Harbourfront Centre’s Kuumba Festival during African History Month in February is one of the longest running celebrations of African culture in the Toronto.

Kuumba runs from February 5-7, 2016.

According to organizers the festival will “ investigate race politics and the shared experience of Blackness in today’s society through spoken word, panel discussions, music, comedy, film, and more.”

Kuumba Highlights:

  • Spoken Word: Dispatches from Tomorrow.
    Sat. Feb. 6th, 9:00pm. Ticket: $20
  • A special performance focusing on the legacy of spoken word from the streets.
  • Participating artists include the Grandfather of Rap, Jalal Nuriddin, one of the founders of The Last Poets, who will be performing with Malik Al Nasir. Also featured on the show are several Canadian artists for what is described as a landmark spoken word performance celebrating the rich tradition of Muslim artists in hip-hop. These include: Just Jamaal, Ian Keteku, Yusara Khogali, Waleed Abdulamid and other musicians.


Black Youth as an Endangered Species

Desmond Cole, award-winning freelance journalist and moderator

Desmond Cole, award-winning freelance journalist and moderator

  • Panel Discussion. Fe. 6, 3-4pm. Free.
  • Moderated by activist, author and award-winning freelance journalist Desmond Cole, this timely panel discussion addresses the growing awareness of institutional violence against Black youth. Panelists include Shadya Yasin and Sabrina Gopaul.


She Got Next: Women in Hip-Hop Concert

Sun, Feb7, 5pm-7pm. Free

  • Celebrate Canadian women in the hip-hop industry with a special tribute to Michie Mee, Toronto’s first lady of hip-hop. Adria Kain, pHoenix Pagliacci, KeepRockinYou, Eternia and DJ Mel Boogie join Michie Mee for the 25th anniversary of her debut album, Canadian Style.
Michie Mee, Toronto’s first lady of hip-hop will perform at Kuumba .

Michie Mee, Toronto’s first lady of hip-hop will perform at Kuumba 

  • Soul on Ice: Past, Present and Future (documentary)
  • Includes Q&A with filmmaker Kwame Mason

• Fri, Feb.5, 8-10pm. Free.

  • The face of hockey is changing. The award-winning Soul on Ice is a challenging new documentary that explores the virtually unknown contribution of Black players to Canada’s favourite game. Filmmaker Kwame Mason will be in attendance for a Q&A following the screening.
  • Black Like She – Women in Comedy Showcase

Fri, Feb.5. 9pm – 11pm. Free. 19+

Multi-disciplinary artist, Amani

Multi-disciplinary artist, Amani

Tickle your funny bone at Kuumba’s first-ever free comedy show Black Like She. Five of Toronto’s top Black female comics and sketch/improv artists take a tongue-in-cheek approach to the experience of being a Black woman in Canada.

Keesha Brownie, Zabrina Chevannes, Coko & Daphney and Amani lead the audience in a hilarious night of stand-up and improv comedy. Black Like She is the brainchild of Anne-Marie Woods aka Amani.