The Object and the Story: Celebrating Black Canadian Histories

6 January – 31 March 2020
Hazel McCallion Campus B-Wing Gallery

In 2019, six community leaders from the Peel Region came together to envision an exhibition that showcases Black excellence, celebrates Black Canadians as nation-builders, and recognizes the ways that personal narratives are deeply connected to larger histories.  

The curators – Angela Carter, Derrick Fagan, Ryan Knight, Karen Lopez (PepperBrooks), Felix Nyarko, and Erica Phillips – selected each object for its personal significance and its representation of Black community members who have transcended systemic barriers. The exhibition challenges assumptions about what we venerate in a gallery space: for example, a plastic-covered sofa that, for many, invokes visceral memories of the 1960s and 1970s domestic life, anchors an intimate family story; a Willie O’Ree hockey card serves as a powerful symbol of breaking colour barriers in Canadian sports history. By bringing together objects from popular culture and the everyday, and highlighting historical and cultural meanings, The Object and the Story points to the complexity and diversity of contemporary Black Canadian experiences. 

Over the course of the Winter semester, we will be adding to the stories told here by welcoming objects from our broader community. As you move through this exhibition, we invite you to consider: What objects hold significant meaning for you? What stories would they tell?

Audio interviews about the objects can be found here.
For transcripts please contact:

The Object and the Story is presented with support from the Afro Caribbean Business Network Canada Foundation, Roots Community Services Inc., and Sheridan’s Centre for Equity and Inclusion.