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January 29, 2009
Mayor Miller proclaiming February as Black History Month in Toronto
Mayor David Miller will proclaim February as Black History Month in Toronto at an event January 30.

“This is a historic year for people of African origin,” says Mayor Miller. “In addition to celebrating the 30th anniversary of Black History Month proclamations in the City of Toronto, we witnessed the election of Barack Obama as the President of the United States. Black history is an important part of Toronto’s history. The Abolition Act of 1793 established Toronto as an important hub of the Underground Railroad, and Toronto’s diverse black community - comprising individuals born in Toronto or who came from across Canada and around the world - has made an invaluable contribution to the development of our city. Recognition of Black History reminds us of lessons from the past as we plan our future.”

The City’s 2009 recognition of Black History Month includes exhibits, poster launches, concerts, walking tours and readings. More information is available at

Toronto will launch Black History Month at noon on January 30 with a free public lecture in the Members Lounge of City Hall. Social historians Dr. Karolyn Smardz-Frost (winner of the 2007 Governor General’s Award for non-fiction) and Adrienne Shadd (author of the forthcoming book Journey from Toll Gate to Parkway: African Canadians in Hamilton) will lead a dialogue about identity, race, gender, ethnicity, and the Underground Railroad.

Mackenzie House (a City of Toronto Historic Museum) will host an exhibit, The Black Press in Canada West, and a walking tour called In the Footsteps of Black Victorians (on Sunday, February 22).

The Toronto Public Library will launch a month-long series of events, called Lyrical Fireworks, on Thursday, February 5 at 7 p.m. at the York Woods Library, 1785 Finch Ave. W. Details can be found at

MASK, an exhibition presented by the Association of African Canadian Artists, will be on display in Toronto City Hall rotunda from February 2 to 6.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contacts:
Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, Manager, Diversity Management and Community Engagement, City Manager’s Office, 416-392-6824
Karen Teeple, City Archivist, 416-397-7393,
David Clark, Strategic Communications, 416-392-7542,



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