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Black History Month

In celebration of Black History Month, every February in Canada, here is a selection of resources in our collection. For assistance in accessing or using these or any resources in the Laurier Library collection, contact us through Ask Us. Previously years selections are included below.



Musical crossroads : stories behind the objects of African American music

This book is by Dwandalyn R. Reece and was published in 2023 by the National Museum of African American History and Culture (U.S.). Access this through the Library.

Drawing upon objects in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture’s permanent collection and featuring many of the objects on display in the award-winning exhibition of the same name, Musical Crossroads explores how objects expand our understanding of the culture of African American music-making and the foundation it has built in the United States and around the world.

Black mercuries : African American athletes, race, and the modern Olympic games

The book is by David Kenneth Wiggins and was published in 2023 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group. Access this through the Library.

This book chronicles the struggles and triumphs of African American athletes in the Modern Olympic Games, from 1896 through the 2020 Tokyo Games. It explores the lives and careers of both legendary and little-known Black Olympians as they sought to honor themselves, their race, and their nation on the world stage.

"Where are you from?": growing up African-Canadian in Vancouver

This book is by Gillian Laura Creese and was published in 2020 by University of Toronto Press. Access this through the Library.

Metro Vancouver is a diverse city where half the residents identify as people of colour, but only one percent of the population is racialized as Black. In this context, African-Canadians are both hyper-visible as Black, and invisible as distinct communities. Informed by feminist and critical race theories, and based on interviews with women and men who grew up in Vancouver, "Where Are You From?" recounts the unique experience of growing up in a place where the second generation seldom sees other people who look like them, and yet are inundated with popular representations of Blackness from the United States. This study explores how the second generation in Vancouver redefine their African identities to distinguish themselves from African-Americans, while continuing to experience considerable everyday racism that challenges belonging as Canadians. As a result, some members of the second generation reject, and others strongly assert, a Canadian identity.

Black in White Space: The Enduring Impact of Color in Everyday Life

This book is by Elijah Anderson and was published in 2022 by the University of Chicago Press. Access this through the Library.

From the vital voice of Elijah Anderson, Black in White Space sheds fresh light on the dire persistence of racial discrimination in our country. A birder strolling in Central Park. A college student lounging on a university quad. Two men sitting in a coffee shop. Perfectly ordinary actions in ordinary settings-and yet, they sparked jarring and inflammatory responses that involved the police and attracted national media coverage. Why? In essence, Elijah Anderson would argue, because these were Black people existing in white spaces. In Black in White Space, Anderson brings his immense knowledge and ethnography to bear in this timely study of the racial barriers that are still firmly entrenched in our society at every class level. He focuses in on symbolic racism, a new form of racism in America caused by the stubbornly powerful stereotype of the ghetto embedded in the white imagination, which subconsciously connects all Black people with crime and poverty regardless of their social or economic position. White people typically avoid Black space, but Black people are required to navigate the "white space" as a condition of their existence. From Philadelphia street-corner conversations to Anderson's own morning jogs through a Cape Cod vacation town, he probes a wealth of experiences to shed new light on how symbolic racism makes all Black people uniquely vulnerable to implicit bias in police stops and racial discrimination in our country. An unwavering truthteller in our national conversation on race, Anderson has shared intimate and sharp insights into Black life for decades. Vital and eye-opening, Black in White Space will be a must-read for anyone hoping to understand the lived realities of Black people and the structural underpinnings of racism in America.

How to Lose the Hounds: Maroon Geographies and a World beyond Policing

This book by Celeste Winston was published in 2023 by Duke University Press. Access this through the Library.

In How to Lose the Hounds Celeste Winston explores marronage-the practice of flight from and placemaking beyond slavery-as a guide to police abolition. She examines historically Black maroon communities in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC, that have been subjected to violent excesses of police power from slavery until the present day. Tracing the long and ongoing historical geography of Black freedom struggles in the face of anti-Black police violence in these communities, Winston shows how marronage provides critical lessons for reimagining public safety and community well-being. These freedom struggles take place in what Winston calls maroon geographies-sites of flight from slavery and the spaces of freedom produced in multigenerational Black communities. Maroon geographies constitute part of a Black placemaking tradition that asserts life-affirming forms of community. Winston contends that maroon geographies operate as a central method of Black flight, holding ground, and constructing places of freedom in ways that imagine and plan a world beyond policing.

Making It on Broken Promises

This book by Lee Jones was published in 2023 by Routledge. Access this through the Library.

Sixteen of America's leading scholars offer an uncompromising critique of the academy from their perspective as African American men. They challenge dominant majority assumptions about the culture of higher education, most particularly its claims of openness to diversity and divergent traditions.They take issue with the processes that determine what is legitimized as scholarship, as well as with who wields the power to authenticate it. They describe the debilitating pressures to subordinate Black identity to a supposedly universal but hegemonic Eurocentric culture. They question the academy's valuing of individuality and its privileging of dichotomy over their cultural styles of community, humanism and synthesis. They also range over such issues as culturally mediated styles of cognition, the misuse of standardized testing, the disproportionate burden of service placed on African American faculty and a reward system that discounts it.

Harriet’s Legacies: Race, Historical Memory, and Futures in Canada

This book editted by Ronald Cummings and Natalee Caple was published in 2022 by McGill-Queen's University Press. Access this through the Library.

Historic freedom fighter and conductor of the Underground Railroad Harriet Tubman risked her life to ferry enslaved people from America to freedom in Canada. Her legacy instigates and orients this exploration of the history of Black lives and the future of collective struggle in Canada. Harriet's Legacies recuperates the significance of Tubman's time in Canada as more than just an interlude in her American narrative: it is a new point from which to think about Black diasporic mobilities, possibilities, and histories. Through essays and creative works this collection articulates new territory for Tubman in relation to the Black Atlantic archive, connecting her legacies of survival, freedom, and cultural expression within a transnational framework. Contributors take up the question of legacy in ways that remap discourses of genealogy and belonging, positioning Tubman as an important part of today's freedom struggles. Integrating scholarship with creative and curatorial practices, the volume expands conversations about culture and expression in African Canadian life across art, literature, performance, politics, and public pedagogy. Considering questions of culture, community, and futures, Harriet's Legacies explores what happened in the wake of Tubman's legacy and situates Canada as a key part of that dialogue.


The Long Shadow

This 90-minute film was directed by Frances Causey and produced by Sally Holst and released in 2018. Access this through the Library.

