Black History Month Resources: Recommendations from LCS Students and Staff

Contributors: Wendy Darby and Lorraine Brown

In light of Black History Month, some LCS students and staff members would like to share some helpful resources to learn more about the legacy of influential Black Canadians and also celebrate the work Black Canadians are doing today. 

Q: It’s Black History Month and I want to learn more about the legacy of Black Canadians. Where should I start?

Just asking this question is a great start. We would recommend doing your own research on the subject and asking good questions. There are so many helpful resources available online, depending on what you want to learn more about. To get started, you can begin with the Canadian Encyclopedia’s section on Black history.  

Q: What resources can I share with others to be informed about the transformative work that Black Canadians and their communities are doing right now?

There are many resources available online that shed light on both influential figures in Canadian history and the prominent and transformative work that is taking place today. One resource that was shared by CBC is a slide deck created by a group of teachers who encourage educators to incorporate Black and Indigenous history into their lessons, year-round. These slides can be used as a starting point for conversations in the classroom and with others and serve to guide further exploration.

Movies and books are also a great way for students to learn together. In this document, we have listed fiction and non-fiction books that are suitable for a variety of learning levels. Reading a book as a group to discuss major themes, historical events, and current relevance of the topics covered is also a great way to engage each other in learning about Black History Month. 

To learn about current issues and events, the CBC launched a section on their website called Being Black in Canada, which covers the stories and experiences of Black Canadians.

Q: I want to read more books written by diverse authors with different lived experiences. Any recommendations?

Yes, it’s great to read books written by authors from different cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds to get a better understanding of the world from different perspectives. Some of our recommendations include: 

*= Canadian author

Non-Fiction:
  • They Said This Would Be Fun: Race, Campus Life, and Growing Up, Eternity Martis*
  • Policing Black Lives, Robin Maynard*
  • The Skin We’re In, Desmond Cole*
  • Shame on Me: An Anatomy of Race and Belonging, Tessa McWatt*
  • Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood, Trevor Noah
  • I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, Austin Channing Brown
  • The Trans Generation: How Trans Kids (and Their Parents) Are Creating a Gender Revolution, Ann Travers
  • How to Be An Antiracist, Ibrahim X. Kendi
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, Robin DiAngelo
  • Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People, Anthony Greenwald and Mahzarin Banaji
  • Teaching to Transgress. Education as the Practice of Freedom, bell hooks
  • So You Want to Talk About Race?, Ijeoma Oluo
  • Deep Diversity, Shakil Choudhury 
  • Whistling Vivaldi: And Other clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us, Claude M. Steele
  • We Can't Lead Where We Won't Go: An Educator's Guide to Equity, Gary R. Howard
  • The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias, Dolly Chugh 
  • Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Will Kimmerer
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race, Beverly Daniel Tatum
  • Teaching to Transgress, bell hooks
Fiction:
  • Shut Up, You’re Pretty, Téa Mutonji*
  • Frying Plantain, Zalika Reid-Benta*
  • The Great Black North: Contemporary African Canadian Poetry, Valerie Mason-John and Kevan Cameron*
  • The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
  • Yellow Wife, Sadequa Johnson
  • The Song of Achilles, Madeleine Miller
  • Any Known Blood, Lawrence Hill
  • Indian Horse, Richard Wagamese
  • Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Cane River, Lalita Tademy
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon
There are also some incredible films and documentaries to learn from:
  • 13th, Netflix
  • Disclosure, Netflix
Q: How can I stay involved in the conversation about diversity, equity, and inclusion after Black History Month?

You can join the student-led Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiative to remain involved in issues and topics that affect the community. For more information, visit the DEI group on Edsby.
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