This blog posts offers a listing of relevant resources for those looking to celebrate Black History month, acknowledge the contributions people of African descent have made, and deepen their learning about Anti-Black racism.
This blog post contains content related to Anti-Black racism.
For emotional crisis referral services and information on other health supports visit the Government of Canada’s Mental health support page (EN FR).
For culturally relevant mental health supports contact:
This post was co-authored by Rochelle Ignacio and Angelina Pelletier.
African Ancestral Acknowledgement
We acknowledge those who came here as settlers – as migrants either in this generation or in generations past – and those who came here involuntarily, particularly those brought to these lands as a result of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery. We pay tribute to those ancestors of African origin and descent.
“I’m grounded in joy; I’m not grounded in trauma anymore.” - Tarana Burke
We initially intended to center this blog post on Black joy, celebration and healing. Since writing that version, the world has learned about the tragic murder of Tyre Nichols. We would be remiss if we did not acknowledge that Tyre’s life was ripped away from the world too soon because of a culture and system of policing that trains members to devalue Black lives, and that is in desperate need of structural reform. We extend our deepest condolences to Mr. Nichols family, friends, community, and specifically the Black community. Over the weekend we saw a post from Viola Davis that read ‘Black men deserve to grow old.’ Violence against Black people continues to persist in the US, in Canada and around the world. We urge you to consider how you are upholding your commitment against anti-Black racism.
We urge you to work toward re-imagined policing and more strategies that address the root causes of poverty, violence, and disconnection. As you continue exploring our blog post, please consider which Black organizations and community leaders you will continue to support and amplify. There are many resources that will support your anti-racist journey.
Black History Month
February marks Black History Month, a tribute to Black individuals and communities who have made significant contributions in the fields of science, politics, law, sports, the arts, entertainment, and many other fields.
While Black History Month is synonymous with prominent figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, there are countless Black Canadians who've made a profound impact in history. Here in Canada, we celebrate people like:
Desmond Cole. Journalist, activist, author, and broadcaster
Lawrence Hill. Author.
Esi Edugyan. Novelist.
John Ware. Cowboy.
Annamie Paul. Canadian activist, lawyer, and former leader of the Green Party.
Cecil Foster. Novelist.
Mary Burlie. Social Worker.
Viola Desmond. Canadian civil and women's rights activist and businesswoman.
Anne Greenup, Community organizer
Oscar Peterson, Jazz musician
Black History Month is time to reflect on the past, celebrate accomplishments, and build a legacy of BLACK JOY, BLACK EXCELLENCE AND BLACK LIBERATION for the future.
We encourage the Tamarack learner community to find opportunities to learn about Canada’s Black history, prominent figures within the Black community, and the diversity that exists within the Black community. It’s important to acknowledge Canada’s history of Anti-Black racism, but beyond the pain it’s important to celebrate and help shift positive narratives. Remember to show your solidarity and be actively anti-racist by supporting Black-owned organizations, businesses and creatives in February and beyond. Black History Month may be limited to the month of February, but the Black experience is forever.
Creating spaces to centre the voices and lived experiences is another way to practice being anti-racist. The following videos are part of an educational series created by UNILEARNAL, an Ottawa-based, Black-led media organization whose vision is to become a global leader in education, shining a light on the stories and experiences of the least represented and engaging in meaningful conversations using storytelling.
UNILEARNAL Video Series
Leila | 28 Moments of Black Canadian History | Carrie Best
Keean | 28 Moments of Black Canadian History | The Dawn Settlement
Pearline | 28 Moments of Black Canadian History | Africville
Resources to Support Action
The Tamarack team has compiled several resources to help you further your own understanding of the contributions of people of African descent living in Canada and understand the history of anti-Black racism.
Beyond allyship we all need to stand in solidarity with the Black community in their efforts to dismantle systems of oppression which continue to exclude individuals from participating fully and authentically in their communities. Your anti-racist journey starts with learning about the histories, understanding modern-day injustices and dismantling white supremacy.
Foundations: Anti-Black Racism
Tamarack Resources (blog posts, webinar recordings, CoPs, etc.)