When two daughters of the South, Director Frances Causey and Producer Sally Holst, set out to find causes for the continuing racial divisions in the United States, they discovered that the politics of slavery didn't end after the Civil War. In an astonishingly candid look at the history of anti-black racism in the United States, The Long Shadow traces the blunt imposition of white privilege and its ultimate manifestation-slavery. Causey and Holst conclude that, without a doubt, artifacts of slavery remain at work in American society today. The film is narrated by Causey who reveals that with the help of one of her own ancestors the fight to preserve slavery may have actually been "the," driving force behind the Revolutionary War. Even after slavery was finally abolished, the South, with its vast political power, made sure its racist Jim Crow laws policies and politics were implemented with devastating effect. These laws amplified and extended white privilege all across the nation by rigging the game against African-Americans, the effects of which can still be measured. Interlaced with personal stories of Causey and Holst's privileged childhoods in the South, they present a revised history that explains much-needed context when considering the major issues impacting black/white relations today. The Long Shadow is not your normal whitewashed history of America and the legacy of slavery, but an upfront challenge to white privilege in the United States by those who have directly benefited from it, two Southern born and bred white women. From New Orleans to Virginia, Mississippi and Canada, Causey and Holst travel the roads of oppression, suppression, and even hope to reveal the connections of slavery and strong-arm Southern politics to the current racial strife in America. The Long Shadow is a disturbing story about the lingering human cost of ignorance, intolerance and inaction in the US, casting a long shadow over our national identity and imperfect democracy.

A walk in her shoes

This 90-minute documentary was directed by Selina Garcia and created by Metra Lundy and released in 2020. Access this through the Library.

A Walk in her Shoes is a documentary feature that shares one woman's intimate story of personal awakening, discovery, empowerment, and triumph. In a quest to overcome one of the biggest obstacles of her life, personal trainer and author Metra Lundy simulates a walk to freedom by re-tracing the steps of the great American heroine, Harriet Tubman, from Maryland to Canada.

Untold. Gladys Bentley : breaking all the rules

This short video by Makematic, DoGoodery, and the Driving Force Institute for Public Engagement was released in 2023. Access this through the Library.

At a time when homosexuality was illegal in the United States, LGBTQ+ artist and pioneer Gladys Bentley broke all the rules to become one of the wealthiest Black performers of her time.

Black, Bold and Beautiful

This 40-minute film directed by Nadine Valcin was released in 2023. Access this through the Library.

Afros, braids or corn-rows--hairstyles have always carried a social message, and few issues cause as many battles between Black parents and their daughters. To "relax" one's hair into straight tresses or to leave it "natural" inevitably raises questions of conformity and rebellion, pride and identity. Today trend-setting teens proudly reinvent themselves on a daily basis, while career women strive for the right "professional" image, and other women go "natural" as a symbol of comfort in their Blackness. Filmmaker Nadine Valcin meets a range of women as they reveal how their hairstyles relate to their lives and life choices. Black, Bold and Beautiful celebrates the bonds formed as women attend to each other's hair, while exploring how everyday grooming matters tap into lively debates on the position of Black people within Canada.



They said this would be fun : race, campus life, and growing up

This book by Eternity Martis was published in 2021 by McClelland & Stewart. Get a copy through the Library.

"From award-winning journalist Eternity Martis, a look at race and gender on campuses, and a personal tale of struggle and survival. Eternity Martis thought going away to university would help her discover who she really is--to escape her abusive boyfriend, her nerdy reputation, her coddled life with her doting Pakistani grandparents and rebellious mother, and her complicated feelings towards her absent Jamaican father. When she heads out to the predominantly white college town of London, Ontario, Eternity discovers an entitled culture of racism and sexism. As her boyfriend becomes increasingly violent, Eternity navigates her first parties, her father's continued attempts at a relationship, the revelation that she has several half-siblings she's never heard anything about, and the growing complexity of her friendships. What follows is a memoir of struggle about the difficulty of navigating through white spaces as a young woman of colour. And humour: a grown woman bouncing out the window of an inflatable castle after too much vodka, drugstore cashiers who announce a price check for your pregnancy test for the whole store to hear, extreme growing pains. But most of all, it's a story of perseverance and discovery. As more and more classmates of colour feel driven out of the university, Eternity decides to stay, and in doing so finds a group of likeminded women to support her through discovering who she is in a place that tries to tear her down. What we're left with is a portrait of the work students of colour must do to fight for themselves in spaces where they are supposed to be safe to learn and grow."-- Provided by publisher.

Black racialization and resistance at an elite university

This book by Rosalind Hampton was published in 2020 by University of Toronto Press. Access this through the Library.

The presence and experiences of Black people at elite universities have been largely underrepresented and erased from institutional histories. This book engages with a collection of these experiences that span half a century and reflect differences in class, gender, and national identifications among Black scholars. By mapping Black people’s experiences of studying and teaching at McGill University, this book reveals how the "whiteness" of the university both includes and exceeds the racial identities of students and professors. It highlights the specific functions of Blackness and of anti-Blackness within society in general and within the institution of higher education in particular, demonstrating how structures and practices of the university reproduce interlocking systems of oppression that uphold racial capitalism, reproduce colonial relations, and promote settler nationalism. Critically engaging the work of Black learners, academics, organizers, and activists within this dynamic political context, this book underscores the importance of Black Studies across North America.

The fire that time : transnational Black radicalism and the Sir George Williams occupation

This book, edited by Nalini Mohabir and Ronald Cummings, was published in 2022 by University of Chicago Press. Get a copy through the Library.

"In 1969, in one of the most significant black student protests in North American history, Caribbean students called out discriminatory pedagogical practices at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University), before occupying the computer centre for two weeks. Upon the breakdown of negotiations, the police launched a violent crackdown as a fire mysteriously broke out inside the centre and racist chants were hurled by spectators on the street. It was a heavily mediatized flashpoint in the Canadian civil rights movement and the international Black Power struggle that would send shockwaves as far as the Carribean. Half a century later, we continue to grapple with the legacies of this watershed moment in light of current resistance movements such as Black Lives Matter, calls for reparations, or Rhodes Must Fall. How is the Sir George Williams "affair" remembered, forgotten, or contested? How is blackness included or occluded in decolonizing dialogues? The Fire That Time addresses those questions while it commemorates and reflects upon the transnational resonances of Black protest and radical student movements. Through a number of thoughtful essays, scholars examine the unfinished business of decolonization and its relationship to questions of pedagogy, institutional life and culture, and ongoing discussions about race and racism."-- Provided by publisher.

Nuances of Blackness in the Canadian academy : teaching, learning, and researching while Black

This book, edited by Awad Ibrahim, Tamari Kitossa, Malinda S. Smith, and Handel Kashope Wright, was published in 2022 by University of Toronto Press. Get a copy or access this through the Library.

