Black History Month goes Virtual in Windsor-Essex

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Black History Month festivities across Windsor-Essex have moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A local celebration kicked off a month filled with dance, history and community outreach, but without the usual fanfare. Instead of 100 people packed into a venue, Irene Moore-Davis says more than 140 people tuned in to the online celebration Friday night.

The president of the Essex County Black Historical Research Society says it's a positive sign virtual events will still draw interest.

"With people being able to just log on and tune into something from their homes they don't have to worry about driving in the weather, finding the place or whether they're going to know people there," she says. "It really does open up a lot of possibilities for people to explore this history that maybe they haven't comfort level exploring in the past."

She tells AM800 News the virtual model has its advantages.

"We have a lot of access to people from all over the country, and in fact, on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. our history society is going to be hosting a speaker all the way from Madagascar who's talking about her African-Canadian ancestry from Windsor and Essex County," she added.

Moore-Davis says to expect details on some noteworthy developments that will continue through 2021.

"This year the University of Windsor will be unveiling a statue dedicated to Mary Ann Shadd Cary in October, so look for more information on that," she says. "The Essex County Black Historical Research Society and the Underground Railroad Monument both celebrate their 20th anniversary later this year."

A complete list of events can be found at www.amherstburgfreedom.org.