The City of Pickering proudly joins all residents, organizations, and community partners across Durham Region in celebrating Black History Month as we collectively honour and centre the experiences, histories, contributions, and achievements of diverse Black communities in Canada and around the world. Throughout the month of February and beyond, we encourage staff, residents and community partners to take time to learn, reflect and engage in the many initiatives across Durham Region that honour Black Excellence.

Below is a curated collection of activities that you can participate in each day of the month. Click on each of the activity prompts to access links to each resource.

February 1

Connect: Together We Rise Durham: Black History, Intersectionality, and Joy

The Annual Durham Region Black History Month celebration will feature live performances; and a panel discussion on Black history and how intersectionality and Black joy have shaped their professional and personal lives.

When: February 1, 2024, from 6 pm to 8 pm

Where: Chestnut Hill Developments Recreation Complex, Banquet Hall, 1867 Valley Farm Road, in Pickering.

Please register

February 2

Reflect: "Black history is Canadian history." - Honourable Jean Augustine

Augustine was the first Black woman to be elected to the House of Commons in 1993. In 1995, she put forth a motion before Parliament to recognize February as Black History Month, which passed unanimously. The origins of Black History Month can be traced back to February 1926, when "Negro History Week" was launched by scholar Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Black History Month was formally celebrated in the United States in the 1960s. By 1979, Toronto became the first municipality in Canada to proclaim Black History Month.


February 3

Connect: Cultural Expressions – 17th Annual Durham Black History Month Celebration

Our Decade: Recognition, Justice, and Development

When: Saturday, February 3, 2024 from 4:00 pm
Where: J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate, 1355 Harwood Ave N, Ajax

Cultural Expressions Art Gallery Inc has presents its Annual Black History Month Celebration. It is Durham’s longest running and largest, free Black history month event with a wealth of quality content that celebrates the beauty of Black culture and the diversity of the Black experience in Durham region.

Visit EventBrite

February 4

Watch: The Woman King

A historical epic inspired by true events that took place in The Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries. Starring Viola Davis.

Visit IMDB

February 5

Read: Black Looks: Race and Representation by Bell Hooks

In these twelve essays, bell hooks digs ever deeper into the personal and political consequences of contemporary representations of race and ethnicity within a white supremacist culture. 

Visit Bell Hooks Books

February 6

Connect: An Evening with Celina Caesar-Chavannes

In celebration of Black History Month, Whitby Public Library is excited to host a dynamic talk with Whitby’s former MP (2015-2019), and the author of “Can You Hear Me Now?" Moderated by Eleanor McIntosh.

Date: Tuesday, February 6, 2024
Time: 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Location: Whitby Public Library - Central Branch, 405 Dundas St W

Visit Whitby Library Website

February 7

Learn: Notable Historical Figures

Compiled by the Government of Canada, this curated list features the biographies of some notable Black individuals who have helped shape Canadian heritage and identity, and who have made and continue to make enormous contributions to all sectors of society in Canada.

Visit Gov't of Canada website

February 8

Connect: The Journey: Black Leadership Navigating Institutional Spaces

Join ARCDO and Hart House for a hybrid film screening and discussion centered on Black women in leadership navigating institutional spaces. Navigating the realities of anti-Black racism within varying intersectionalities calls for Black leaders to engage a level of hope, determination and strength within their professional journeys.

Let us come together to engage this critically important dialogue with one of Canada’s most prominent and revered champions of equality and inclusion for Black community, Hon. Dr. Jean Augustine.

Visit UofT Website

February 9

Read: 40 Books by Black Canadian Authors by CBC

February is Black History Month. CBC Books has selected 25 notable books by Black Canadian authors to read this month (and every month).

Visit CBC Books

February 10

Connect: STEM Stations: Celebrating Black Canadians (6 - 13 yrs)

Join us at the Pickering Public Library for an interactive kids event that offers engaging, hands-on activities highlighting Black Canadians in different areas of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics). Get ready to learn about the valuable contributions and inventions of Black Canadians that have shaped our society!

This program is in partnership with the Congress of Black Women of Canada, Ajax/Pickering and Oshawa/Whitby Chapters.