"The essays in Nuances of Blackness in the Canadian Academy make visible the submerged stories of Black life in academia. They offer fresh historical, social, and cultural insights into what it means to teach, learn, research, and work while Black. In daring to shift from margin to centre, the book's contributors confront two overlapping themes. First, they resist a singular construction of Blackness that masks the nuances and multiplicity of what it means to be and experience the academy as a Black body. Second, they challenge the stubborn durability of anti-Black tropes, the dehumanization of Blackness, persistent deficit ideology, and the tyranny of low expectations that permeate the dominant idea of Blackness in the White colonial imagination. Operating at the intersections of discourse and experience, contributors reflect on how Blackness shapes academic pathways, ignites complicated and often difficult conversations, and re-imagines Black pasts, presents, and futures. This unique collection contributes to the articulation of more nuanced understandings of the ways in which Blackness is made, unmade, and remade in the academy and the implications for interrelated dynamics across and within post-secondary education, Black communities in Canada, and global Black diasporas."-- Provided by publisher

The movement for Black lives: philosophical perspectives

This book, edited by Brandon Hogan, Michael Cholbi, Alex Madva, and Benjamin S. Yost, was published in 2021 by Oxford University Press. Access this through the Library.

The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) has gained worldwide visibility as a grassroots social justice movement distinguished by a decentralized, nonhierarchical mode of organization. M4BL rose to prominence in part thanks to its protests against police brutality and misconduct directed at black Americans. However, its animating concerns are far broader, calling for a wide range of economic, political, legal, and cultural measures to address what it terms a “war against Black people,” as well as the “shared struggle with all oppressed people.” Despite the significance of the social, political, and economic goals of M4BL, as well as the innovative organizational leadership strategies it employs, M4BL has received little sustained philosophical attention. The Movement for Black Lives: Philosophical Perspectives brings philosophical analysis to bear on the aims, strategies, policy positions, and intellectual-historical context of M4BL. Leading scholars address the following themes: “Black Lives Matter” as a political speech act, M4BL’s conception of the value of black lives, the gender dynamics of the Movement, the relation of M4BL to other black liberation movements and transitional justice movements, the Movement’s new forms of leadership and organization, and the impact of racism on the normative assessment of the criminal justice system. Accordingly, the volume broaches a wide range of pressing issues in the philosophy of language, social and political philosophy, philosophy of race, philosophy of gender, and the philosophy of punishment. It is important reading for students and scholars in the humanities and social sciences interested in race, inequality, and social justice movements.

Race on trial: black defendants in Ontario's criminal courts, 1858-1958

This book, by our own Associate Vice-President, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Professor in the Department of History, Barrington Walker, was published in 2010 by University of Toronto Press. Access this through the Library.

This exploration of the complex and often contradictory web of racial attitudes and the values of white legal elites not only exposes how blackness was articulated in Canadian law but also offers a rare glimpse of black life as experienced in Canada's past.


Liquid blackness: journal of aesthetics and black studies (ISSN 2692-3874)

This journal, edited by Alessandra Raengo and Lauren McLeod Cramer, is published by Duke University Press, with issues semi-annually since 2014. Access this through the Library.

liquid blackness seeks to carve out a place for aesthetic theory and the most radical agenda of Black studies to come together in productive ways, with the goal of attending to the aesthetic work of blackness and the political work of form. In this way, the journal develops innovative approaches to address points of convergence between the exigencies of Black life and the many slippery ways in which blackness is encountered in contemporary sonic and visual culture.
The journal showcases a variety of scholarly modes, including audio-visual work and experimental and traditional essays. It aims to explore who can do theory (scholars, artists, activists, individuals, and ensembles), how theory can be done (in image, writing, archiving, curating, social activism), and what a Black aesthetic object is (“high”/“low” art, sound and image, practice and praxis).

Race, ethnicity and education" (ISSN 1361-3324)

This journal, edited by David Gillborn, is published by Taylor & Francis, with issues currently released nine times a year, and started in 1998. Access this through the Library.

Race Ethnicity and Education is the leading peer-reviewed journal on racism and race inequality in education. The journal provides a focal point for international scholarship, research and debate by publishing original and challenging research that explores the dynamics of race, racism and ethnicity in education policy, theory and practice. 

Other formats

Resistance in a hostile environment: subnormal

This film was directed, produced and narrated by Lyttanya Shannon, and was released in 2021 by BBC Worldwide. Access this through the Library.

In the 1960s, while young black adults were getting to grips with the struggle for black power and a long fightback against police abuse was starting, the majority of West Indian migrants were keeping their heads down. They were working hard and counting on providing better opportunities and education for their children. However, in a white-dominated country, where the politics were becoming increasingly racialized, there was a question of how society, and its teachers, saw these young black children. Before having a chance to develop intellectually, they were labelled as stupid, difficult and disruptive. The paradox is that many of the new migrants to Britain were in fact highly-educated. One of them was Gus John, who arrived from Trinidad as a Dominican novitiate to become a priest. Almost immediately he was contacted by some black parents worried about the schooling of their children. Together with several other educators, John quickly realised that the system was not just inept, but actually rigged against black children. At the same time, celebrity psychologists Hans Eysenck and Arthur Jensen were propounding theories that black people were genetically less intelligent than white people. These theories infiltrated teacher training and found their way into schools. IQ tests were then based on these theories with the odds horrendously stacked against children from the West Indies.

Debasing dissent: the role of the news media in the devaluation of Black Canadian activism

This thesis/dissertation was submitted in 2020 by University of Waterloo student Ashley Irwin. Access this through the Library.

"My dissertation examines the way that the Canadian news media delegitimizes anti-racist activism to contribute to the harmful national narratives of racial equality disseminated by the white Anglophone majority. I examine the discourse used to frame three instances of Black Canadian uprising, the 1969 Sir George Williams Affair, the Yonge Street Uprising of 1992, and the 2016 Black Lives Matter sit-in at the Toronto Pride parade, in the Toronto Star, the Montreal Gazette, the Globe and Mail, and the National Post. Using critical discourse analysis as a methodology and critical race theory as a theoretical lens, I argue that these newspapers utilize racist discourses by attributing the presence of activism to Black cultural and biological deficiencies. The journalists covering the Sir George Williams Affair use xenophobic discourse and raise moral alarm in order to blame the uprising on West Indian students as well as international communist organizations and the Black Panthers. These discourses situate activism as a foreign import in order to disavow the existence of racism on Canadian soil. The coverage of the Yonge Street Uprising utilizes the discourse of the minimization of racism and the discourse of dichotomies to deny the existence of racism by blaming activism on the supposed Black predisposition toward criminality. Those covering the Black Lives Matter sit-in at the Toronto Pride parade utilize devolutionary discourse, the discourse of irrationality, and the discourse of immorality to devalue activist endeavours. These discourses portray Black activists as evolutionarily inferior, unintelligent, and immoral. I historicize, conceptualize, and analyze the discourses listed above arguing that Canadian journalists recycle racist ideology that once justified and sustained the transatlantic slave trade. Exposing these ideologies will force a necessary revision of the harmful national narratives that perpetuate the oppression of Black Canadians by disavowing the existence of racism."

