Welcome to the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society & Black Mecca Museum
The Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society, a Non-Profit Organization, is dedicated to the discovery, research, and preservation of the Black history found in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent and the city of Chatham.
In the early 1800’s Black families settled along McGregor’s Creek in the tiny town of Chatham, then known as “the Forks”. The Village soon became a haven for runaway slaves and by 1850, its population was 1/3 Black.
Once here, Blacks in Chatham thrived in business, education, medicine, sport, and literary and cultural arts. News of their success attracted Black people to the area from across North America.
The history of Black people in early Chatham is not only of local significance; the years of Black contribution and participation in Southwestern Ontario left a fundamental impression on the national landscape.