CBC is celebrating BLACK HISTORY MONTH throughout February with a wide range of programming across its platforms featuring Black creators, storytellers and changemakers.
Highlights of CBC’s Black History Month programming include the following:
CBC website BEING BLACK IN CANADA highlights the stories and experiences of Black Canadians year-round, providing a wide range of content celebrating the culture and achievements of Canada’s Black communities while also offering a window into their struggles.
BEING BLACK IN CANADA – BLACK CHANGEMAKERS 2023
Launching February 1 at cbc.ca/beingblackincanada
Black Changemakers is a Quebec and Atlantic Canada editorial series that recognizes individuals who are creating positive change in their community through actions big and small. From creators and community organizers to students and entrepreneurs, the series highlights current-day changemakers, helping shape our future and inspiring others.
BEING BLACK IN CANADA: FRIENDS & ALLIES
Available throughout the month of February at cbc.ca/beingblackincanada |An interview will air every Wednesday in February on CBC News Network’s CANADA TONIGHT and all four interviews as a half-hour special on CBC News Network and CBC Gem on Saturday, February 25 at 4:30 p.m. ET, 9:30 p.m. ET and 11:30 p.m. ET.
Being Black in Canada presents a special four-part series about Black Canadians and their trusted allies, offering inspirational intersectional stories which showcase allyship in action.
CBC TV and CBC Gem
THE NATURE OF THINGS: SECRET AGENTS OF THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
Friday February 3 at 9 pm (9:30 NT) on CBC TV and CBC Gem
SECRET AGENTS OF THE UNDERGROUND RAILROADis a revealing, scientific exploration of how a Niagara Falls hotel, The Cataract House, became the focal point for a 19th century North American Black Resistance movement. Using strategic scientifically focused investigations, we follow host Anthony Morgan and a team of archaeologists from the University of Buffalo on an emotional journey as they recover parts of the hotel’s foundation. The archaeological dig unearths stories about how the hotel’s head waiter, John Morrison, and his seemingly innocuous wait staff covertly orchestrated Freedom Seekers’ escapes to freedom.
DEAR JACKIE (feature documentary directed by Henri Pardo)
Sunday, February 5 at 8 pm (8:30 NT) on CBC TV and CBC Gem
After a stint with the minor-league Montreal Royals, Jackie Robinson was the first Black man to play in Major League Baseball and a key contributor to the civil rights movement in the United States. When Robinson broke the colour barrier in professional baseball in 1946, the impossible seemed possible in a segregated North America. All Montrealers Black and white cheered him on and treated him like a hero. But did the white majority use the historic moment to perpetuate the myth of a post-racial society?
CBC GEM BLACK HISTORY MONTH COLLECTIONS
Titles launching throughout the month of February
CBC Gem offers four Black History Month collections – BLACK STORIES, CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY, BLACK ART & MUSIC, and MUST WATCH BLACK LEADS – featuring over 60 series, films and documentaries that explore Black history and culture, and celebrate Black success.
Highlights include Season 2 of Emmy©-winning fictional musical variety series SHERMAN’S SHOWCASE created by Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle and executive produced by John Legend; multiple Oscar©-winning film MOONLIGHT directed by Barry Jenkins; and poignant drama THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO directed by Joe Talbot. Canadian premieres include two-part documentary RIGHT TO OFFEND: THE BLACK COMEDY REVOLUTION (directed by Mario Diaz and Jessica Sherif), about the progression of Black comedy and the comedians who have used pointed humour to expose, challenge and ridicule society’s injustices; and documentary BLIND AMBITION (directed by Rob Coe and Warwick Ross), the inspiring story of four Zimbabwean refugees who conquered the odds to become South Africa’s top sommeliers.
The CBC Gem collection, CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH (KIDS), showcases kids series and specials featuring Black talent in front of and behind the camera, and celebrates diversity and inclusiveness.
CBC Black History Month Events
Special Public Event at the CBC Broadcasting Centre (250 Front St. W) in Toronto on Wednesday, February 1, 2023 from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Join CBC’s Being Black in Canada for a special free celebration to kick off Black History Month.
Hosted by Odario Williams and Marcia Young, BEING BLACK IN CANADA LIVE will feature a keynote by singer, actor, and speaker Jully Black; performances by New Dimension Steel Orchestra, spoken word artist Keosha Love, musical artist Tracey Kayy; and a special preview of Being Black in Canada’s 2023 programming, followed by a reception. More information and free ticket registration can be found here.
SECRET AGENTS OF THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
Special Public Screening Event at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema (506 Bloor St. W) in Toronto on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at 6:30 p.m.
CBC, the Black Screen Office and Attraction will be hosting a special free screening of THE NATURE OF THINGS’ documentary SECRET AGENTS OF THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD on February 23. The event will feature a panel discussion with documentary host Anthony Morgan, who was also recently named one of the new co-hosts of THE NATURE OF THINGS beginning in the 2023-24 broadcast season. More information and ticket details for the event will be available here on Monday, January 30.
THE AFRICAS VS. AMERICA
Weekly starting Monday, February 6, 2023 || 7 episodes on CBC Listen and everywhere podcasts are available
In the spring of 1985, the City of Philadelphia became the first in U.S. history to drop a bomb on a family of American citizens. The attack killed 11 people, including five children, and the ensuing fire set an entire neighbourhood to ruins. The targets that day? A family of Black radicals known collectively as MOVE, who found themselves ensnared in a city — and nation’s — domestic war on Black Liberation. Over seven episodes, host Matthew Amha investigates the events that culminated in the MOVE bombing, and the long afterlife of a forgotten American tragedy. Through intimate conversations, THE AFRICAS VS. AMERICA offers an unseen look into the MOVE’s origins and dynamics while looking ahead to the group’s uncertain future.
On February 1, CBC Arts will unveil a new Black History Month-themed logo from artist Jimmy Baptiste as part of their monthly logo project, with an accompanying Q&A. Features in February will include an interview with artist Esmaa Mohamoud regarding her current Art Gallery of Alberta show, and a new episode of Here and Queer with the filmmakers behind the Jackie Shane heritage minute, Pat Mills and Ayo Tsalithaba.
In February, CBC Books will unveil its annual Black Canadian Writers to Watch list, including emerging and exciting Black Canadian writers, authors and poets poised to make waves in the national and international literary scenes. Notable names on past lists include award winners such as Ian Williams, Canisia Lubrin, David Chariandy, francesca ekwuyasi and more. Throughout the month, CBC Books is featuring reading lists of recent and notable books by Black writers, for genres including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, comics, children’s books and more. CBC Books will also feature Q&A interviews with established and emerging Black Canadian authors all month long.
CBC Kids celebrates Black History Month with grooves and moves: new videos for CBC TV and social media feature Studio K hosts Janaye and Tony as they honour phenomenal Black Canadians, and learn amazing Afro Dance moves. CBCKids.ca (ages 6-10) and CBC Kids News (ages 9+) offer age-appropriate context on the history and significance of Black History Month.
New original CBC Sports video features in February will focus on Black runner Phil Edwards, a five-time Olympic medallist for Canada, who went on to win the first-ever Northern Star Award for Canada’s top athlete in 1936; and the racial disparity between the Canadian men’s national soccer teams at the FIFA World Cup in 1986, the team’s first appearance, and their second in 2022. The video features will be available at cbcsports.ca and on the CBC Sports app.