Every Thursday during the month of February, Windsor Public Library will be highlighting photos from moments in local Black history. These photographs have been provided courtesy of Amherstburg Freedom Museum, 277 King St., Amherstburg, Ontario. Visit them online at

This week’s photo features (l-r) Rev. W. J. Harrison, Windsor Mayor Art Reaume, and musician W.C. Handy. Handy was an influential American composer and musician who referred to himself as the ‘Father of the Blues’ and was an invited guest headlining the Emancipation Day celebrations in Windsor in 1951.

Emancipation Day, celebrated each year on Aug. 1, commemorates the abolition of slavery across the British Empire. Beginning in 1932, with the introduction of Emancipation Day celebrations to Windsor by Walter Perry, performers like WC Handy, Diana Ross, Steve Wonder and The Supremes would headline, drawing crowds of hundreds of thousands of people over the course of 30 years.

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