Black History Month Observed in Chatham-Kent

Members of the community joined together for a flag-raising ceremony at the Civic Centre to celebrate the first day of Black History Month.

Chatham-Kent Councillor Karen Kirkwood-Whyte encouraged everyone to learn the significant role the Black community played in shaping the community.  “We are a richer, fuller and better place to live because of these contributions,” she said.

Councillor Marjorie Crew said raising awareness of Black contributions leads to a better understanding of Chatham-Kent. “There are amazing stories most people aren’t aware of. We need to continue to change that.”

The event held was held in partnership with Uncle Tom’s Cabin & Historic Site in Dresden, the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society and Black Mecca Museum, and the Buxton National Historic Site and Museum.

“We thank you for sharing Black history with us as a reminder that Black history is ‘our’ history, and it’s Canadian History,” said Shannon Prince, curator of the Buxton Museum. “We would love to celebrate the trailblazing Black men and women who built Chatham-Kent. Without them, the community wouldn’t be what it is today.”

Chatham-Kent Tourism is promoting the virtual and in-person activities associated with the month through its website -

Audrey Ansell, Chatham-Kent’s Director of Community Attraction and Promotion said “recognizing and celebrating Black History Month in Chatham-Kent is a welcome reminder of the contributions that the Black community made and continue to make to every facet of life here. Chatham-Kent is a welcoming community and actions to build quality of life for all are enhanced by celebrating the history, heritage and contributions of members of the Black community, every day throughout the year.”

She added that Chatham-Kent Tourism is pleased that visitors and travel writers choose Chatham-Kent as a place they visit to learn the stories of the Black community and the connections to the Underground Railroad.