Black History Month

Celebrate Black History Month @ York

York University is considered a leading Canadian post-secondary institution that values diversity and inclusivity. With a long history of research, student engagement, and inclusive initiatives around the culture of African-Canadians, the University is proud to celebrate our diverse community during Black History Month by highlighting our research, community excellence, events, and services on our campuses.

Stay tuned throughout the month on our social channels for more content and join the conversation by using the hashtag #BHM2020 or #BlackHistoryMonth!


"This February, during Black History Month, York University joins communities around the world celebrating Black heritage, culture, and the essential contributions Black community members have made and continue to make at the University." Read the full statement from President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton on Black History Month 2020.


Community Excellence

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IN THE MEDIA: York University Black History Month event features spoken word poetry, gospel music
The Faculty of Education’s Black History Month event, “Word, Sound, Power: Black Artistic Expression", invited members of the public to learn more about the origins of gospel music at the concert on Wednesday. The event was hosted by the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora, which is currently held by York University professor Carl James.

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Using performance and media to tell stories of the African Diaspora
As a child, Camille Turner, along with her mom and sister, immigrated to Canada to be reunited with her father. Initially in Sarnia, they then moved to Hamilton where their father worked in the steel industry. A feeling of “otherness” and a sense of not “belonging” brought her to the question “who am I and where is home?”

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Establishing historical agency through archival practice
Rachel Lobo is a fourth-year doctoral student who is a recipient of a CGS Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral Scholarship awarded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Her research explores the historiographical challenges brought on by dislocation and demonstrates how longstanding Afrodiasporic communities in Canada have collected and preserved photographs in order to combat erasure, and reshape and reinterpret dominant historical narratives.

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Exploring decolonization through the lens of performance
Honor Ford-Smith has been working at the crossroads of performance, politics and Caribbean culture for over forty years. A Jamaican director, poet, and professor living in Toronto, Canada, Ford-Smith herself was formed by intersecting struggles for radical social change in Jamaica in the 1970s.

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Prof. Caroline Shenaz Hossein to lead federal government training on the social economy for racialized Canadians
For the first time, federal policymakers in the Ministry of Employment and Social Services will take part in a training session led by York University Professor Caroline Shenaz Hossein to learn how to use Black political epistemologies so that funding can better reach Black and racialized women in Canada.

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The Harriet Tubman Institute
The Harriet Tubman Institute at York University is part of an international network of research centres committed to a greater understanding of the history of slavery and its legacy. The Institute fosters debate, informs public policy and strives to resolve current social injustices.

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York professor launches new Blackness in Canada Policy Networking Conference
York public policy and equity studies Professor Lorne Foster, together with the Institute for Social Research (ISR), are the primary organizers of the new Blackness in Canada Policy Networking Conference. The conference will take place Feb. 4 and 5 in the second floor conference facility in the Second Student Centre at the Keele Campus.

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Black Canadian Studies program with Professor Christina Sharpe
Professor Christina Sharpe describes her research, including aspects of her book, "In The Wake | On Blackness and Being". She also touches on the Imagining Slavery and Freedom course she will be teaching, and her key role in the Black Canadian Studies program at York University.

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York University professor takes action to address anti-Black racism in schools
Navigating the maze of Ontario’s school system may become easier for parents of Black children, thanks to a series of new information sheets led by York University Faculty of Education Professor Carl James.

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Six Tubman Students Awarded Prestigious Dean’s Award for Research Excellence (DARE)
The Dean’s Award for Research Excellence (DARE) provides Liberal Arts & Professional Studies undergraduate students with the opportunity to engage in research supervised by a faculty member. Over the summer months, selected students develop their research skills through the investigation of a research area of interest.


Feb. 7, 2020
Voices of the Disapora - Harriet Tubman: The Opera
7:30pm - 9:30pm: Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East, York University

Feb. 12, 2020
Word, Sound, Power: Black Artistic Expression
5:30pm - 9:30pm: Tribute Communities Recital Hall Accolade East Building, York University

Feb. 13, 2020
Black Masculinity and the Empathy Deficit Disorder: Erotic racism, colonialism and slavery with Professor Tamari Kitossa (Brock University)
2:30pm - 4:00pm: 626 Kaneff Tower, York University

Feb. 13, 2020
Creative Arts Workshop: Black History Through Art
12:00pm - 2:00pm: 242 York Lanes, York University

Feb. 13, 2020
York University Black Alumni Network Launch
7:00pm - 10:00pm: Aroma Espresso Bar, 105 The Pond Road, Toronto

Feb. 25, 2020
Coffee Break with Ghanaian Students Association
2:00pm - 4:00pm: 244 York Lanes, Global Cafe, York University

Feb. 27, 2020
King’s Vibrato: Visual Oratory and the Sound of the Photograph Professor with Professor Maurice Wallace (Rutgers University) in conversation with Professor Kendra Boyd
2:30pm - 4:00pm: 626 Kaneff Tower, York University

Feb. 28, 2020
Black Representation: Our Thoughts, Our Voices
2:00pm - 4:00pm: 280N York Lanes, York University

In Social