A poster announces the 30th edition of activities for Black History Month in the province of Quebec. (Leona Carthy)

A variety of activities unveiled for Black History Month

A non-profit in the province of Quebec is celebrating three decades of “highlighting the journeys and success of Black communities, to build bridges with others.” The Round Table on Black History Month has unveiled a broad range of activities which will take place throughout the month of February 2021. 

Because of the pandemic, the public will be invited to get to know Black culture in all its forms online. There will be shows, exhibitions, conferences and screenings. 

“Yes, the pandemic has separated us—but in other ways, we have never felt so connected through the goal of achieving equity and adequate representation in the various spheres of society,” noted Black History Month Coordinator Carla Beauvais. “A wind of change is blowing, and a global movement of solidarity drives this 30th edition of Black History Month.”

One of the spokespersons for this year’s Round Table on Black History Month is Fabrice vil, a lawyer and social entrepreneur who speaks out for equal opportunity. (Kétiana Bello)

Spokesperson Michael P. Farkas is ‘very passionate about Black history’ and works to develop ideas and start projects.(Kétiana Bello)

Activities online due to pandemic

Among the activities there will be a talent contest to promote financial literacy among young people on February 7. Black Theatre Workshop will offer a poetry jam on the 7, 14, 21 and 28. An Afro LGBTQ+ Film & Arts screens from February 12 to March 12. The 10th Fade to Black Festival from February 17-21 will feature panel discussions, interviews and musical performances. There will be concerts, a gala, afternoon cartoon, an exploration of Africa’s culinary traditions and much more.

The round table will all honour its laureates, people who it says “have demonstrated a sustained commitment to other and have positively impacted those around them.” Normally the laureates would be received at Montreal City Hall but that will happen virtually until pandemic restrictions are eased and an in-person reception can be held. 

The laureates are described as follows:

ANGELO CADET is a seasoned communicator who has made his mark by working in every sphere of Quebec’s culture scene. 

CLAUDE DAUPHIN is a musicologist and professor emeritus at UQAM who specializes in 18th-century European music and the ways in which its identity changed in the Americas when it came into contact with African and Native American cultures.

DOMINIQUE FONTAINE is an exhibition curator and consultant in contemporary art and arts management, and a driving force behind major exhibitions that reflect Black realities. 

GUY MUSHAGALUSA CHIGOHO is the general director and founder of the Afromuseum, and is a passionate gallery owner and collector of African art. 

HENRI ROBERT DURANDISSE is a well-respected citizen with more than 30 years of social engagement, particularly in the field of education.

VERA BARRINGTON is a nurse by trade who has been involved as a volunteer with the Council for Black Aging Community of Montreal.

WILSON SANON is a man waging a crucial fight against sickle cell anemia, a chronic orphan blood disease that claimed his son’s life. He is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of blood donation and research.

AUVRIL EDWARDS is a caring citizen involved with the LaSalle Multicultural Resource Center, who has a passion for socioeconomic equity.

FRANTZ VOLTAIRE is a renowned historian and political scientist who founded the Centre International de Documentation et d’Information Haïtienne, Caribéenne et Afro-canadienne and is the author of very influential works.

KEMBA MITCHELL is a tireless activist fighting for the Montreal Black community’s emancipation and advancement, and is a volunteer with the West Island Black Community Association and Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Island.

CHRISTOPHER HERON is an emphatic ambassador for gospel music and is the driving force behind multiple-award-winning program Mind, Soul & Spirit on CKUT 90.3 FM.

RÉGINE ALENDE TSHOMBOKONGO is dedicated to easing the plight of immigrant women, for which she founded the Centre d’encadrement pour jeunes femmes immigrantes, and to recognizing and highlighting their talents.

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