Black Lives Matter

This video was released in 2018 by Infobase and NPO/Netherlands Public Broadcasting. Access this through the Library.

In 2013 in Sanford, Florida, vigilante George Zimmerman was found not guilty of the murder of 17-year-old African American Trayvon Martin. As a result, the struggle against police violence flared up under the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter and turned into one of the biggest grassroots movements in the United States. This film interviewed co-founder Patrisse Cullors about the various forms of violence against black citizens, and why resistance is essential.



In celebration of Black History Month (every February), this is a collection of new and important resources in our collection. For assistance in accessing or using these or any resources in the Laurier Library collection, contact us go to "Research Assistance" in the menu at the top of every Laurier Omni page. (The Collection image is from the Archives of Ontario, taken April 2, 1965. It is of the Nigerian Ambassador to the United Nation, Chief Simeon O. Adebo, with University of Toronto students Anas Onyejiaka (middle) and Ebele Nwokolo at Park Plaza Hotel in Toronto. It is provided under a Creative Commons NC-BY license.)

"Things fall apart" by Chinua Achebe. Published in 1959 by Astor-Honor. Get a copy of this through the Library.

"Things fall apart : authoritative text, contexts and criticism" by Chinua Achebe. Published in 2009 by W. W. Norton & Co. Get a copy of this through the Library.

"The skin we're in : a year of Black resistance and power" by Desmond Cole. Published in 2020 by Doubleday Canada. Get a copy of this through the Library.

"The Classic slave narratives" by Henry Louis Gates Jr. Published in 1987 by Mentor. Get a copy of this through the Library.

"Medicalizing blackness : making racial difference in the Atlantic world, 1780-1840" by Rana A. Hogarth. Published in 2017 by University of North Carolina Press. Get a copy of this through the Library.

"Black Jacobins : Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution" by CLR James. Published in 1980 by Allison and Busby. Get a copy of this through the Library.

"A Brief History of Seven Killings : a novel" by Marlon James. Published in 2015 by Oneworld Publications. Get a copy of this through the Library.

"Sweetness and power : the place of sugar in modern history" by Sidney W. Mintz. Published in 1985 by Viking. Get a copy of this through the Library.


(This list was originally posted as a standalone page in the news items on the Laurier Library website.)

In celebration of Black History Month, here is a selection of books in our collection. For assistance in accessing or using these or any resources in the Laurier Library collection, contact us through "Ask Us" in the help menu and on most Library pages. Also, take a look at previous year’s lists: 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Books: Print and Electronic

Washington Black

"I initially started reading this book after it was announced that there would be a series of 'Laurier Reads' events, the author being Laurier's Visiting Writer for 2020. I read less fiction that I would like and this would be a good excuse to do so, support a Canadian author, support these kinds of events at Laurier, and read more BIPOC works. Although I didn't finish in time to participate in the events, this was a wonderful story about the horrors of a young slave's life and how he grows and forms his own identity after getting the chance to escape those horrors. Shortlisted for several awards, this is well worth reading if you have any interest in this topic or historical fiction in general." - Matt Thomas

This book was written by Esi Edugyan, an award-winning black Canadian novelist, and published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2018.

We have one print copy in our collection, and there are a few other print copies in other Ontario academic libraries.

Brown girl in the ring

"In Nalo Hopkinson's enthralling debut novel, Ti-Jeanne survives in a post-apocalyptic urban wasteland where survivors are left to fend for themselves — re-learning how to harvest, barter and forage. And when the wealthy are in need of organs they turn to the poor, who do whatever it takes to stay alive. It's a mesmerizing tale filled with magic, mystery and folklore and featuring an unforgettable protagonist." - From CBC Canada Reads

Written by Nalo Hopkinson. Published by Warner Books in 1998.

We have one print copy in our collection, and there's one print copy in University of Waterloo's collection.


"The visionary author’s masterpiece pulls us—along with her Black female hero—through time to face the horrors of slavery and explore the impacts of racism, sexism, and white supremacy then and now." - From Penguin Random House.

Written by Octavia E. Butler, McArthur, Nebula and Hugo award-winner, and adapted as a graphic novel by John Jennings and Damian Duffy. Published by Abrams in 2017.

This is available online via EBSCOhost with no limitations on the number of people who can read it at the same time.

Afrofuturism : the world of black sci-fi and fantasy culture

"Ytasha L. Womack's book Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture is one of the most comprehensive and relevant reads in the black science fiction realm to date. I highly recommend this book as it masterfully covers the genre's humble past, its flourishing present and promising future. This is definitely a fantastically, engaging read. I couldn't put it down." — Jarvis Sheffield, The Black Science Fiction Society (via Chicago Review Press)

Written by journalist, filmmaker, and editor, Ytasha Womack. Published by Chicago Review Press in 2013.

This is available online via EBSCOhost with no limitations on the number of people who can read it at the same time.

Black software : the Internet and racial justice, from the AfroNet to Black Lives Matter

"Black Software, for the first time, chronicles the long relationship between African Americans, computing technology, and the Internet. Through new archival sources and the voices of many of those who lived and made this history, this book centralizes African Americans' role in the Internet's creation and evolution, illuminating both the limits and possibilities for using digital technology to push for racial justice in the United States and across the globe" - From the publisher

Written by Charlton D. McIlwain. Published by Oxford University Press in 2020.

We currently only have a single print copy in our collection.

Policing black lives : state violence in Canada from slavery to the present

"Policing Black Lives is a timely and much-needed exposure of historical and contemporary practices of state-sanctioned violence against Black lives in Canada. This groundbreaking work dispels many prevailing myths that cast Canada as a land of benevolence and racial equality, and uncovers long-standing state practices that have restricted Black freedom." - From the publisher.

Written by Robyn Maynard. Published by Fernwood Publishing in 2017.

We have at least one print copy in our collection and it's available in print in many other locations listed in Omni.

Freedom libraries : the untold story of libraries for African Americans in the South

"As the Civil Rights Movement exploded across the United States, the media of the time was able to show the rest of the world images of horrific racial violence. And while some of the bravest people of the 20th century risked their lives for the right to simply order a cheeseburger, ride a bus, or use a clean water fountain, there was another virtually unheard of struggle—this one for the right to read." - From the publisher's description

Written by Mike Selby. Published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2019.

This is available online via ProQuest Ebook Central but only one person can read this at a time.

Jesse, the man who outran Hitler

"A remarkable self-portrait of the black man who carried this country to greatness in the 1936 Olympics. More than a retelling of the athletic triumphs and the personal tragedy of his life, Jesse is a remarkable spiritual pilgrimage." - From the inside flap of the print book itself.

