Chatham-Kent Events Celebrating Black History Month 

February is Black History month and it is only fitting, since Chatham-Kent is steeped in Black history, that there are several local events to celebrate.
First, it is important to note that Uncle Tom's Cabin Historical Site has received the Harriet Tubman Award, Commitment to a purpose by the Ontario Black History Society. The award recognizes dedication to Black History preservation, programming and historical site stewardship. The society elevates the stories of African Canadians and how their lives help us to understand and appreciate their race, identity and their fight for freedom and how precious our individual freedom and that of our country is to all of us. A plaque was presented to Beth Hanna, CEO of the Ontario Heritage Trust which owns and operates Uncle Tom's Cabin Site. The site commemorates Reverend Josiah Hensen, his tireless efforts as a abolitionist and his many contributions to The Underground Railroad and the lives of the many slaves who fled to this area fighting for their freedom.The site is an excellent source of history and one that would be a great stop to add to your adventures.
In addition to Rev. Hensen's original home, Rev. Hensen's Original Homethere is an Interpretive Centre, a visitors Centre and Museum with 19th century books and artifacts related to abolition and Hensen's Life. There are also educational films to view. The Underground Railway Freedom gallery features the geographic journey and history of enslaved people in the United States, from their path from Africa through slavery in the United States, and on to freedom in British North America. The gallery also exhibits the life and times of Josiah Hensen. The outbuilding include a sawmill, a smokehouse and even an 1850 pioneer church complete with Rev. Hensen's original pulpit.
The surrounding area was originally part of the 300 acres Dawn settlement where many fugitive slaves found freedom and free blacks settled. The Dawn Settlement PlaqueIt was the largest of its kind in the 1800's. The freed slaves and their brothers made and changed history, helping to build our city and towns. Without their contributions Chatham-Kent would not be the community it is today.
Chatham-Kent Tourism hosted travel writer Heather Greenwood Davis in the fall of 2018. She wrote an article about the Buxton National Historic Site and Museum and the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society & Black Mecca Museum which was later released and published in the January/February 2018 addition of National Geographic. She also wrote an exclusive on-line article profiling the Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic site.

 February 8/2019 at 10:30 there was a sharing of the children's book " Talkin About Bessie" at the Chatham Public Library.The book is the story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman who was the first African-American female pilot.

February 17/2019  Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site is hosting a Family Fun Day to co-ordinate with Family Day. Patience Charisa, author and chef will be on hand for a book signing and a reading from one of her children's books series Za and Zoey. She will also be dishing up sample of her famous African cuisine. There will be arts and crafts for the children and African themed tatoos.  Refreshments and fun for the whole family.

January 17 - March 15  The Thames Art Gallery is featuring a new exhibit "Legends are the Rivers that take us Home" The exhibit highlights storytellers who through their stories shape the meaning of "now" through concepts of place, history and the power of listening.
 The exhibit  encourages us to explore our own paths and the paths of other as we determine if these paths intersect.

February 22  from 1-3 P.M. at the Buxton National Historic Site and Museum there will be a children event. Buxton's Next Generation will hold a special guest reading by Author, Yejide Kilano. There will be children's activities and a light snack.

February 29/2020 at 1 and 7 P.M. at Studio One, Cultural Centre, the Buxton Museum will be sharing a screening of the much loved, video" Home to Buxton" followed by a discussion with Bryan and Shannon Prince.  Buxton has been a black settlement since the middle of the last century and one of the popular destinations of escaped slaves travelling north on the Underground Railway. The Buxton Homecoming Weekend on Labor Day each year still welcomes families of loved ones who enjoyed their new found freedom in this special little village. Following the evening session stay for entertainment with Khare McLelland, a singer-songwriter whose performances are a clever mix of gospel and soul. His music integrates the rhythms and folklore of early African-American with the contemporary sounds and stories of struggles. It promises to be a wonderful evening.
 Bring the family for some of these great events and celebrate Black History month and Chatham-Kent's historical past!
 
Chatham-Kent is the Affordable Lifestyle Location with many amenities to enjoy. It is the perfect place to live, work, raise a family, retire or visit. Call me Wayne Liddy 519-436-4810 Royal LePage Peifer Realty Inc. Brokerage for all your Real Estate needs. My Motto for Chatham-Kent is " IT IS ALL HERE ALL YEAR! "