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Anti-Black Racism: Home
Centennial Libraries and the Centre for Global Citizenship Education and Inclusion invite you to learn more about the history of anti-black racism in Canada. Watch the podcast, read the books and reports, and increase your awareness of the challenges Black Canadians face.
'Membering by Austin ClarkeIn 'Membering, Clarke shares his own experiences growing up in Barbados and moving to Toronto to attend university in 1955 before becoming a journalist. With vivid realism he describes Harlem of the '60s, meeting and interviewing Malcolm X and writers Chinua Achebe and LeRoi Jones.
I'm Still Here : Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing BrowneAustin Channing Brown’s first encounter with a racialized America came at age seven, when she discovered her parents named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man. Growing up in majority-white schools and churches, Austin writes, “I had to learn what it means to love blackness,” a journey that led to a lifetime spent navigating America’s racial divide as a writer, speaker, and expert helping organizations practice genuine inclusion.
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: 2018
Any Known Blood by Lawrence HillSpanning five generations, sweeping across a century and a half of almost unknown history, this acclaimed and unexpectedly funny novel is the story of a man seeking himself in the mirror of his family's past. There were Canes in Canada before the United States erupted into civil war. Their roots are deep, their legacy is rich, but Langston Cane V knows little of his heritage.
Call Number: PS8565.I545 A59 1997b
Publication Date: 1997
Book of Negroes by Lawrence HillAbducted as an 11-year-old child from her village in West Africa and forced to walk for months to the sea in a coffle—a string of slaves— Aminata Diallo is sent to live as a slave in South Carolina. But years later, she forges her way to freedom, serving the British in the Revolutionary War and registering her name in the historic “Book of Negroes.” This book, an actual document, provides a short but immensely revealing record of freed Loyalist slaves who requested permission to leave the US for resettlement in Nova Scotia, only to find that the haven they sought was steeped in an oppression all of its own.
Call Number: PS8565.I444 B66
Publication Date: 2007
Brother by David ChariandyComing of age in The Park, a cluster of town houses and leaning concrete towers in the disparaged outskirts of a sprawling city, Michael and Francis battle against the careless prejudices and low expectations that confront them as young men of black and brown ancestry -- teachers stream them into general classes; shopkeepers see them only as thieves; and strangers quicken their pace when the brothers are behind them. Always Michael and Francis escape into the cool air of the Rouge Valley, a scar of green wilderness that cuts through their neighbourhood, where they are free to imagine better lives for themselves.
Call Number: PS8605.H3685 B76 2018
Publication Date: 2018
The meeting point by Austin ClarkeThis is the first book in Austin Clarke’s acclaimed trilogy about a group of West Indian domestics, their friends, lovers, spouses and employers living in Toronto. In rich, exuberant language, the novel illuminates the world of Bernice Leach, a Barbadian woman, working in the infamous ‘Canadian Domestic Scheme’ as a live-in maid.
Call Number: PS8505.L322 M4
Publication Date: 1967
No Crystal Stair by Eva RutlandTelling the remarkable story of black Americans in the 20th century through the character of Ann Elizabeth Carter, this historical novel weaves real events throughout the tale of America making slow, steady, and still unfinished progress towards racial equality. Raised in the privileged and comfortable world of Atlanta's black elite, Ann Elizabeth still endures the dangers and rank discrimination of the deep south. When she marries Tuskegee Airman Robert Metcalf during World War II, their world broadens to include war-torn Germany, postwar Los Angeles, school integration, marches and sit-ins of the civil rights era, Cold War Europe, and the black separatist movement of the 1960s and early 1970s.
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: 2009
The second life of Samuel Tyne by Esi EdugyanWhen Samuel Tyne emigrated from the Gold Coast (now Ghana) in 1955, he was determined to accomplish great things. He excelled at Oxford and then came to Canada with the uncle who raised him, leaving the traditions and hard life of his homeland behind. Here, in this nation of immigrants, Samuel would surely be free to follow his destined path to success.
Call Number: PS8559 .D795 S42 2005
Publication Date: 2005
What We All Long For by Dionne Brand“They were born in the city from people born elsewhere.” What We All Long For follows the overlapping stories of a close circle of second-generation twenty-somethings living in downtown Toronto. The four characters try to make a life for themselves in the city, supporting one another through their family struggles.
Join the Libraries & Learning Centres and GCEI on February 24 for a celebration of Black storytelling, including a keynote from Itah Sadu, owner of A Different Booklist, a Black-owned bookstore in Toronto.
At this summer camp in Toronto, Black youth learn about self-love and Black liberation. Moon is a 13-year-old discovering what it means to take responsibility as a leader. Rihanna is a seven-year-old learning to love the skin she’s in. Freedom Summer follows them as they learn about themselves and others at Black Lives Matter Toronto’s Freedom School — a summer camp where Black kids learn that Black is beautiful.
Marvin is 65. He hates to get his hair cut. With a modest (but expanding) grey afro on his head, Marvin's hair isn't what you might expect on a senior executive who lives in suburbia. Marvin immigrated from Jamaica to Ottawa in the 1950s, when Black immigrants were rare and often unwelcome. With no Black barbers in the city, Marvin suffered through many painful haircuts. The trauma from this period still lingers with him today. The Haircut is a funny and refreshing take on the classic Canadian immigrant story — but it's also an exploration of assimilation and resistance through the portrait of one man's refusal to cut his hair.