Written by Jesse Owens with Paul Neimark. Published by Fawcett Gold Medal in 1978.

This is available online via Alexander Street Press with no limitation on the number of people who can read it at the same time.

The black prairie archives : an anthology

"Karina Vernon’s anthology, The Black Prairie Archives, is readable, engaging, lively, polyphonic, political and literary, and simply impossible to reduce to simple periodization or even to a set of aesthetic values." - Ian Williams, Alberta Views

Edited by Karina Vernon, associate professor of English at the University of Toronto, where her teaching and research focus on black Canadian literature, archives, and decolonization. Published by our own Wilfrid Laurier University Press in 2020 (WLU Press' page for The Black Prairie Archives).

This is available online via Scholars Portal Books with no limitation on the number of people who can read it at the same time.

Beauty in a box : detangling the roots of Canada's black beauty culture

"One of the first transnational, feminist studies of Canada’s black beauty culture and the role that media, retail, and consumers have played in its development, Beauty in a Box widens our understanding of the politics of black hair." - From the publisher's description

Written by Cheryl Thompson, Assistant Professor in the School of Creative Industries, Faculty of Communication and Design at Ryerson University. Published by our own Wilfrid Laurier University Press in 2019 (WLU Press' page for Beauty in a Box).

This is available online via Scholars Portal Books with no limitation on the number of people who can read it at the same time.


(This list was originally posted as a standalone page in the news items on the Laurier Library website.)

In celebration of Black History Month, here is a selection of new and important resources in our collection, including books, articles, databases, and more. For assistance in accessing or using these or any resources in the Laurier Library collection, contact us through the "Ask Us" chat window and contact info in the right side bar on this page, or visit us in person! Also, take a look at previous year’s lists: 2018 and 2019.

Books: Print and Electronic

Science, race relations and resistance : Britain, 1870-1914

"The long accepted pattern of Victorian perspectives on race, as historians of nineteenth century imperialism will know, is one of a transition from monogenetic civilisational superiority to polygenetic scientific determinism. However, the assumption that the foundations of racism switched from Christian to scientific with the emergence of polygenesis advocates like Robert Knox in the 1850s has been questioned and contested in more recent histories of Victorian racism. This contribution from Douglas Lorimer seeks to add nuance to the debate by exploring both the proponents of the new scientific racism and those who continued to resist them in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries." (From Stan Neal’s 2014 review.)

Written by Douglas A. Lorimer, WLU Professor Emeritus, and published by Manchester University Press.

We have one print copy of this 2013 book in our Waterloo location.

Beyond respectability : the intellectual thought of race women

This book "... forcefully argues that race women and their intellectual contributions to society need to be taken seriously and viewed beyond the scopes of the culture of dissemblance and politics of respectability. Cooper, who was recently awarded the Merle Curti Intellectual History Award by the Organization of American Historians, creates a genealogy of race women and brings to light their contributions to Black women’s intellectual thought. Race women advocated for recognition of Black woman’s experience to which Cooper unfolds their centrality to early and modern discourse on race politics. She urges readers not only to frame race women as intellectual scholars, but to dig further into the content of their work to examine how they reframe the dialogue of Black women as capable of producing quality theorists, who strategically stationed themselves at the forefront of major political movement in the United States."(From Martasia Carter’s 2019 review.)

Written by Brittney C. Cooper, and published by University of Illinois Press.

We have one print copy of this 2017 book in our Waterloo location.

Frontiers : essays and writings on racism and culture, 1984-1992

"A suitable subtitle for this volume might be 'Handbook and Guide to Struggle against Unexamined Institutional Paradigms.' In these essays, letters, and reviews, originally published between 1986 and 1992, Philip's targets include colonial education, Canadian racism, white middle - class feminism, the aesthetics of modernism, the Royal Ontario Museum's Into the Heart of Africa exhibition, the 'whitewash' of multiculturalism in Ontario's arts funding system, the underrepresentation of African, Asian, and First Nations Canadian writers at the fifty - fourth PEN Congress, the politics of not publishing 'minority' writers, TVOntario's interviewing policies, the use by the dominant white society of writing by people of colour, the politics of the Gulf War, and the dismissal of the problem of racism in the debate over appropriation of voice and 'freedom of the imagination.'" (From Carol Morrell’s 1993 review.)

Written by Marlene Nourbese Philip and published by Mercury Press, in Stratford, Ontario.

We have one print copy of this 1992 book in our Waterloo location.


Sometimes Clocks Turn Back for Us to Move Forward: Reflections on Black and Indigenous Geographies

"In the 1950s two kinds of dispossession in Jamaica and British Columbia occurred through a transnational mining operation and remain in the shape of tailings ponds and a smelter -- co-constituting a 'networked isolation'. A quest to reveal the joint impact anchors this 'contra-histoire' in an attempt bridge the divide between Black Studies and Indigenous Studies. Moving counter-clockwise through time, I weave Black Caribbean and Indigenous literature and academic texts with an embodied sense of geography and belonging to undo what I call 'the afterlife of an introduction through white colonial disciplinarity'." (This is the abstract of the article.)

Written by Nadine Chambers and published in "Canada and Beyond: A Journal of Canadian Literary and Cultural Studies" (ISSN 2254-1179), by the University of Huelva, Spain.

This 2019 article is available online for free.

Black Life and Death across the U.S.-Canada Border: Border Violence, Black Fugitive Belonging, and a Turtle Island View of Black Liberation

"In the late winter of 2017, the lifeless body of Mavis Otuteye, a fifty-seven-year-old Ghanaian grandmother, was found in a drainage ditch near a farmer's field in Minnesota, less than a kilometer from the border town of Emerson, Manitoba. The official cause of her death was hypothermia, yet the reason for her death was far from natural. Otuteye's was just one of over ten thousand displaced Black migrants who had made the treacherous land crossing into Canada at "unauthorized" places in the past two years. These migrants have evaded formal crossings due to the Safe Third Country Agreement, a 2004 bilateral agreement between Canada and the United States dictating that, with a few exceptions, those seeking asylum through the official U.S.--Canada border will be immediately returned." (This is a quote from the introduction of the article.)

Written by Robyn Maynard, for the Journal of the Critical Ethnic Studies Association, published by University of Minnesota Press.

This 2019 article is available online through our subscription to Gale’s Academic OneFile.

Beyond the colonial divide: African diasporic and Indigenous youth alliance building for HIV prevention

African diasporic and North American Indigenous communities have both been greatly impacted by the colonization of the Americas. Historic and contemporary relations between these communities have been fraught with complex commonalities, contradictions and conflicts. These communities have remained connected across time and space through their shared and distinct histories of resistance and oppression. Both communities have suffered the embodiment of systemic violence in the form of elevated rates of communicable and chronic diseases such as HIV. This paper examines the decolonizing potential of collaboration between these two communities in their response to HIV. It begins by unpacking the history of racialized subjugation faced by Indigenous and African, Caribbean and Black communities in the Americas, with a focus on Canada. This background contextualizes empirical findings of an arts-based intervention that explored notions of identity, resistance and solidarity building between young people in these groups. (This is the abstract of the article.)

