Books about Black Canadians, particularly those pertaining to Nova Scotia. A mix of fiction and non-fiction, for both children and adults. PLEASE NOTE: if the…
As a bilingual, biracial man, straddling Black and white, English and French Canada, Stephen Dorsey lives in a world of dualities. In his deeply personal, insightful debut, he offers intimate and unfiltered access to his lived experience of anti-Black racism around the world, including Canada, the US, and Europe, focusing on growing up in 1970s Montreal as a Black child in a white family headed by a racist stepfather, and details his personal awakening inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement
Shut Out' is a memoir about professional hockey by Bernie Saunders, a player who had the potential to become a star but was blocked at almost every opportunity because of his race. In spite of this, 'Shut Out' is a hopeful and uplifting book about facing adversity, overcoming it and moving ahead. Saunders is a dual citizen of Canada and the US, and played two seasons in the National Hockey League for the Quebec Nordiques. He was only the fifth Black hockey player to play in the NHL.
Ian Williams brings fresh eyes and new insights to today's conversation on race and racism in illuminating essays that grow out of his own experience. With that one eloquent word, "disorientation," Ian Williams captures the impact of racial encounters on racialized people--the whiplash of race that occurs while minding one's own business. He realized he could offer a perspective distinct from the almost exclusively America-centric books as one who who lived in Trinidad, Canada and also the US .
History is a construction. What happens when we begin to consider stories at the margins, when we grant them centrality? How does that complicate our certainties about who we are, as individuals, as nations, as human beings? Through the lens of visual art, literature, film, and the authors lived experience, 'Out of the Sun' examines the depiction of Black histories in art, offering new perspectives to challenge the accepted narrative.
A Love Letter to Africville is a dazzling compilation of personal stories and photos from former residents of Africville. Much has been written about the struggles of the Africville community, who have been hurt, discriminated against and dispossessed for so long, but Africville is so much more than just the pain. This book recasts the historical narrative to help former residents heal by emphasizing the beautiful and positive aspects of Africville.
This groundbreaking history documents the roots of slavery in everyday colonial Canada and the extreme measures taken by subsequent generations to eradicate any record of their presence. Beginning with the French regime in colonial Canada 1629, noted historian Marcel Trudel examines the roots of slavery and its pervasive existence until its eventual abolition from the British Empire in 1834.
When a young girl visits the site of Africville, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the stories she's heard from her family come to mind. She imagines what the community was once like--the brightly painted houses nestled into the hillside, the field where boys played football, the pond where all the kids went rafting, the bountiful fishing, the huge bonfires.
Heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey called Sam Langford from Weymouth Falls, Nova Scotia, "The greatest fighter we've ever had." And champion Jack Johnson stated he "he was the toughest little son-of-a-bitch that ever lived." Yet, for all the ferocity of his talent, Sam Langford (1883-1956) could not outbox fistic fate. From his first bout in 1902 until his last a quarter century later, he battled boxing's colour barrier that kept him from being world champion in three different weight classes.
Before Mohammad Ali and Joe Louis, before Sugar Ray Robinson and Jack Johnson, before Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard, before all the great black boxing champions of every age and every weight class, there was George Dixon. He was the first. He was the greatest. And this is his story.
Redemption Songs tells the extraordinary story of how one of Bob Marley's greatest songs was born in Nova Scotia and reveals that the core lyric comes from a speech Marcus Garvey delivered in Sydney, Nova Scotia, in 1937. The line "We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery" springboards the reader into the book's ambitions. The author explores why Marley so revered Garvey, and, in doing so, looks at the roots of Rastafarianism and ideas about race.
Halifax's former Poet Laureate Afua Cooper and photographer Wilfried Raussert collaborate in this book of poems and photographs focused on everyday Black experiences. Cooper translates Raussert's photos into poetry, painting a profound image of what disembodied historical facts might look like when they are embodied in contemporary characters, honouring the multiple layers of Blackness and resulting in a work that amplifies black beauty and offers audible resistance.
