A 31st Edition Dedicated to Culture

The Round Table on Black History Month is marking its 31st anniversary by dedicating this edition to creators from cultural circles that were heavily impacted by the effects of the pandemic and the restrictions it caused. Poet Roen Higgins is the proud English-language spokesperson, while talented singer Shah Frank will join her as the French-language spokesperson for the 2022 edition of Black History Month.

For Roen Higgins, it makes perfect sense to dedicate this edition to artists: “I believe artists are the recorders of our true history—they are the storytellers and catalysts for expressing universal emotion. They pass on traditions, or break them when they no longer serve us. Artists are also ambassadors of hope and change.”

Shah Frank, for her part, sees it as a collective duty to remember: Black History Month is a celebration where, while we have the microphone in front of us, we draw attention to our successes. It’s also an opportune moment in which to amplify our voices, continue to honour our roots, take stock of who we are, and share our culture with others.”

Like every year, the Round Table on Black History Month produces and distributes a free annual calendar. For this 100%-culture edition, 12 artists were selected for their tenacity and unique creative spirits. They were immortalized by photographer Karene-Isabelle Jean-Baptiste. The 2022 laureates are rapper Naya Ali, singer Djely Tapa, comedian Eddy King, theatre actor Quincy Armorer, painter Manuel Mathieu, singer Alan Prater, singer Kim Richardson, choreographer-documentalist Rhodnie Désir, painter Emmanuel Ayo, filmmaker Henri Pardo, visual artist Leon Llewellyn, and poet Roen Higgins.  To discover the laureates’ full profiles, visit www.moishistoiredesnoirs.com 
“2022 marks the 15th year since the passing of the Act to proclaim Black History Month. This law continues to affirm the commitment of our government to recognize and promote the essential contributions made to Quebec’s development by Quebecers from Black communities. Black History Month provides us the opportunity to honour previous generations, as well as those of today. We must look forward to our common future in order to strengthen the bonds of trust and solidarity between Quebecers of all origins. I invite the people of Quebec to take part in large numbers in the activities of this 31st edition of Black History Month,” noted Jean Boulet, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity; Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration; and Minister Responsible for the Mauricie Region. 
The theme for the 2022 festivities: honouring the past, inspiring the future. For Michaël P. Farkas, president of the Round Table on Black History Month, this slogan is quite familiar: “ ‘Don’t forget your history/Know your destiny,’ are words Bob Marley sings in ‘Rat Race.’ The message is clear and uplifting to future generations, inspiring them to overcome adversity and follow in the footsteps of a great people that science places at the origin of humanity, and whose roots originate in Africa.”

The poster was created by brand designer Williamson Dulcé.

“For the 31st year, Montréal is celebrating Black History Month in February. It is an opportunity to highlight the struggles of the past and to recognize the exceptional contributions of Black communities to the development of Montréal. I would like to thank the Round Table on Black History Month, which, once again this year, and despite the pandemic, has prepared a varied program. These privileged spaces for dialogue and reflection allow us to move forward collectively and the city of Montréal is proud to be a partner. I invite Montrealers to participate in large numbers in these activities,” said Montréal Mayor Valérie Plante.
The various organizations that have submitted activities to the official Black History Month programming have demonstrated true agility. In 2021, all the activities on the program had been offered virtually. This year, once again, the vast large majority of the events offered will again be virtual despite the government lifting some restrictions. There are more than 100 scheduled activities. Among the not-to-be-missed events are:

0rijin Village – 28DaysUP
An invitation to encourage entrepreneurs from Black communities by buying “Black” during the 28 days of February (and beyond).
February 1 to 28

US Consulate – Food for Thought
A Panel Discussion on “My First Mentor”, with Martine St-Victor, Fabrice Vil, David Shelton, and Terri Givens.
February 2

NFB – Discussion with filmmakers
Health and well-being in Black communities, with Gentille M. Assih, Valérie Bah, Will Prosper, Michèle Stephenson, Nadine Valcin.
February 3

Crave – Une fois C’t’un Noir
Documentary by Frédéric Pierre that takes a look at the shifts and major moments in Black comedy in Quebec. With Normand Brathwaite, Boucar Diouf, Garihanna Jean-Louis, Anthony Kavanagh, Eddy King, Michel Mpambara, and Erich Preach.
February 4 on Crave

For its 14th edition, Massimadi highlights Afro LGBTQ+ culture, members of Black communities and the issues that affect them, through a program of nearly 30 films (from 12 different countries), panel discussions, and other surprises—available for free online across Canada.
February 11 to March 11

Phi Centre – Visions Hip-Hop QC
Exhibition by Marven Clerveau presenting a new series of works that take you on a visual and sonic journey to discover the artists and figures who made their mark on Quebec’s unique hip-hop scene and culture.
February 11 to March 26

Round Table on BHM – Black Conversations
An experimental conference that explores how the virtual world provides a channel for autonomy and social change. More than ever, technology is an essential tool for ensuring the advancement of Afro-descendant people in all aspects of life.
February 12 to 13

Kartel Musik – Shah Frank and Friends
Show bringing together Shah Frank (the French-language spokesperson) and several Kartel Musik artists.
February 25 at Club Soda

Fade to Black – Gessica Généus
A revealing discussion about the professional career of Gessica Généus and her international hit film, Freda.
February 27

Fondation Dynastie – Prix Médias Dynastie & Gala Dynastie
Two major events to reward professionals from media and the arts from Black communities.
February 27 & March 5

Cabaret de la diversité – Célébrons 31 ans du Mois de l’histoire des Noirs Discussion and virtual dialogue with representatives from all the organizations holding editions of Black History Month across Quebec.
February 28

City of Montreal
60 to 90-minute workshop aimed at promoting jobs offered by the City of Montreal in a fun way and to introduce trades and careers while highlighting the contributions to society of Afro-descendant communities.
March 1

Black History Month takes place all across Quebec from February 1 to 28, 2022. To discover the activities scheduled in Montreal, visit www.moishistoirdesnoirs.com