Josh Crooks is a promising teen hockey star in a sport where Black players like him are chronically underrepresented. Ice Breakers reveals the buried history of a pioneering Black hockey league in Atlantic Canada, as Crooks discovers that his unshakable passion is tied to a rich and remarkable heritage.
Led by Centennial College’s Centre for Global Citizenship and Inclusion, in collaboration with Marketing and Communications, the podcast “Decoding Black,” features hosts Dr. Christopher Stuart Taylor, expert scholar in Immigration History and Black Canadian History, and Letecia Rose, Manager of Partnerships and Programs at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Partnership. The hosts invite listeners to increase their awareness on how to destabilize, deconstruct and disrupt systems of oppression linked to anti-Black racism. Listeners of the podcast will learn diverse perspectives on the Black Canadian experience, and deepen their understanding of critical approaches on how to counteract anti-Black racism and systemic barriers affecting diverse Black communities.
Black Canadians : history, experiences, social conditions by Joseph MensahThe ongoing struggle against racism and discrimination for black Canadians is explored in this authoritative reference for those seeking to learn more about the black diaspora in North America. This work examines more than 300 years of black Canadian history, from the first migration of slaves, black loyalists, and Civil War refugees to the expansive movement brought about by the establishment of the point system in 1967.
Call Number: FC106.B6 M45 2002
Publication Date: 2004
Black Like Who? by Rinaldo WalcottRinaldo Walcott's groundbreaking study of black culture in Canada, this book caused such an uproar upon its publication in 1997 that Insomniac Press has decided to publish a second revised edition of this perennial best-seller.
Call Number: FC106.B6 W34 2003; e-book
Publication Date: 2003
Colour-Coded : a legal history of racism in Canada, 1900-1950 by Constance BackhouseHistorically Canadians have considered themselves to be more or less free of racial prejudice. Although this conception has been challenged in recent years, it has not been completely dispelled. In Colour-Coded, Constance Backhouse illustrates the tenacious hold that white supremacy had on our legal system in the first half of this century, and underscores the damaging legacy of inequality that continues today.
Demonic Grounds by Katherine McKittrickIn Canada, the Caribbean, and the United States, black women inhabit diasporic locations marked by the legacy of violence and slavery. Analyzing diverse literatures and material geographies, McKittrick reveals how human geographies are a result of racialized connections, and how spaces that are fraught with limitation are underacknowledged but meaningful sites of political opposition.
Flying Fish in the Great White North by Christopher Stuart TaylorAs recently as the 1960s, the Canadian government enforced discriminatory, anti-Black immigration policies, designed to restrict and prohibit the entry of Black Barbadians and Black West Indians. The Canadian state capitalized on the public's fear of the "Black unknown" and racist stereotypes to justify their exclusion.
North of the Color Line by Sarah-Jane MathieuNorth of the Color Line examines life in Canada for the estimated 5,000 blacks, both African Americans and West Indians, who immigrated to Canada after the end of Reconstruction in the United States. Through the experiences of black railway workers and their union, the Order of Sleeping Car Porters, Sarah-Jane Mathieu connects social, political, labor, immigration, and black diaspora history during the Jim Crow era.
Policing Black Lives by Robyn MaynardDelving behind Canada's veneer of multiculturalism and tolerance, Policing Black Lives traces the violent realities of anti-blackness from the slave ships to prisons, classrooms and beyond.
Call Number: FC106 .B6 M39 2017
Publication Date: 2017
Razing Africville by Jennifer J. NelsonIn the 1960s, the city of Halifax razed the black community of Africville under a program of urban renewal and 'slum clearance.' The city defended its actions by citing the deplorable living conditions in Africville, ignoring its own role in the creation of these conditions through years of neglect and the refusal of essential services.
Call Number: FC2346.9.N4 N45 2008
Publication Date: 2008
The Road to Now by Dorothy WilliamsBlacks have always been a part of the Québec experience-from the original European explorations to enslavement, from Confederation to the present day. Dorothy Williams returns to the roots of black history by chronicling slavery in Montreal, which lasted officially in New France for seventy-one years.
Viola Desmond's Canada by Graham ReynoldsIn 1946, Viola Desmond was wrongfully arrested for sitting in a whites-only section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. In 2010, the Nova Scotia Government recognized this gross miscarriage of justice and posthumously granted her a free pardon.
Call Number: FC106 .B6 R49 2016
Publication Date: 2016
Solidarity Resources : How to be a better ally
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. KendiAntiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.
So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma OluoIn this New York Times bestseller, Ijeoma Oluo offers a hard-hitting but user-friendly examination of race in America Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy -- from police brutality to the mass incarceration of Black Americans -- has put a media spotlight on racism in our society.
Black writers matter by Whitney FrenchAn anthology of African-Canadian writing, Black Writers Matter offers a cross-section of established writers and newcomers to the literary world who tackle contemporary and pressing issues with beautiful, sometimes raw, prose.
Call Number: PS8235 .B53 B53 2019
Publication Date: 2019
Odysseys Home by George Elliott ClarkeOdysseys Home: Mapping African-Canadian Literature is a pioneering study of African-Canadian literary creativity, laying the groundwork for future scholarly work in the field. Based on extensive excavations of archives and texts, this challenging passage through twelve essays presents a history of the literature and examines its debt to, and synthesis with, oral cultures.
We're Rooted Here and They Can't Pull Us Up by Peggy Bristow (Editor)Despite the increasing scope and authority of women's studies, the role of Black women in Canada's history has remained largely unwritten and unacknowledged. This silence supports the common belief that Black people have only recently arrived in Canada and that racism is also a fairly recent development.