Raised by his grandmother in a hot, verdant Trinidad, Antonio at age 11 is uprooted to Canada when she dies. But not urban Toronto: he and his brother are sent to live with his stern evangelical Aunt Joan, in Waubigoon, a mostly Indigenous community in northern Ontario. In this wilderness, he begins his journey as an immigrant minority, using music and performance to dramatically transform himself. The book is a startling mash-up of memories, lyrics and mythology told in gripping, lyrical prose.
Celina Caesar-Chavannes digs deep into her immigrant childhood, her life as a young black woman entrepreneur and as a politician, revealing how she wrestled with being her authentic self. Already a breaker of boundaries as a black woman in business, she got into politics because she wanted to make a difference. But when she became the first black person elected to represent Whitby, Ont., she hadn't really thought about the fact that Ottawa hadn't been designed for a person like her.
This fascinating, full-colour illustrated book features over 50 amazing Black people from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador, sharing their incredible stories and accomplishments, past and present. With dozens of profiles on both historical and contemporary Black people from Atlantic Canada, Lindsay Ruck celebrates the accomplishments and recognizes the hardships of some of our region's least-known amazing heroes.
One of the most well-documented Black Loyalists was a man named Boston King, born a slave to Richard Waring, a rice-planter in South Carolina. King experienced a religious revelation while in Nova Scotia, and became a Methodist preacher; he went to Sierra Leone in 1792 to spread the Gospel; and from there was invited to England to study at a Methodist school. While there, he wrote the story of his life and conversion. It is one of only three autobiographies of a Black Loyalist of Nova scotia.
The stories of New Brunswick's Black Loyalists are captured in the brief biographies of twelve individuals--men, women and youths--presented by author Stephen Davidson. Through their experiences a picture emerges of the narrow limits to the freedom which the Black Loyalists were able to experience in a predominantly white and highly racist colony.
Ten-year-old Abigail Price is excited about spring in her new home in Birchtown. Spring means lots of things, like flower buds and fresh leaves and her Aunt Dinah's new baby. She's hoping it also means she'll get a new dress to wear for the celebration, but new clothing, like many things, is hard to come by. , Abigail's Wish is a window into the life of a Black Loyalist family in the early years of the historic colony.
Portia May White was a Canadian operatic contralto raised in Halifax, NS, and known for becoming the first Black Canadian concert singer to achieve international fame. With the support of her family and community, she eventually performed across Canada, and internationally in the late 1930s and early 1940s. She crossed the colour barrier to enter concert halls and sing before white and black audiences. Later, she became a teacher and mentor of other well-known and successful singers.
In this insightful memoir, Measha Brueggergosman shares her experiences with music, and her struggle to balance her ambition for a life fully lived with the traditions and responsibilities she is committed to. She reflects on marrying young and the tragedy of losing children, on who she has become in contrast to how she was raised, on how her health problems have changed her, on the psychological push-and-pull of being a performer and the unavoidable effects of consistent audience approval.
Growing up between two of Halifax's predominantly black neighbourhoods, Jade was raised in communities plagued by social problems. Addictions, tangled personal relationships, social workers, and prison terms became everyday facts. When the first serious love of her life entered the picture at age 15, that relationship became the centre of everything. Following a path many have taken before, pushed along by her abusive boyfriend, Jade found herself in the sex trade.
At age 23, Dany hurriedly left behind the stifling heat of Port-au-Prince for the unending winter of Montreal. It was 1976, and Baby Doc Duvalier's regime had just killed one of his journalist colleagues. 33 years later, a telephone call informs Dany of his father's death in New York. Windsor Laferriere had fled Haiti in the 1960s, fearing persecution for his political activities. Dany plans to return his father to the village in Haiti where he was born. How does one return from exile?
Apples and Butterflies is a gentle, lyrical poem about a family's autumn vacation and shows Prince Edward Island in a light we don't often see--the bright blue and orange light of fall. Tamara Thiébaux-Heikalo's rich and wild illustrations build a narrative with the text, showing us the family beachcombing, flying kites, and picking apples. Shauntay Grant's award-winning poetry makes the reader long to go with her, and conveys the wide-open space of that beautiful island.