The Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) is a registered Canadian charity, dedicated to the study, preservation and promotion of Black History and heritage. The Society aims to encourage public interest in Black History through the:
- Recognition and documentation of the contributions of peoples of African descent and their collective histories, past and present, through education, research and collaboration.
- Development and support of educational initiatives and exhibits.
- Inclusion of Black History material in school curricula.
The History of the OBHS
Founded in 1978, the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS), is the organization in Canada that is at the forefront in the celebration of Black history and heritage with a demonstrated record in the study, preservation and promotion of Black history in Ontario. The OBHS is also the only Ontario Provincial Heritage Organization of the Ministry of Culture devoted to Black history and heritage.
We are the organization responsible for initiating the formal celebration of February Black History Month at all levels of government in Canada due to our yearlong efforts to extend this celebration. (i.e. The first formal declaration of February as Black history month with the City of Toronto in 1979; and with the Province of Ontario in 1993).
In December 1995, the House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month, following a motion introduced by the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament, the Honourable Jean Augustine. The motion was carried unanimously by the House of Commons.
About our Founders
Dr. Daniel Hill, Donna Hill, Wilson Brooks, Joan Kazmarski, Lorraine Hubbard and others, co- founded the Ontario Black History Society in 1978. It became the first major public organization in Canada focused on the history of Blacks in the country. Daniel Hill remained at the helm of the Society for about six years.
Daniel Hill used his social aplomb and contacts to bring the celebration of Black history into the public domain. In 1980, Toronto Mayor Art Eggleton supported the launch of a major Black history exhibit at the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto. Daniel Hill succeeded in discovering and unveiling a portrait of William Peyton Hubbard, a prominent Toronto Black politician in the early 20th century, who had become all but forgotten in the closing decades of the 20th century.
OBHS Board of Directors
President: Natasha Henry
Vice Presidents: Channon Oyeniran, Mawuli Chai
Treasurer: Dorothy Abbott
Secretary: Kurt Lewin a.k.a. Amani Ausar
Members at Large: