Every February, Canada recognizes Black History Month to honour the achievements and contributions of Black Canadians who shaped Canada.
Black Canadians were once held in bondage and forced to perform labour under threat of physical mistreatment or death in this country and February represents an opportunity for the majority of Canadians to learn about both the exploitation of Black Canadians in our society as well as the transformative work that Black members of the community and their allies have accomplished.
Check out new and classic fiction and non-fiction by or about Black Canadians across adult, youth and junior fiction and non-fiction titles that touch on experiences of race and ways to dismantle racism.
L&A Libraries suggests the following as excellent adult nonfiction on this topic:
A chronicle of the “Pullmen” of the Canadian rail lines and their fight for social justice. The tiring, thankless and low-paying job forced these men to be separated from their families as they travelled the country.
This journal of a year in the life of a black man demonstrates how racism pervades Canadian society. Cole’s experiences will shift your perspective and spark conversations about racial practices in Canada and beyond.
A vibrant, revealing memoir about the cultural and familial pressures that shaped George Elliott Clarke’s early life in the Black Canadian community that he calls Africadia, centered in Halifax, NS.
Renowned journalist Eternity Martis’ moving memoir shares what it’s like to be one of a few Black students at mainly white Canadian universities. Her investigative style exposes the need to consider how gender, race and privilege inform our experiences of our institutions.
An exploration of history and identity, colour and desire from a writer who shares her embodied understanding of race as a way to express solidarity.
See the complete list of suggestions here.
You are also invited to check out the diverse kids books recommended and reviewed by Ruthy’s Reading Room here.
- YouTube: Ruthy’s Reading Room
- Facebook: @Ruthysreadingroom
- Instagram: @ruthysreadingroom