Black History Month to be celebrated with number of virtual Toronto Public Library presentations

A virtual presentation by Daniel Paulty, a leading voice and scientist in the world of marine biology, will be part of the Toronto Public Library's Black History Month presentations this February.


The City of Toronto is celebrating Black History Month this February, a tradition it started in 1979.

Toronto was the first municipality in Canada to declare February Black History Month.

“The month provides an opportunity to celebrate and commemorate the legacy, history and achievements that Canadians of African descent have made and continue to make, and to recognize our commitment to equal rights, opportunity and freedom from discrimination in Toronto and across Canada,” said Mayor John Tory on Feb. 1 as he made the official declaration of Black History Month for 2022.

There are numerous events planned for this month.

East York’s Michael Garron Hospital is continuing its #IamMGH Black Voices program that highlights the stories and backgrounds of Black staff and physicians. For more info, please go to

The Toronto Public Library (TPL) has held individualized local events in the past, but is opting for citywide virtual Black History Month presentations in adherence to COVID-19 regulations limiting indoor gatherings.

This year the TPL will continue to showcase the Black History Series. To register in advance or tune in for the presentations go to at the date and time of the event.

Their first event takes place Monday, Feb. 7 and will feature Daniel Paulty, a leading voice and scientist in the world of marine biology. He will discuss his first authorized biography titled The Ocean’s Whistleblower where he recounts the hardships faced in his childhood due to his mixed race, indentured servitude, his pursuit of education, and eventual success as a scientist and more.

The virtual screening will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. and will also feature Dr. Sarika Cullis-Suzuki. To register for the event please visit

On Wednesday, Feb. 9, the TPL will virtually present Before the 6ix: Behind the Beat hosted by Del Cowie and DJ Agile. They will joined by producer K-Cut, producer/engineer Zoé SOUNDmind of AFIME arts, and producer/artist Rich Kidd. The series seeks to connect Toronto’s recent international recognition in hip-hop to its rich history and influences.

The screening will be at 7 to 8 p.m. To register for the event please visit

The third TPL event on Wednesday, Feb. 16. will feature Beach author Chidiogo Akunyili-Parr and her new book I am Because We are which is a memoir of her late mother Dora Akunyili’s battle against corruption and misogyny in Nigeria.

The screening will be from 7 to 8 p.m. To register for the event please visit

There are three TPL virtual events scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 23.

The first features broadcaster and storyteller Ugonma Ekeanyanwu with African Stories by Moonlight. Ekeanyanwu will share adaptations of African traditional stories passed down orally from 2 to 2:30 p.m. To register for Ekeanyanwu’s event please visit

There will also be a panel on the connection between racial and environmental justice titled The Water is Troubled: Blackness in the Environmental Movement moderated by Demeisha Dennis and Judy Milay from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Special guests include author Audrey Peterman, Chúk Odenigbo, Dr. Ingrid Waldron, and Dr. Paula Kahumbu.

To register for the panel please visit

For the final presentation of Feb. 23, host Wan will be joined by Dan Charnas to discuss his book Dilla Time which delves into the life, career, and posthumous influence on hip-hop of James DeWitt Yancey aka J Dilla from 7 to 8 p.m. To register for the Charna’s presentation please visit

On Thursday, Feb. 24, bestselling author and Booker Prize winner Marlon James will discuss the second installment in his acclaimed Dark Star trilogy titled Moon Witch, Spider King. The virtual presentation is from noon to 1 p.m.

To register to hear James, please visit

The final virtual event planned for Black History Month presented by the TPL will feature Habiba Cooper Diallo discussing her high school journal, #BlackinSchool, which documents her struggles against stereotypes, microaggressions, as well as systemic and outright racism among other issues she faced as a Black student in Canada. The presentation is on Friday, Feb. 25, from noon to 1 p.m.

To register for Diallo’s event please visit

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