The best Black History Month events in Toronto

From Kuumba Fest and Toronto Black Film Festival to music and literary events, Black History Month is going virtual this year


February 4

Celebrations And Revelations 2021

Four young Black Canadian artists perform the music of Black composers from the 17th-21st century in this free online concert series. February 1-28. See website for times and to RSVP. joybullen.ca.

Cheryl Thompson

The professor and author discusses her books Beauty In A Box and Uncle: Race, Nostalgia And The Politics Of Loyalty. 7-8:30 pm. Free. Online event. Pre-register at eventbrite.ca.

February 6

15th Annual Bob Marley Birthday Tribute Virtual Edition

This online concert (via Twitch) features the Human Rights, RZee Jackson, I-Sax, House of David Gang, DJ Questquecest and others. In support of Parkdale Community Food Bank. 8 pm. Free. nufunk.ca.

February 9

Karina Vernon & Kaie Kellough: The Black Prairie Archives

The associate professor of English at U of T discusses a recently released anthology with author/poet Kellough and host Ismail Alfa of CBC Radio’s Metro Morning. 7 pm. Free. Pre-register at tpl.ca/blackhistory.

February 10

Before the 6ix: Kardinal Offishall Quest For Fire 20th anniversary

The rapper-turned-music executive marks the 20th anniversary of his album Quest For Fire: Firestarter Volume 1 by chatting with journalist Del F. Cowie. 7 pm. Free. Pre-register at tpl.ca/blackhistory.

Toronto Black Film Festival

This online film festival features more than 150 titles from 25 countries, including Youssef Delara’s drama Foster Boy and Mia Donovan’s Dope Is Death, plus panel talks and kids’ programming. February 10-21. Various prices, all-access pass $69. torontoblackfilm.com.

February 11

The Worldbuilding Of Wakanda: Black Panther and Afrofuturism

Three years after Black Panther, writers Antoine Bandele, Stephanie Chrismon and Rashid Mohiddin chat about Wakanda’s enduring impact. 6-8 pm. Free. Online via Zoom. Pre-register at harthouse.ca.

February 12

21 Black Futures

Obsidian Theatre presents an anthology of 21 filmed monodramas from 21 Black playwrights, directed by 21 Black directors and performed by 21 Black actors. Streaming on CBC Gem. February 12-26. See Facebook event page or visit 21blackfutures.com.

Cherie Jones

The author discusses her debut novel, How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House, with poet/author Britta Badour. Online event. Noon. Free. Pre-register at tpl.ca/blackhistory.

February 14

Kuumba 2021

The annual festival celebrating the city’s Black community moves primarily online save for a few on-site outdoor art installations. This year’s programming features Syreeta Hector’s dance show Black Ballerina and a collaboration with Wavelength on a series of livestream concerts (see below) and more. Free. February 14-27 (installations to April 11). harbourfrontcentre.com/kuumba.

February 15

Beloved 

Artist/designer Mark Stoddart unveils his project celebrating Black History Month and Family Day by sharing the importance of loved ones through art, poetry, music and positive images of Black families. Available from noon, February 15. beloved68.com 

The Forum: Beyond The Underground Railroad – Black History In Chatham-Kent 

Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site, Buxton National Historic Site and Museum and Chatham-Kent Black Mecca Museum participate in a conversation with creators and researchers from across the province. Available from February 15-28. heritagetrust.on.ca.

February 20

Wavelength Winter Festival x Kuumba

The indie music showcase’s first concert of the month in partnership with Harbourfront’s Kuumba Festival features Polaris Prize winner Backxwash, Zoon and Maryze. 7 pm. Free. wavelengthmusic.ca.

February 21

Wavelength Winter Festival x Kuumba

Second online concert in partnership with Harbourfront’s Kuumba Festival with Hannah Georgas and Clerel. 8 pm. Free. wavelengthmusic.ca.

February 24

Exploring Black and Indigenous Futurisms

Artist talk with Lisa Jackson, Stephanie Chrismon and Adeyemi Adegbesan. 4-6 pm. Free. Online via Zoom. Pre-register at harthouse.ca.

February 26

Wavelength Winter Festival x Kuumba

Third online concert in partnership with Harbourfront’s Kuumba Festival featuring the OBGMs and Kali Horse. 8 pm. Free. wavelengthmusic.ca.

February 27

Wavelength Winter Festival x Kuumba

Fourth and final online concert in partnership with Harbourfront’s Kuumba Festival with Shabason/Krgovich/Harris, Witch Prophet and Beverly Glenn-Copeland. 7 pm. Free. wavelengthmusic.ca.

February 28

Black Diamond Ball

The annual gala fundraiser in support of #SafeSpace 365 and OCADU’s Black Youth Design Initiative goes virtual and features music by Jermaine Jones and Jully Black, Mark Stoddart’s Beloved Project and more. 6 pm. Free, VIP packages available. blackdiamondballto.com.

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