- Participatory grant making centering lived experience of immigrants and refugees (in partnership with the WES Mariam Assefa Fund):
- Our case study on Participatory grantmaking in the Peel Region | Octroi participatif de subventions dans la région de Peel
Black-Led Movements to Support
- Cutes, exotiques et menaçants (Ricardo Lamour) | Cute, Exotic and Threatening (Ricardo Lamour)
- Defund la police| Defund the police
- Foundation for Black Communities
- Yukon African Music Festival
- Nunavut Black History Society
- New Brunswick Black Artists Alliance
- New Brunswick Black History Society
- Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia
- Black Opportunity Fund
- Black Talent Initiative
- Hogan’s Alley
- Black Strathcona
- Africa Centre
- Black Canadian Women in Action
- Federation of African Canadian Economics
- Black Business Initiatives
- Black Business Directory PEI
- Network for the Advancement of Black Canadians
- BC Black History Awareness Society
- Challenging ‘Racist’ British Columbia: 150 Years and Counting (University of Victoria and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives)
- University of Calgary’s Anti-Black Racism Task Force (Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary)
- Anti-black racism resource list (University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus)
- Dismantling Anti-black Racism Strategy (York Region District School Board)
- Canada’s Black population: Education, Labour and Resilience (Statistics Canada)
- Province of Ontario – Anti-Black Racism Strategy
- Canadian Museum for Human Rights
- Being Black in School: Peel students open up about the racism they face in the classroom (CBC)
- Government du Canada: Février est le Mois de l'histoire des Noirs FR
- Government of Canada: February is Black History Month EN
- Organismes et ressources éducatives liées à l’histoire des Noirs FR
- Black history organizations and educational resources EN
- Dorothy William’s ABC’s of Canadian Black History Kit EN
- ABC de l’histoire des Noirs du Canada FR
- The Black Tech Agenda Powered by Color of Change: Tech Policy + Racial Justice
- City of Toronto’s Confronting Anti-Black-Racism
- Province of Manitoba Report: Black History and Anti-Racism in Canada
- Winnipeg Public Library Black History Information Guide
- Africa Centre’s The State of Black Entrepreneurs in Alberta
- Radically Healing Black Lives: A Love Note to Justice YouthREX - Research Summary
- Foundation for Black Communities Unfunded: Black Communities Overlooked by Canadian Philanthropy
- Statistics Canada - Black History Month... by the Numbers
Support Black-Owned Businesses
- How To Spend A Day In Black-Owned Montréal
- Afro Biz
- Black Business Association of BC
- Black Owned Market Edmonton
- Black Owned Regina
- Black Owned Manitoba
- Black Owned Toronto
- Black Owned Montreal
- Black Business Initiatives Atlantic
*Please contact Rochelle Ignacio to have your event featured in future Black History Month publications*
- Black History Month Listings in Edmonton
- Macewan University's Black History Month Program
- Norquest College’s Black History Month Program
- 5 Artists 1 Love All Black Wear Affair
- University of Alberta Black Students Association Cultural Resilience in Black Arts
- Family Day breakfast presented by Africa Centre and Congress of Black Women of Canada
- When African Women Talk Black History Month Gala
- Black History Month Listings in Calgary
- Calgary Black Chamber First annual Black History Month Dinner
- The Building Black Summit by All Things Bossy
- Unganisha, a Black History Month celebration of the cross-cultural connections of dance
- Red Deer
- Black History Month DJ Party for Education for Somali Girls and Boys Foundation
- Black History Month Listings in Saskatchewan
- African Canadian / Black History Month Launch by Saskatchewan African Canadian Heritage Museum
- Forward Together: Equitable Public Engagement with the Black Community
- Black History Month Manitoba listings
- University of Manitoba Black Alliance’s Keynote Speaker: Dr. Barrington Walker
- Manitoba Museum – Virtual Field Trips: Black History in Canada
- Hamilton Public Library Black History Month Events
- Hamilton Reverend John C. Holland Awards
- Black History Month Launch (hosted by the Caribbean Canadian Association of Waterloo Region -
- Jazz Sudbury Celebrates Black History Month with Africville Stories
- Mois de l’histoire des noirs | Black History Month in Montreal (available in FR and EN)
- Visiter l’Afromusée | Visit the Afromusée
- McGill’s Black History Month; poster artwork at right courtesy of Montréal-born mixed-media artist and community organizer Taïna Mueth.
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
- New Brunswick
- Check out the Tomlinson Lake Hike to Freedom
- Black Box Productions: The Fofana Kingdom
Read books by Black authors
- Empreintes de résistance: Filiations et récits de femmes autochtones, noires et racisées – Alexandra Pierre
- 16 temps noirs pour apprendre à dire Kuei – Philippe Néméh-Nombré
- Les racistes n’ont jamais vu la mer – Yara Ghadban & Rodney St-Éloi
- NoirEs sous surveillance: Esclavage, répression et violence d’état au Canada
- Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present – Robyn Maynard
- La Pendaison d’Angélique: L’histoire de l’esclavage au Canada et de l’incendie de Montréal
- The Hanging of Angelique: The Untold Story of Canadian Slavery and the Burning of Old Montréal – Afua Cooper
- Les Noirs à Montréal 1628-1986 / Blacks in Montréal 1628-1986 – Dorothy Williams
- Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe (1958)
- Gutter Child – Jael Richardson
- Butter Honey Pig Bread – francesca ekwuyasi
- The Night Piece – André Alexis
- Willie: The Game Changing Story of the NHL’s first Black Player – Willie O’Ree
- Saga Boy – Antonio Michael Downing
Film and Media
- Black in the Maritimes Podcast
- CBC Being Black in Canada
- CBC showcases Black voices, stories and experiences in honour of Black History Month
- National Film Board Black Communities in Canada: A Rich History
- Radical Imagination Podcast
- UNILEARNAL B is for Black
- Equity & Results - Antiracist Results-Based Accountability Workshop for Leaders
- University of Toronto - Dismantling Anti-Black Racism in Post-Secondary Environments
Ways to observe beyond Canada
- Learn about the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, Civil Rights Movement and history of Black people in Canada
- Learn about the unique history, contributions, languages, cultural practices, diversity of foods and spiritual beliefs of Black people in your communities
- Learn and listen to who is working to build a thriving, economically prosperous Black community