Written by Ciann L. Wilson, Sarah Flicker and Jean-Paul Restoule, and published in the journal “Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society” (ISSN 1929-8692).

This 2015 article is available online for free.

Multimedia (video, audio, etc.)

Deeply rooted

"Filmmaker Cazhhmere is a seventh-generation black Canadian. Despite this deep history, she’s constantly asked to explain where she’s from — even though the answer is always ‘Canada.’ Cazhhmere is a proud Canadian. Her ancestors were among the first black settlers to come to Canada — her family has spent hundreds of years weaving itself into the fabric of our nation. Despite this deep history, Cazhhmere is constantly questioned about where she is originally from. In Deeply Rooted, Cazhhmere will change your perception of what a multi-generational Canadian family looks like. In a country that is widely known for being a ‘global melting pot,’ our nation can easily forget that not every person of colour is a newcomer to Canada." (From

Written and directed by Cazhhmere, and produced by John Nadalin.

This 2016 "CBC Doc" documentary is available online through

Seeking salvation : a history of the black church in Canada

"The history of black people in Canada has sometimes been sketchy, caught up and trampled in the rush of French, British, Irish and Scottish stories written in the early years of exploration and settlement. The documentary Seeking Salvation: A History of the Black Church in Canada illuminates an essential part of the black experience in this country: its relationship with Christianity." (From Solange De Santis’ 2005 review.)

Directed by Phillip Daniels, written by Lawrence Hill, and produced by S. Wyeth Clarkson and Phillip Daniels, through Travesty Productions.

This 2004 film is on DVD in our Waterloo location.

Older Stronger Wiser

In this short documentary, five black women talk about their lives in rural and urban Canada between the 1920s and 1950s. What emerges is a unique history of Canada’s black people and the legacy of their community elders. Produced by the NFB’s iconic Studio D. (This is the description text from

Directed by Claire Prieto, written by Dionne Brand, produced and edited by Ginny Stikeman, and narrated by Marva Jackson.

Though we have a subscription to, this 1989 video is available online on the site for free.

Databases and Reference Works

Black Women in America

"The second edition of Black Women in America, edited by Darlene Clark Hine, provides expanded coverage of the achievements and contributions of African American women."

"Winner of the Dartmouth Medal for Outstanding Reference Publication of 1994, the first edition of Black Women in America broke new ground—pulling together for the first time all of the research in this vast but underrepresented field to provide one of the strongest building blocks of Black Women’s Studies. Hailed by Eric Foner of Columbia University as "one of those publishing events which changes the way we look at a field," it simultaneously filled a void in the literature and sparked new research and concepts regarding African American women in history. Since the first edition was published, a new generation of American black women has flourished, demanding this landmark reference be brought up to date. Women such as Venus and Serena Williams, Condoleezza Rice, Carol Moseley Braun, Ruth Simmons, and Ann Fudge have become household names for their remarkable contributions to sports, politics, academia, and business. In nearly 600 entries, Black Women in America celebrates the remarkable achievements of black women throughout history, highlights their ongoing contributions in America today, and represents the new research the first edition helped to generate." (These two paragraphs are the description text from the Oxford Reference site.

Edited by Darlene Clark Hine, and published by Oxford University Press.

This 2005, second edition reference work is available online through our subscription to various Oxford Reference titles.

Black Drama

"Black Drama contains approximately 1200 plays from the mid-1800s to the present by more than 200 playwrights from North America, English-speaking Africa, the Caribbean, and other African diaspora countries. Some 440 of the plays are published here for the first time, including a number by major authors. The plays themselves have been selected using leading bibliographies and with the editorial advice of James V. Hatch, co-author with Errol G. Hill of A History of African American Theatre and a leading expert in this area." (This text is from the description from the resource itself.)

This collection of plays is available online through our subscription through Alexander Street Press.

Handbook of Black Studies

"The increasing demand for information about the field of Black Studies, variously referred to as African American Studies, African Diaspora Studies, Africana Studies, and Africology, has made a source book, more advanced than the ordinary text book, imperative. Thus, the idea behind this volume is to present a work of scholarship that is more focused than scattered periodical pieces yet a work that is not too pedantic to be read and understood by advanced undergraduates in the field. In most cases, a handbook is a source for scholars and graduate students in a particular area of study, and although this remains the primary audience of the present volume, it is only one of our audiences. A field such as ours requires works that can be read and understood across disciplines because so many of our scholars are still working in disciplines other than Africology." (This is the first paragraph from the preface to the book.)

Edited by Molefi Kete Asante and Maulana Karenga, and published by SAGE Publications, Inc.

This 2006 reference work is available through our subscription to various Sage Knowledge reference works.


(This list was originally posted as a standalone page in the news items on the Laurier Library website.)

In celebration of Black History Month, here is a selection of new and important resources in our collection, including print books, electronic books, journal articles, databases, and more. For assistance in accessing or using these or any resources in the Laurier Library collection, contact us through the "Ask Us" chat window and contact info in the right side-bar on this page, or visit us in person! (There are more on last year’s list, also called "February is Black History Month".)

Collections and Reference

Africa Portal: Provided by Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA). Recommended by Matt Thomas, eResources Librarian. This resource provides access to a collection of documents such as research reports, occasional papers, policy briefs, and a directory of experts on issues critical to the future of Africa. This is available online to everyone.

African Studies - Oxford Bibliographies: Published by Oxford University Press with Paul Tiyambe Zeleza as Editor in Chief. Recommended by Matt Thomas, eResources Librarian. Oxford Bibliographies provide lists of textbooks, books and book chapters, journals, related organizations, and some introductory material on each topic. Since the literature on African Studies is diverse and scattered among various sources, topics within this subject are an attempt to identify the most significant themes and areas of study. This is available online to Laurier staff, students and faculty.

Black Drama: Provided by Alexander Street Press. Recommended by Matt Thomas, eResources Librarian. Full text of more than a thousand plays from around the world, along with production information, selected photographs, and playbills. This is available online to Laurier staff, students and faculty.

Black Thought and Culture: Provided by Alexander Street Press. Recommended by Matt Thomas, eResources Librarian. Full-text non-fiction works by leading African-Americans. Includes books, essays, journal articles, speeches, pamphlets, letters and interviews. This is available online to Laurier staff, students and faculty.

Dictionary of Canadian Biography: Blacks: Provided by the University of Toronto and Université Laval. Recommended by Matt Thomas, eResources Librarian. This is available online to Laurier staff, students and faculty.

