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Celebrate Black History Month with books by and about Black Canadians

Black History Month: Three black young adults smiling, with a stylized maple leaf.

Black History Month events

An un/settling event: Readings & Reflections on Black Art, Identity & Place

Join us for a free, online event featuring Chantal Gibson and Otoniya J. Okot Bitek in conversation with Ebony Magnus. In November 2020, a 240 square foot literary art installation was mounted on the streetfront windows of Belzberg Library at the intersection of Hastings and Richards in downtown Vancouver. Made possible by the pandemic-induced closure of the library, the piece offers commentary on the ongoing displacement of peoples and systemic inequity that permeates the social landscape. Collaborators Gibson, Okot Bitek, and Magnus will discuss what it means for representations and imaginations of Black women to occupy geographical and intellectual real estate in the world today. Presented by SFU Library, SFU Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology, SFU Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, SFU English Department, and SFU School for Interactive Arts and Technology.

Date: Wednesday, February 17, 2021, at 7 PM PST.

Register via Eventbrite. If you prefer not to use Eventbrite to register for this event for privacy reasons, please email Chloe Riley at car11@sfu.ca.

Events from SFU SOCA (Students of Caribbean and African Ancestry) 

Event details, contact, and more information

SFU SOCA are planning a series of events for Black Celebration Month. For the most up-to-date information about the events, find SFU SOCA on Instagram and Facebook, or visit their webpage.

  • Black Trivia: February 5, 2021, 7:00pm
  • Afro-Dance workshop: Feb 13, 2021, 12:00pm -1:30pm
  • Movie nights: February 19 & 20, 2021, 7:00pm
  • #BlackMindsMatter: A panel discussion on mental health: February 27, 4:00pm-5:30pm

Poster advertising SOCA Black History Month events for 2021

President's Dream Colloquium: A Conversation with Afua Cooper

Speaker and event details, and more information

Dr. Afua Cooper, a multi-disciplinary scholar/artist, author, and SFU Ruth Wynn Woodward Endowed Chair (2008-2009) will be speaking as part of the 2021 President's Dream Colloquium on Conversation to Action. Learn more about the speaker and event, and register.

Thursday February 25, 3:00pm-4:00pm

Black History in the Library's collections

In honour of Black History Month, the SFU Library invites you to explore our books and movies to learn more about the histories of Black Canadians. In the Library Catalogue, to see online materials only, check the "Full Text Online" filter on the left side.

Read online

Here are some ebooks you can read online by logging in with your SFU ID.

Non-fiction 

Fiction and poetry 

Request a print book

Here is a selection of non-fiction, fiction, and poetry books, which are available through our contactless pickup service.

Watch online

Looking for movies about Canadian-Black communities and lives? Canada's National Film Board (NFB) features Black communities in Canada: A rich history, a 29-film playlist intended to "portray the multi-layered lives of Canada's diverse Black communities." For films that are in the locked Campus collection, expand the list "More Films" (below) to access them for free through the Library.

A man and a woman embrace in a kitchen. Text: Black communities in Canada: a rich history.

More films available through the library

Invisible city: "a moving story of two boys from Regent Park crossing into adulthood[...] Hubert Davis sensitively depicts the disconnection of urban poverty and race from the mainstream" (from NFB)

John Ware reclaimed: "Foggo’s research uncovers who this iconic figure might have been, and what his legacy means in terms of anti-Black racism, both past and present" (from NFB)

The skin we're in: Watch and listen to journalist and activist Desmond Cole as he unearths Black Canadian stories and offers a look into anti-Black racism in Canada. 

Black hands: Trial of the arsonist slave: Documentary about Marie-Josèphe Angélique, slavery, and crime in Montreal in the 1700s 

Race is a four-letter word: "Sobaz Benjamin introduces us to an interesting group of people[...] we also learn that race is a marathon we are all forced to run" (from NFB)

Explore collections

SFU researchers can dig into collections of sources at SFU Library.

Collections at SFU Library

Black Thought & Culture Collection: Primary sources, including speeches, essays, and interviews written by leaders within the Black community from earliest times to 1975.

Black Drama: Plays from North America, Africa, the Caribbean, and other African Diaspora countries, as well as biographies, playbills, images, production notes, and more. 

Black Short Fiction and Folklore: Stories and folk tales from Africa and the African Diaspora, including oral traditions, contemporary tales, and black-owned and edited journals and newspapers. 

Beyond the Library

Check out the work done by Hogan's Alley Society, a non-profit organization "committed to daylighting the presence of Black history in Vancouver and throughout British Columbia."

Visit the SFU Institute of Diaspora Research & Engagement (IDRE) for news, to learn more about diaspora, and to listen to June Francis speak about Black history and racism in Canada.

Looking for your next book purchase? Check out the "Critical race studies" section of Iron Dog Books. Or check out the selection at Massy Books.

For more information, see the BC Black History Awareness Society (BCBHAS), and the online exhibit on B.C.'s Black pioneers.

Or Ask a Librarian!

Date(s)

Through February