Toronto - Mayor David Miller has proclaimed February as Black History Month in the city of Toronto.

“The history of the African Canadian community is integral to the history of our city,” said Mayor Miller. “Recognition of Black History is not just about recognizing the past, it’s about our future. The contributions of Toronto’s diverse black community - men and women, either born in Toronto or who have come from the Caribbean, South America, Africa, Europe and other parts of Canada - have made invaluable contributions to the development of our city and our country.”

The City’s 2008 recognition of Black History Month includes exhibits, theatrical performances, concerts, walking tours and readings at various locations throughout Toronto. More information and schedules for these events is available at www.toronto.ca/blackhistory.

A featured Black History Month event is the free public lecture moderated by CBC host Garvia Bailey on Tuesday, February 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Toronto Archives, 255 Spadina Rd. Dr. Karolyn Smardz-Frost, winner of the 2007 Governor General’s Award for non-fiction will speak about researching and writing Black History. Her book, “I’ve Got a Home in Gloryland: A Lost Tale of the Underground Railroad,” recounts the story of fugitive slaves Lucie and Thornton Blackburn. Tickets are available from Toronto Archives by e-mailing psharke@toronto.ca or calling 416-392-0558.

Students from 10 Toronto District School Board schools will attend a special Black History Month Celebration at City Hall on the afternoon of February 5.

The Toronto Public Library will launch its month-long series of events across the city on Thursday, February 7 at 7 p.m. at the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St. Details can be found at http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/.