Books, Print and Electronic

Black berry, sweet juice : on being black and white in Canada: written by Lwrence Hill and published by Harper Collins. Recommended by Siobhan McMenemy, this book is available in print in our collection. Hill examines his childhood in suburban Ontario, growing up in a predominantly white neighbourhood as a mixed-race child of human rights-activist parents. His own family history is presented alongside the histories of other mix-race families in Canada, who were interviewed by Hill.

Bluesprint : black British Columbian literature and orature: edited by Wayde Compton and published by Arsenal Pulp Press. Recommended by Siobhan McMenemy, this print book is available in the University of Waterloo's collection as well as that of the University of Guelph. This is the first anthology to recognise the rich literary history of Black writers in B.C. Poet and essayist Wayde Compton presents a significant array of work that crosses decades and genres, and includes the work of includes, among others, the work of: Rebecca Gibbs, Nora Hendrix (grandmother to Jimi), Austin Phillips, Rosemary Brown, Yvonne Brown, Hope Anderson, Lorena Gale, Mercedes Baines, David Nandi Odhiambo, Michelle La Flamme, Shane Book, Peter Hudson, and Rascalz. Contributors engage issues surrounding race, community, gender, and genre.

Chronicles : early works: written by Dionne Brand and published by our own Wilfrid Laurier University Press. Recommended by Siobhan McMenemy, this print book is available in our collection. A republication of three early volumes of Brand’s poetry, Chronicles represents the trajectory of a number of the poet’s recurring themes in their early manifestation, including history and memory, place and home, urban geography, and citizenship and belonging. Brand is a versatile writer of poetry, novels, stories, and non-fiction and an important voice in Canadian letters.

Colour, class and the Victorians : English attitudes to the Negro in the mid-nineteenth century: written by Laurier Professor Emeritus, Douglas Lorimer, and published by Leicester University Press. Recommended by Greg Sennema, this print book is available in our collection.

Dead woman pickney: a memoir of childhood in Jamaica: written by Yvonne Shorter Brown and published by our own Wilfrid Laurier University Press. Recommended by Siobhan McMenemy, this ebook is available to Laurier staff, students and faculty. This work tells the story of growing up in Jamaica during the years 1943 to 1965, when the author’s coming of age parallels the political stages of Jamaica’s moving from being the richest Crown colony of Great Britain to an independent nation within the British Commonwealth of Nations. At the heart of the memoir is Brown’s quest to understand the absence of her mother and her mother’s people from her own life. The narrative presents the haunting memories of the author’s childhood, along with her astonishment at persistent local and global racial marginalization. Diasporic identities, colonialism, racism, and the lasting effects of slavery and Western imperialism around the world are central to this work.

Dear Current Occupant: A Memoir: written by Chelene Knight and published by Book*Hug. Recommended by Meredith Fischer, this ebook available online to Laurier staff, students and faculty.

Deep roots : how slavery still shapes southern politics: written by Avidit Acharya, Matthew Blackwell, and Maya Sen, and published by Princeton University Press. This print book is available in our collection.

Elijah of Buxton: written by Christopher Paul Curtis and published by Scholastic Press. Recommended by Sharon Whittle, this kids book is available in print in the University of Guelph collection. This is the story of a young boy who is the first free born child in a community of former slaves. Published in 2007, it is a deeply moving story of freedom, prejudice, understanding, hope and liberation. While written as a children’s book and told from Elijah’s youthful and lively perspective, it is an important read for all. The timing of this book’s release, just shortly before the inauguration of Barack Obama could not have been more perfect. Watching President Obama finish with “let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations” I could not help but say aloud, “Look at that sky.” Read this book.

Fifteen dogs : an apologue: written by André Alexis and published by Coach House Books. Recommended by Meredith Fischer, this print book is available in our collection.

"Go to school, you're a little black boy" : the honourable Lincoln M. Alexander : a memoir: created by Lincoln Alexander and Herb Shoveller. Recommended by Christina Kerr, this print book is available in our collection.

Má-Ka: Diasporic Juks. Contemporary Writing by Queers of African Descent: edited by Debbie Douglas, Courtnay McFarlane, Makeda Silvera, and Douglas Stewart, and publishe by Sister Vision. Recommended by Siobhan McMenemy, this print book is available in the University of Guelph's collection. This is a relatively early anthology of literature by LGBTQ writers in Canada of African descent, one worthy of attention for its variety of voices as well as for its significant introduction, which situates the collection in time and place.

Odysseys Home: Mapping African-Canadian Literature and Directions Home: Approaches to African-Canadian Literature: both written by George Elliott Clarke and published by University of Toronto Press. Recommended by Siobhan McMenemy, these ebooks are available to Laurier staff, students and faculty. These two volumes, together, represent the impressive contribution of Clarke to the body of public and scholarly literary criticism in Canada, with particular focus on African-Canadian literary production. Clarke’s volumes include groundbreaking examinations of early African-Canadian literary history alongside his critical readings of contemporary literature in the field. In light of his longstanding scholarly and writerly commitment to literature and African-Canadian literature more particularly, these collections are necessary reading for scholars and students and are equally an invitation to general readers to recognise the sizeable contributions of African-Canadian writers to Canada’s literature and literary heritage.

Policing Black lives : state violence in Canada from slavery to the present: written by Robyn Maynard and published by Fernwood. Recommended by Siobhan McMenemy, this print book is available in our collection. This book has made an immediate and vital contribution to the work of social justice activists and scholars, as it provides the necessary history and contemporary analysis of the realities of anti-Black state violence in Canada, a country long—and erroneously—assumed to be a haven—the ‘Promised Land’—for people of colour fleeing repressive and racist states beyond our borders. Robyn Maynard examines this country’s colonial past, its history of Black enslavement, and contemporary examples of state violence, which extends beyond the popularly recognised phenomenon of police violence toward other forms of systemic aggression and discrimination.

Rude : contemporary Black Canadian cultural criticism: editedby Rinaldo Walcott and published by Insomniac Press. Recommended by Siobhan McMenemy, this book is available in print in our collection. This is a collection of essays by Black Canadian scholars about aspects of Black Canadian communities and culture.

Soucouyant: written by David Chariandy and published by Arsenal Pulp Press. Recommended by Siobhan McMenemy, this print book is available in our collection. This is David Chariandy’s first novel, which is set in Scarborough, as is his second novel, Brother (M&S, 2018). Soucouyant is the telling of a difficult time in the narrator’s relationship with his mother, when the narrator as a young adult is ready to move away from his family, but with that separation comes the pain of coping with loss of various kinds. The narrator is haunted by his mother, in a sense, and is further haunted by the stories of her past, as well as by parts of his own childhood. Brother, Chariandy’s second novel, continues his interest in family relations and builds on a number of themes of the first novel, including haunting memories, family and home, and growing up in 1970s southern Ontario as a first-generation Canadian of colour.

