Graphic Recording Black History Month

February was Black History Month in North America and I had the opportunity to celebrate the festivities and presentations talking about the life of a black people. Where did we come from? How did we get here? I often struggle with Black History Month because I was born in Canada. My parents are Guyanese and moved to Canada the year before I was born. I have always been told that we are considered “coloured” and not “black” due to the many different types of races that make up the Guyanese people. Apparently I have South Asian, Chinese, Irish, and many more. Add that to a typical Canadian boy brought up with hockey and Rock and Roll and you can see my dilemma. As far as racism I did experience some in my child and adult life but nothing like being shot due to my colour. That being said I am happy people are recognizing black people for who they are and I personally think they should be doing it for all races. Every month should highlight a different race so that we can all learn and experience the beauty in the World.

We had just arrived back from our annual retreat to Barbados when I was scheduled for my first Black History Month event. It was downtown Toronto organized by Ogo Tawa Inc so I wasn’t sure what I was going to be recording. Graphic Recording is when you use images and text to summarize a presentation. To my luck the workshop was a Soca Workshop put on by two dancers and it was so much fun. Watch the video below to see what happened.

The Soca Event

The next event scheduled for the same office was a Talking Drum Workshop. A talking drum is a type of drum Nigerian prisoners used to communicate to other prisoners through the beat of the drum. Extremely interesting presentation. Watch the video below for a summary of that event.

Talking Drum Workshop

The third event combined many of these workshops together into one event at the CEE Centre where for a full afternoon the workshops mixed together in the form of music, education, food, and dance celebrating the black culture. It was a lot of fun and challenging to graphic record. Watch the video below to see what happened at that event.

CEE Event

I would like to thank Owo Taga Inc for having us for these events and I look forward to graphic recording for future events. If you are looking for a graphic recorder for your event visit our website.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge is a professional artist, author, and cartoonist specializing in the art of caricature. Bruce Outridge Productions offers custom illustration, caricature event service, and graphic recording for clients throughout Ontario. Learn more about the company at