Books on Canadian Black History

Delve into the rich tapestry of Canadian Black history, a narrative that extends far beyond the borders of time and space, encompassing tales of resilience, resistance, and redemption. While often overshadowed by its American counterpart, Canadian Black history is a multifaceted mosaic, woven together by threads of struggle and triumph. From the early days of colonization to the present moment, these stories offer a compelling glimpse into the diverse experiences of Black Canadians across the centuries.

Discover the untold stories of the Black train porters in “They Call Me George” by Cecil Foster, shedding light on a pivotal yet overlooked chapter in Canadian history. Journey alongside William Still in “The Underground Railroad Records,” bearing witness to the hardships and triumphs of those who dared to defy the shackles of slavery in pursuit of freedom.

Explore the life of B. Denham Jolly in “In the Black: My Life,” a trailblazing figure in Canadian media who broke barriers and blazed trails in pursuit of equality and justice. Bernie Saunders’s memoir, “Shut Out: The Game That Did Not Love Me Black,” offers a poignant reflection on the challenges faced by Black athletes in the NHL, highlighting the resilience and determination required to navigate a world fraught with prejudice and discrimination.

Delve into the inspiring story of Viola Desmond in “Viola Desmond Won’t Be Budged” and “Viola Desmond: Her Life and Times,” reclaiming her rightful place in Canadian history as a fearless advocate for civil rights. Karolyn Smardz Frost’s “Steal Away Home” chronicles the epic journey of Cecelia Reynolds, a courageous young woman who defied the odds to carve out a new life of freedom and opportunity.

Challenge misconceptions and unravel the complexities of Canadian slavery in Afua Cooper’s “The Hanging Of Angelique,” shedding light on a dark chapter in the nation’s past. Lincoln M. Alexander’s memoir, “Go To School, You’re A Little Black Boy,” offers a firsthand account of his remarkable journey from humble beginnings to the corridors of power as Canada’s first Black member of Parliament.

In “Black Berry, Sweet Juice,” Lawrence Hill examines the complexities of biracial identity in Canada, navigating the intersections of race, culture, and belonging with candor and insight. William Humber’s “A Sporting Chance” celebrates the achievements of African-Canadian athletes, honoring their legacy of excellence and resilience on and off the field.

From the vibrant community of Africville to the historic streets of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Sharon Robart-Johnson’s “Africa’s Children” paints a vivid portrait of Black life in Canada, tracing its roots from the earliest settlers to the present day. Rinaldo Walcott’s “Black Like Who?” challenges prevailing notions of Canadian blackness, exploring its diverse manifestations across culture, art, and society.

Natasha L. Henry’s “Emancipation Day” commemorates the legacy of freedom in Canada, commemorating the journey from bondage to liberation and the enduring spirit of resilience that continues to inspire generations. These works offer a multifaceted exploration of Canadian Black history, inviting readers to embark on a transformative journey of discovery and understanding.

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