915, in Little Rock, AR). Gibbs was a notable figure in both American and Canadian history.

Marie-Joseph Angélique (born 1705 in Madeira, Portugal; died 21 June 1734 in Montréal, Quebec). Angélique was an enslaved Black woman owned by Thérèse de Couagne de Francheville in Montréal. In 1734, she was charged with arson after a fire levelled Montréal’s merchants' quarter. It was alleged that Angélique committed the act while attempting to flee her bondage. She was convicted, tortured and hanged. While it remains unknown whether or not she set the fire, Angélique’s story has come to symbolize Black resistance and freedom

The Travelling Museum was designed to allow you to walk through history and absorb the achievements of Black/African History and Heritage.


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Video Upload Date: March 2, 2023

FOCUS Media Arts Centre (FOCUS) is a not-for-profit organization that was established in 1990 to counter negative media stereotypes of low income communities and provide relevant information to residents living in the Regent Park area and surrounding communities.

We seek to empower marginalized individuals and under represented communities to have a voice, through the  use of professional training, mentorships and participatory based media practices that enable the sharing of stories, experiences and perspectives on relevant matters and issues. In brief our mandate is to empower marginalized individuals and under-serviced communities to have a voice and tell their own stories.


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