This spot of ground : Spiritual Baptists in Toronto: written by Laurier scholar Carol Duncan and published by our own Wilfrid Laurier University Press. Recommended by Siobhan McMenemy, this ebook is available to Laurier staff, students and faculty. This is the first in-depth examination of an African-Caribbean religion in the context of contemporary migration to Canada. Toronto is home to Canada's largest black population, a significant portion of which comprises Caribbean migrants and their descendants. The development of the Spiritual Baptist religion in Canada has been shaped by the immigration experiences of church members, the large majority of whom are women. Duncan examines the ways in which religious experiences have mediated the members’ experiences of migration and everyday life in Canada.

Voodoo Hypothesis: Poems: written by Canisia Lubrin and published by Buckrider Books. Recommended by Meredith Fischer, this print book is available in the University of Guelph's collection.

What We All Long For: written by Dionne Brand and published by Alfred A. Knopf Canada. Recommended by Meredith Fischer, this print book is available in our collection.

Dr. Edith Vane and the hares of Crawley Hall: written by Suzette Mayr and published by Coach House Books. Recommended by Siobhan McMenemy, this ebook is available to Laurier staff, students and faculty. Poet and novelist Suzette Mayr combines the genres of satire, gothic novel, and campus novel to humorous and pointed effect, as she unfolds the story of Dr. Edith Vane, literary scholar, who struggles to publish her first scholarly book and launch her teaching career in the face of a dystopian administration and paranormal goings-on, including inexplicable illnesses and death and extraordinarily wild behaviour among the animals around the campus.

Other Resources

Canadiana Suite: by the Oscar Peterson Trio. Recommended by Siobhan McMenemy, this compact disc is available in the Kitchener Public Library collection. This is a celebrated studio recording from the 1960s, with Canadian Oscar Peterson on piano, Ray Brown (American) on double bass, and Ed Thigpen (American) on drums, and is Peterson’s tribute, as composer and performer, to his home country. The recording includes the following tracks, which present the range and sensitivity of the trio to the range and scope of its subject: "Ballad to the East"; “Laurentide Waltz"; “Place St. Henri"; "Hogtown Blues"; "Blues of the Prairies"; "Wheatland"; "March Past"; "Land of the Misty Giants.”

"The Economic Contribution by the Negro to America" in Papers of the American Negro Academy: written by Arthur A. Schomberg. Recommended by Marian Toldeo Candelaria, this paper is available online to everyone.

From Emancipation to Resistance: Colour, Class and Colonialism, 1870-1914: written by Laurier Professor Emeritus, Douglas Lorimer, and hosted by Adam Matthew Digital. Recommended by Greg Sennema, this essay is available online to Laurier staff, students and faculty.

Harry Jerome: The Fastest Man on Earth: written and directed by Ileana Pietrobruno, and produced by Selwyn Jacob and the NFB. Recommended by Christina Kerr, this 10 minute film is available to Laurier staff, students and faculty. Never, ever give up. Canadian Harry Jerome overcame racism to reach the heights of track-and-field success. When an injury threatened to end his career, Jerome trained diligently and went on to achieve one of the greatest comebacks in sports history. Made especially for elementary and middle-school classes, this film features two young students who guide us through Jerome’s life, the challenges he faced and his legacy—which includes the Harry Jerome International Track Classic, an event that brings together youth and adults in a celebration of track and youth fitness.

The Journey of Lesra Martin: created by Cheryl Foggo, Jacob Selwyn, and the National Film Board of Canada. Recommended by Siobhan McMenemy, this 46 minute film is available on DVD in a few university or public library collections in Ontario. Calgary filmmaker (and writer) Cheryl Foggo’s work, in film and in books, is concerned with giving voice to Black Canadians and to articulating the many challenges faced by members of Black communities in western Canada, in particular. This NFB film, directed by Foggo, engages with Lesra Martin, whose life-threatening childhood in poverty in Brooklyn, NY, and his subsequent years and career in British Columbia, is the subject of this documentary.

Kara Walker's "A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby": video produced by Ian Forster and Art21. Recommended by Suzanne Luke, this 10 minute video is available to everyone via YouTube.

The little black school house: created by Sylvia Hamilton, Kent Nason, John Brett, Joe Sealy, the CBC, the Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation, Maroon Films, and Moving Images Distribution. Recommended by Christina Kerr, this 1 hour video is available in our collection on DVD. This work unearths the story of the women, men, and children who studied and taught at Canada's racially segregated schools. Compelling personal stories illustrate that many of the students who attended Canada's all-Black schools look back on the experience with conflicting feelings: fondness for the dedication of their Black teachers, and outrage at being denied equal access to education, a right fundamental to democracy in Canada.

Racial integrity: a plea for the establishment of a chair of Negro history in our schools and colleges, etc.: written by Arthur Alfonso Schomburg and hosted by Hathitrust. Recommended by Marian Toledo Candelaria, this booklet is available online to everyone.

Remember Africville: created by the National Film Board of Canada. Recommended by Christina Kerr, this 35 minute film is available online to Laurier staff, students and faculty. Africville, a small black settlement, lay within the city limits of Halifax, Nova Scotia. In the 1960s, the families who lived there were uprooted and their homes demolished in the name of urban renewal and integration. Now, more than twenty years later, the site of the community of Africville is a stark, under-utilized park. Former residents, their descendants and some of the decision-makers, speak out and, with the help of archival photographs and films, tell the story of that painful relocation.

Speakers for the Dead: directed by David Sutherland and Jennifer Holness and produced by Peter Starr and the NFB. Recommended by Christina Kerr, this 50 minute film is available to Laurier staff, students, and faculty. In the 1930s in rural Ontario, farmer Bill Reid buried the tombstones of a Black cemetery under a pile of broken rocks to make way for a potato patch. In the 1980s, descendants of the original settlers, Black and White, came together to restore the cemetery--but there were hidden truths no one wanted to discuss. Deep racial wounds were opened. Scenes of the cemetery excavation, interviews with residents and re-enactments--including one of a baseball game where a broken headstone is used for home plate--add to the film's emotional intensity. Meet Helen and Alan Miller, seventh-generation Black Canadians and members of the cemetery restoration committee. And Les Mackinnon, a fiery, fourth-generation Scottish Canadian who heads the movement to restore the Priceville cemetery. Speakers of the Dead reveals the turmoil stirred up by desecrated graves and underlines the hidden history of Blacks in Canada. Speakers of the Dead was produced as part of the Reel Diversity Competition for emerging filmmakers of colour. Reel Diversity is a National Film Board of Canada initiative in partnership with CBC Newsworld.


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