Commemorate Black History Month through Simcoe County Museum’s Virtual Lecture Series


Midhurst/January 30, 2024 – Warden Basil Clarke has proclaimed February as Black History Month, recognizing the legacy of Black people in Canada, and celebrating their contributions towards shaping communities across Simcoe County.  

In addition to education and programs being coordinated by the Simcoe County Archives and Social and Community Services, the Simcoe County Museum is once again hosting a virtual lecture series throughout Black History Month. The lecture series features local historians, authors, and advocates who help to celebrate, educate, and reveal the history of Black people across Simcoe County, Ontario, and Canada.  

Sessions include:  

Funké Aladejebi “Teaching for Liberation: Black Women Educators in Ontario” 

Thursday, February 8, 2024, ~ 2 to 3 p.m.  

An author and scholar specializing in Black Canadian history, Funké Aladejebi’s book, Schooling the System: A History of Black Women Teachers, explores the intersections of race, gender and access in Canadian educational institutions.  

Funké’s presentation will showcase the stories of Black female teachers in 20th century Ontario, exploring the ways they utilized a diverse range of teaching approaches to combat oppressive school structures in Canada, highlighting the ways Black female teachers moved across various educational landscapes to impart traditions of community uplift and cooperation for a diverse range of students. 


Janie Cooper-Wilson, “Lemuel Brown”   

Thursday, February 15, 2024, ~ 2 to 3 p.m.

The Founder and Executive Director of The Silver Shoe Historical Society, based in Clearview Township, Janie Cooper-Wilson led the organization to incorporation as an Affiliate of The Ontario Historical Society; as well as supervising the restoration and designation of the almost-lost Bethel- Union Pioneer Cemetery in New Lowell. Janie’s tireless energy and fierce dedication to advance public understanding of the collective history of our province has been recognized with awards and citations by numerous organizations, groups, and Municipalities. 

During her presentation, Cooper-Wilson will share the intriguing story of the life experiences of Lemuel Brown, her 2X Great-Grandfather, a first-generation African Canadian resident of Grey and Simcoe Counties, prior to Confederation. 


Deirdre McCorkindale, “A History of Black History Month”  

Thursday, February 22, 2024, ~ 1 to 2 p.m.    

Deirdre McCorkindale, a historian interested in the history of Race in North America with a focus on the African Canadian and African American experience, will explain what Black History Month is, where it comes from, why it takes place in February while also exploring the nearly 100-year history of this form of Black commemoration.     

A proud member and consultant for the Chatham Kent Black Historical Society, Deirdra has 
appeared in several documentaries where she speaks about the Black history of Ontario. 


Carolynn and Sylvia Wilson “Sheffield Park Black History and Cultural Museum and Preserving Black History”   

Monday, February 26, 2024, ~ 10 to 11 a.m.  

Collingwood residents Sylvia and Carolynn Wilson, direct descendants of early Black pioneers of Simcoe and Grey Counties and co-owners the Sheffield Park Black History and Cultural Museum, will speak to their efforts to recognize the Black history of Grey and Simcoe Counties through their pioneer life and times exhibits, along with the social networking of a community and the preservation of past generations. 

They are both recipients of the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women Award, the Order of Collingwood, and Companion Award, among other awards in recognition of their community and youth initiatives.  


The series is free to join, with both individuals and groups welcome. Visit to register. 


About the Simcoe County Museum 

Take the Infinite Journey with the Simcoe County Museum, a cultural exploration of our historical past and exciting future. The Simcoe County Museum is owned and operated by the County of Simcoe and offers year-round exhibits, events, and educational programs for visitors of every age. Visit our website at for further details. 


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Jennifer Straw 

Senior Public Relations Consultant  

County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Department

705-790-5979 (mobile)  


Collin Matanowitsch

Manager, Public Relations

County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Department

705-734-8386 (mobile)


Attachment:  Advisory - Commemorate Black History Month through Simcoe County Museum Virtual Lecture Series

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