Looking Back And To The Future To Mark Black History Month in Barrie

Downtown Barrie Event Embracing Black Canadians' Past, Present, and Future

Barrie is kicking off Black History Month with a look at the past, present, and future.

Making Change is a showcase of speakers, artists, musicians, and poets from across Simcoe County, and will descent on Drors on Dunlop St. this evening. Highlighting diversity and inclusion, the event promises to take a retrospective look at the role Black people play in shaping Barrie and Simcoe County. Janie Cooper Wilson, one of the key players in the restoration of the Oro African Church, will be one of the evening’s speakers.

“… Black History Month as an opportunity to showcase honouring our past, embracing our present, and supporting the future

Michèle Newton

She will be joined by local change makers Shelley Skinner and Michèle Newton in speaking of Embracing our Present; the pair are the organizing force behind this event, and Newton tells Barrie 360 she’s excited to see it come all together “we’re really excited about it because using Black History Month as an opportunity to showcase honouring our past, embracing our present, and supporting the future, we’ve got speakers and music and poetry supporting that theme.”

Dorion Odusanya, a local student, youth leader, and relative of civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond, will be there in a Youth Leader capacity, speaking about the future.

The evening wouldn’t be complete without live entertainment, while there will also be art exhibits, digital displays, and poetry readings on the night.

“I think it’s a perfect opportunity” says Newton, “while you’d love to be able to do it all year, this is a time where there is a focus nationally and provincially, and each city has an opportunity to focus on celebrating black Canadians, the history of the black Canadians in Canada, what we’re doing now, and where we’re headed in the future.”

Anyone 18 years of age or younger can get in for free, while anyone older than that needs to get a ticket, which would cost you $10 online here, or $15 at the door. The event starts at 6:00, runs until 10pm.