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Free Emancipation Day event at Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History

DRESDENONJuly 17, 2023 /CNW/ – The Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History is celebrating Emancipation Day with free admission. Join in the celebration at the museum on Saturday, July 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for educational and family-fun entertainment that will reflect on Black history and honour the strength and resilience of Black communities across Ontario. For more information, visit the event page.

Emancipation Day commemorates the Abolition of Slavery Act, which became law on August 1, 1834. This act freed more than 800,000 people of African descent throughout the British Empire. Since then, Emancipation Day has been celebrated on or near August 1 each year. It is an important expression of identity for many Black communities and a reminder of the continuing struggle faced by people of African descent toward a more inclusive, equitable society. The day is especially popular in communities where refugees from American slavery settled — most notably WindsorTorontoHamiltonOwen SoundNorth Buxton and Dresden.

Since 2005, the Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History has celebrated Emancipation Day by bringing together historians, storytellers, artists and musicians for day-long activities that creatively explore Ontario’s Black heritage. This year, a southern barbecue lunch will also be available for purchase from the Chilled Cork Food Truck.

Emancipation Day at the Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History is supported by the RBC Foundation.

2023 Emancipation Day speakers and performers

London Collective Gospel Choir
Enjoy uplifting musical selections that emphasize hope and unity through faith by the London Collective Gospel Choir.

Kwame Delfish 
Hear from artist Kwame Delfish, the first Caribbean Canadian to design a coin for the Royal Canadian Mint. Delfish will speak about the creative process behind his design for the coin commemorating the No. 2 Construction Battalion — the largest all-Black battalion-sized unit in Canadian military history.

Motown Boys
Dance to the tunes of Diana Ross, The Temptations and top-40 Motown hits with live renditions by the musical group Motown Boys, featuring George St. KittsToni Anderson and Kenni Hite.

Ruth Lor Malloy
Learn from Ruth Lor Malloy, a travel writer and activist. In the 1950s, she worked with the Toronto Joint Labour Committee for Human Rights to fight discrimination in Dresden. Malloy will talk about her book — Brightening My Corner: A Memoir of Dreams Fulfilled — and will host a book signing.

Chef Patience Chirisa
Fire up all your senses with Chef Patience Chirisa, a culinary expert in African cuisine. Chef Chirisa will provide a delectable selection of finger foods for guests to sample, host a book reading and signing, and deliver a fun arts-and-crafts activity for children.

Duane Gibson
Hear from D.O. Gibson, a two-time Guinness World Records-setting rapper, author and professional speaker. Gibson will be speaking on how Josiah Henson is a central part of his many performances, as it allows him to speak about slavery, the Underground Railroad, spirituals and about his dad’s portrayal of Josiah Henson in the Josiah Henson Museum’s interpretive video onsite.

SOURCE Ontario Heritage Trust

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