Location: PPL Central Library Auditorium
Date and Time: Saturday, February 10, 2024 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Please register using this link:

View the Pickering Library page

February 11

Watch: Remember Africville

“Africville, a small black settlement, lay within the city limits of Halifax, Nova Scotia. In the 1960s, the families who lived there were uprooted and their homes demolished in the name of urban renewal and integration. Now, more than twenty years later, the site of the community of Africville is a stark, under-utilized park. Former residents, their descendants and some of the decision-makers, speak out and, with the help of archival photographs and films, tell the story of that painful relocation.”

Visit NFB

February 12

Watch: Exterminate All the Brutes

This Documentary Series directed and written by Raoul Peck, is an eye-opening journey through time, offering an incisive look at the history European colonialism in Africa and the Americas. The groundbreaking series explores the lasting impact of genocide on society today, pushing the boundaries of traditional documentary filmmaking by weaving in scripted scenes starring Josh Hartnett. Across four episodes, Peck deconstructs the making and masking of history, digs deep into the ideology of white supremacy, and challenges audiences to rethink the very notion of how history is written. 

Visit IMDB

February 13

The Time Travel Adventures of Ara: Harriet Tubman and The Underground Railroad

Author, Black History consultant, educator, and facilitator Channon Oyeniran, explores Black History in a new way by allowing Children to travel many years back in time. What follows are thrilling adventures that turns children into heroes that help to free enslaved people.

Visit OYES Education

February 14

Listen: Secret Life of Canada podcast featuring: "The Province of Jamaica"

This episode we take a look at early Caribbean migration to Canada and reveal which islands could have become Canadian provinces. We also dive into the history of Black railway porters and how they and their wives made Winnipeg a hub of labour activism in Canada.

Visit CBC Listen

February 15

Watch: The Hate U Give

Observe, analyze and unpack impacts of systemic anti-black racism on people and communities through the streaming of The Hate U Give. Observe the story of a young teen, Star, who is challenged, tried and endured through experiences of discrimination, police brutality and social and systemic racism.

The Hate U Give is a movie based on the award-winning novel written by Angie Thomas. The film follows Starr Carter, who is constantly switching between two worlds -- the poor, mostly black neighbourhood where she lives and the wealthy, mostly white prep school that she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is soon shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. Facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and decide to stand up for what's right.

Visit IMDB

February 16

Shop: Support Black-Owned Businesses in your community!

Visit to find local black owned businesses.

Visit Canada Black Owned Marketplace in the Pickering Town Centre

Dine-in or order out from one of Pickering's Black Owned Restaurants:


February 17

Connect: 6th Annual Event Talkn’ Tales Presents Resilient Rhythms

Get ready for a day of enchantment as Talkin' Tales proudly presents their annual celebration of stories, culture, and community. This year's theme, "Resilient Rhythms," promises an unforgettable experience for all ages feauturing live performances, a vendor market, braiding demonstrations, food, and giveaways!

Where: Ajax Community Centre - 75 Centennial Road Ajax, ON L1S 4S4
When: Saturday, February 17, 2024 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Visit Ajax Website

February 18

Shop: Canada Black Owned Marketplace

Visit Canada Black Owned Marketplace in Pickering Town Center - 1355 Kingston Road, to shop from a variety of local Black owned vendors.

Visit PTC Website

February 19

Reflect: Desmond Cole

"And the rhetoric, the resistance and the seriousness and the pageantry of Black resistance is something that I truly appreciate. Because we’re not just pushing back. We’re showing how our light is inside. Like we’re letting that light out.” - Desmond Cole

Cole is a Toronto-based Black activist, freelance journalist and author of bestseller and award-winning book, The Skin We’re In, which chronicles systemic anti-Black racism and Black resistance in Canada throughout the year 2017.

Visit Penguin Random House

February 20

Learn: Ontario Black History Society

Founded in 1978, the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS), is the organization in Canada that is at the forefront in the celebration of Black history and heritage with a demonstrated record in the study, preservation and promotion of Black history in Ontario. The OBHS is also the only Ontario Provincial Heritage Organization of the Ministry of Culture devoted to Black history and heritage. The OBHS was responsible for initiating the formal celebration of Black History Month at all levels of government.

Visit Black History Society website

February 21

Connect: BlackLit Durham Literary Showcase: Decades of Black Ink

Hosted at the St. Francis Centre for Community, Arts, and Culture.

