Arts & CultureCampus & CityCultural Affairs

Black History Month events in Edmonton

Black History Month might be two weeks in, but the events are only picking up!

Black History Month is two weeks in, but that doesn’t mean that we should stop learning, listening, and exploring Black history and its affects on society and the individual. Here are just a few of the paid and free events that you can check out coming up this month:

February 16:

How Africa Developed the World: This event is being put on by NorQuest College and presented by King (Togbi) Nyaho Tamakloe VI in collaboration with the National Black Coalition of Canada (NBCC). They will be discussing African societies and the history of Black communities in the Atlantic. 

Tenderness with Titilope Sonuga: The U of A presents alumni Titilope Sonuga, a published poet and performer. In her performance, she will be accompanied by the instrumentalist Enoch Attey.

Power of the Pen: This event is going to be presented by Chester Ronning Centre, in partnership with the U of A’s Augustana campus. This event is a lecture being led by Afua Cooper detailing the petitions of Thomas Peters and his quest for Black rights in Canada and the Atlantic World.

February 17:

Musical Performance: This is the second musical performance hosted by NorQuest College Black History Month. Sign up for any NorQuest College event here.

Art in Focus: This public program is brought to you by U of A Museums, and will be a deep discussion with artist Braxton Garneau, an alumnus of U of A with Caribbean heritage. 

February 19:

In the Heat of the Night: Join Metro Cinema in their Black History Month series! First up, they have the 1967 movie, In the Heat of the Night, where Virgil Tibbs, an African American police detective, is arrested for murder by the Mississippi police chief. 

February 23:

Racism, Black History and the Future of Black Education in Alberta: This talk is being hosted by MacEwan, and led by Andrew Parker, a co-founder of the Black Teachers Association. Parker will talk about the experience of being a Black student, and the changes needed in today’s education system.

Poly Styrene: I am a Cliché: Join Metro Cinema for their second movie in their Black History Month series! This time watch Poly Styrene: I am a Cliché, which is about the daughter of revolutionary singer Poly Styrene, who documents herself exploring her mother’s personal archive.  

February 24:

Tanika Charles: Tanka Charles is a Toronto-based soul musician coming to Edmonton to perform for Black History month. Charles will be performing at Festival Place in Sherwood Park.

Digital Book Club Meet-up: Black History Month: Edmonton Public Library is hosting their monthly book club; this month is dedicated to Black History Month. The book they’re reading this month is The Known World by Edward P. Jones, and will be available to everyone for free through Zoom!

February 25:

Terrell Edwards: Jazz musician Terrell Edwards is coming to Edmonton to perform for Black History month. Edwards will be performing at Festival Place in Sherwood Park.

February 26:

Taste of Africa: Being held at the Friendship Club of St. Albert, Taste of Africa is a variety show put on by Black creators. An added bonus? There will be food tasting at the end of the event!

The Story of a Three Day Pass: Join Metro Cinema for the last movie of their Black History Month series! This time watch the 1968 movie The Story of a Three Day Pass, which follows Turner, an African American soldier, who is granted a three day day furlough pass while stationed in France.

February 28:

Between Blackness and Disability: NorQuest College is welcoming Brandon Wint to perform their short film My Body Is A Poem/The Word Makes with Me, and discuss Blackness and disability.

Musical Performance: Musical Performance: This is the second musical performance hosted by NorQuest College Black History Month. Sign up for any NorQuest College event here.

Can’t make it to any of the live events? Check out some of the events that you can do on your own time!

BlackTalk: BlackTalk is a podcast hosted by W. Andy Knight, a professor at the U of A, and Zack Penddah, an honours political science student at the U of A. Together alongside their guests, Knight and Penddah talk about the personal and historical experiences of being Black. 

Unwrapping African Commemorative Cloth: Unwrapping African Commemorative Cloth is an online exhibit put on by U of A Museums. It explores textiles and the way that it can create a powerful tool of communication.

Edmonton City as Museum Project: And Still We Rise: And Still We Rise is a virtual exhibit put on by the Edmonton City as Museum Project. This exhibition looks at the foundation and formation of Black communities in Alberta.

5 Artists 1 Love: 5 Artists 1 Love is an annual exhibition put on by the Art Gallery of Alberta for Black History Month. This year’s exhibition opened on January 29, and displays a variety of art including art, design, music, poetry, and live entertainment.

Prominent Leaders Interviews: The National Black Coalition of Canada (NBCC) has partnered with Diversity Magazine/TV to interview prominent community and government leaders throughout Black History Month. These interviews are going to be pre-recorded and put on Diversity TV’s YouTube channel periodically from February 15 to March 30. 

Taylor Jeffrey

Taylor was previously the 2022-23 Opinion Editor and 2021-22 Deputy Arts & Culture Editor at The Gateway, and is contributing to the Opinion coverage of the 2023 UASU Elections. She was a double major in English and History, and is now pursuing an After-Degree Ed program. She can often be found at the end of a trail of half-filled coffee cups, curled up with a book and piles of yarn.

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