Black History

Learn about, celebrate, and honour the history and achievements of Black Canadians.

Library Resources

Try these subject headings, online resources, or check with library staff for more materials.

Books and DVDs in the catalogue

Select the Subject Heading links below to find Books and DVDs,

Blacks — History.

African Americans — History.

Blacks – Canada.

Black Canadians

Film and documentaries on Kanopy

View the Black History film collection: Kanopy Streaming Films has made a list of films that highlights the history and heritage of the Black community. (Learn more about Kanopy).

History on Points to the Past

On Points to the Past, search through millions of pages of digitized historical content such as maps, photographs, newspapers, manuscripts, pamphlets, poems, sermons, and much more.

From the Resources page, go to the Slavery and Anti-Slavery Transnational Archive, devoted to the study and understanding of the history of slavery in America and the rest of the world from the 17th century to the late 19th century. Archival collections were sourced from more than 60 libraries.

Black Composers on Naxos Music Library

Playlist 1 and Playlist 2: Naxos Music Library has made playlists featuring Black composers. Play the music on your browser, Wi-Fi recommended. (Learn more about Naxos Music).


More Resources

Black Communities in Canada: A Rich History:  The National Film Board’s curated list of films by distinguished Black filmmakers, creators, and allies that portray the multi-layered lives of Canada’s diverse Black communities.

Black History Month: 'Rich history' of black people in B.C. has roots in Victoria: Learn about the emigration of black Americans from California to Victoria area in 1858, an important history that helped shape the province of BC (from the Vancouver Sun).

British Columbia’s Black Pioneers: This story highlights the profound impact of Black pioneers who helped to stabilize British colonial communities and ultimately warding off American territorial authority.

Hogan’s Alley Society (HAS): HAS is a non-profit organization composed of civil rights activists, business professionals, community organizations, artists, writers, and academics committed to daylighting the presence of Black history in Vancouver and throughout BC.

Hope Meets Action: An online complement to the exhibition Hope Meets Action: Echoes Through the Black Continuum, that highlights the living and ongoing history of Black belonging in what is referred to as “British Columbia.”

British Columbia Black History Awareness Society (BCBHAS): BCBHAS celebrates the achievements of Black people in British Columbia by creating an awareness of the history of Blacks in BC, stimulating interest in the contributions of persons of African ancestry to BC and Canada today, and celebrating historical and contemporary achievements.

To understand B.C.’s Black history, connect past and present: Learn about the history and current presence of black communities in BC.


Black History Month

Each February, we recognize Black History Month. Black History Month is about honouring the enormous contributions that Black people have made, and continue to make, in all sectors of society. It is about celebrating resilience, innovation, and determination to work towards a more inclusive and diverse Canada — a Canada in which everyone has every opportunity to flourish.