February 21, 2024 from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Celebrate Black Canadian literary voices of all genres—join us for a night of amazing performances, and Q+A with the artists. Sign-ups for open mic poetry sessions start at 6:30 pm. Visit for more information.

Visit Ajax Library website

February 22

Listen: Party Lines Podcast featuring: "Who feels served and protected?"

Elamin was ready to talk about something else this week — anything else, but recent events have forced another heavy conversation about structural, anti-Black racism. The protests unfolding in cities across the continent are responding to issues that are not strictly American. The concern around police brutality and the relationships between police forces and Black communities is a live issue in Canada, too. Some are calling to defund, redefine or divest from the police — but what might that look like? Rosie and Elamin explore what some are proposing, while also examining how police forces are funded across the country.

Visit CBC Listen

February 23

Connect: Women of Colour Durham Collective

WOCDC is a youth-led community organization in Durham Region, Canada that is run by, for, and with Black, Indigenous and other self-identified womxn of colour from the ages 16-29, with the purpose of making space for support and community. 

Visit WOC Durham

February 24

Read: Until We are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada

"The killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012 by a white assailant inspired the Black Lives Matter movement, which quickly spread outside the borders of the United States. The movement’s message found fertile ground in Canada, where Black activists speak of generations of injustice and continue the work of the Black liberators who have come before them. Edited by Rodney Diverlus, Sandy Hudson, and Syrus Marcus Ware, "Until We Are Free" contains some of the very best writing on the hottest issues facing the Black community in Canada. It describes the latest developments in Canadian Black activism, organizing efforts through the use of social media, Black-Indigenous alliances, and more."

Visit UofR Press

February 25

Connect: 9th Annual Looking Back into the Future Black History Month Conference

Join us on Sunday, February 25, 2024 from 1:30 pm - 5:30 pm, IN-PERSON at the Ajax Community Centre (HMS Room) for an inspiring and educational event celebrating Black History Month. This year marks our 9th annual conference, and we are thrilled to invite you to be a part of it.

At this conference, we will delve into the rich history, achievements, and contributions of the Black community, while also exploring the future and the progress that lies ahead. Through engaging presentations, thought-provoking discussions, and interactive workshops, we aim to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for the African diaspora.

Visit EventBrite

February 26

Watch: Home Feeling: Struggle for Community

"This feature documentary takes us to the heart of the Jane-Finch "Corridor" in the early 1980s. Covering six square blocks in Toronto's North York, the area readily evokes images of vandalism, high-density subsidized housing, racial tension, despair and crime. By focusing on the lives of several of the residents, many of them black or members of other visible minorities, the film provides a powerful view of a community that, contrary to its popular image, is working towards a more positive future."

Visit NFB Website

February 27

Reflect: Michaelle Jean

“Awareness of one’s roots, of one’s own place on the arc of history is critical. My life is intimately intertwined between South and North, between lands of resistance, and the legacies of formidable struggles.” - Michaelle Jean

Jean came to Canada as a Haitian refugee in 1968 and later became Canada’s first Black Governor General from 2005 to 2010.

Read Michaelle Jean Detailed Bio

February 28

Connect: Pickering Anti-Black Racism Taskforce (PABRT) and Pickering Public Library Anti-Black Racism Working Group (ABRWG)

Join and support local community groups addressing anti-Black racism:

Rooted in community consultation and the sharing of lived experiences, the Pickering Anti-Black Racism Taskforce was created to identify and address issues of anti-Black racism in Pickering. The PABRT is made up of local residents, appointed through Council resolution, who represent diverse Black communities. It works in partnership with the City, residents, service providers, and other stakeholders to enhance the shared experience and opportunities afforded to Black residents; to coordinate opportunities for stakeholder and community engagement; to provide expertise and action on matters relating to anti-Black racism community initiatives; and, to celebrate and promote the Black community and Black culture.

The Pickering Public Library Anti-Black Racism Working Group (ABRWG) is a community based group, focusing on Library services with a lens of anti-Black racism. The ABRWG reviews community feedback and identified priorities, and collaborates with Library staff to create and implement action plans for improvements and enhancements. Recommendations and action plans will focus on identified systemic discrimination impacting the Library experience for community members who self-identify as Black. The ABRWG is currently seeking new members!

Visit PABRT and Pickering Library

February 29

Join the Conversation

Share with us what you have learned using the hashtag #PickeringBHM on social media!