Celebrating and Learning During Black History Month | Fresh

Celebrating and Learning During Black History Month

Join Fresh in Celebrating Black History Month

Support

Support Black businesses, entrepreneurs & creators:

Afrobiz: Discover Toronto Black Owned Businesses

Purchase goods, order a meal, and make an appointment at Black owned businesses using Afrobiz- making a powerful impact in the Canadian Black owned business community.

Black Owned Toronto

Black Owned Toronto is an online platform dedicated to highlighting Black owned businesses. This is a one stop shop for all shopping/service needs and a great way to buy locally.

Canada Black Owned Marketplace

Canada’s only virtual shopping mall for Black-owned vendors. Our mission is to provide a cohesive platform for small Black-owned businesses to help expand their audience and their reach.

 

Follow

Follow, share and amplify- diversify your feed! A short list of Black icons, influencers, creators and change agents to follow on social media:

@BlackFoodie.Co
Exploring Food & Culture Through a Black Lens

@BlackHealingTO
Melissa Taylor | When we heal, we all heal

@JujuMil
Juju Milay | Athlete and activist

@PaulTaylorTO
Executive Director @foodshareto Teacher @simonfraseru

@Rania.Writes
Rania El Mugammar Artist | Social Justice Educator & Consultant | Mama

@SarahJama_
community engagement, disability justice, and activism.

@Suzanne Barr
Food Chef | Author | Social Advocate

@StyleIsStyle
Lydia Okello | fat nonbinary fashion person | model | writer | digital creator

@TheSaidatShow
First Black Canadian Female Children’s Entertainer | Award-Winning Community Leader | Speaker | Artistic Director

@VintageBlackCanada
Documenting the Transnational Modern History of the African Diaspora in Canada

 


Learn

Black history organizations and educational resources:

Black History Month 2022… by the numbers

Data from Statistics Canada, showing the impact that Black communities have in many sectors of Canada.

Black in Canada 10 Stories | BBC News

Inspired by the many Black writers and speakers who have begun to spark a broader discussion about race in Canada, Jalani Morgan travels to three Canadian cities to capture a slice of the Black experience today.

Ontario Black History Society

The Ontario Black History Society is a non-profit registered Canadian charity dedicated to the study, preservation and promotion of Black history and heritage.

Ontario Heritage Trust | Slavery to Freedom

The Ontario Heritage Trust celebrates Black heritage, promotes Ontario’s Black heritage sites and groups, and provides online information and resources. Of note is the Slavery to Freedom web resource.

The Rella Braithwaite Black History Foundation

A non-profit resource organisation providing positive images, stories, programs and educational resource materials pertaining to the history of Blacks in Canada.

Interactive Online Activities

Nova Scotia Heritage 3D Virtual Tours

A fully immersive 3D virtual tour of popular heritage and culture sites that feature Canadian history. Developed by the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia.

Periodic Table of Canadian Black History

The Periodic Table of Canadian Black History is a tool that educators, students, and families can use to explore and celebrate the stories, voices, and accomplishments of Black Canadians.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin Virtual Tour

Take a virtual tour of the Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site, which recognizes the accomplishments of Josiah Henson through interpretive videos, interactive exhibits, numerous artifacts and tours that reflect the Black experience in Canada.


Listen

Beer.Diversity presents Ren Likes To Talk

A podcast where Ren Navarro sits down with her friends and talks about anything and everything! With nearly a decade of experience in the alcohol industry, a passion for encouraging personal and professional growth, and her trademark wit, Ren Navarro is here to educate, enlighten, and engage.

Black Tea Podcast

Toronto is a multicultural hotspot. But the diversity that makes the city special isn’t often reflected in the stories we hear or the discussions we have. Black Tea changes that. Dalton Higgins & Melayna Williams bring important and uncomfortable Black community conversations out in the open, and have some laughs while doing it.

Portraits of Black Canadians

Danger, hardship, heroism and tragedy. All are features of black immigration to Canada in the nineteenth century. Radio Canada International has produced a series of vignettes spotlighting some of the Black Canadians that have marked the country’s past, as well as those that are marking Canada’s present.

Recollect | Episode 8 | Remember: Blacks in Canada

In this conversation, Natasha Henry discusses the undertold history of slavery in Ontario, her contribution to the upcoming project, A Black People’s History of Canada, and her reasons for developing a Black Canadian digital archive to inform and empower the rest of the Pan-African family.

Seen: The Podcast

Through the eyes of Black and brown queer women, SEEN explores how we choose to live at the intersection of personal healing and collective liberation work. Nic and Lala co-create space where healing becomes possible. Where we see ourselves through our own eyes. Where we learn what freedom feels like. Where we look inward for our paths forward.

The Block with Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe

The Block is music of Black origin encompassing a fluid mosaic of styles. The Block is about culture and community. Repping the elements of hip hop from its roots to its far reaching influence.


Watch

Canadian collections- free to view

21 Black Futures | Obsidian Theatre & CBC

An anthology of 21 films, commissioned from 21 multigenerational Black playwrights across Canada, directed by 21 Black directors, and performed by 21 Black actors! 21 BLACK FUTURES responds to the question, “ What is the future of Blackness ?”

28 Moments of Black Canadian History | unilearnal

When it comes to Black Canadian History, what do you know? 28 Moments features Black youth speaking about their experiences in Canada, their goals, aspirations, and interests and then giving a small history lesson on an important moment or figure in Black Canadian history.

Black Communities in Canada: A Rich History | National Film Board

A collection of films by award-winning Black filmmakers, creators, and allies that portray the multi-layered lives of Canada’s diverse Black communities. These stories of strength, courage and perseverance are missing from mainstream history books, yet they each paint a picture of a thriving part of our society in constant evolution.

Black History Month short videos | Shanese Indoowaaboo Steele

Shanese Indoowaaboo Steele an Afro-Indigenous Fat Femme teaches us about Black history and Black futures in several short, yet engaging and informative videos.

B for Black | unilearnal

What does it mean to be black? Is it everything you read in newspapers, or see on the news? Or does a lot of it often get ignored or overlooked? The Black entrepreneur, creative & leader has managed to find & create their path to success in a challenging and uncertain world. They have built strong foundations for themselves but also for generations to come.

Da Kink In My Hair

Based on the play of the same name, Da Kink in my Hair centres on Letty’s, a salon in Toronto’s Caribbean community. The kind of neighbourhood place where women go to let their hair down in more ways than one.

Diggstown

Diggstown follows Marcie Diggs, a star corporate lawyer working with a curious band of do-gooders, cynics and scrappers – messy souls struggling to keep personal disappointment and demons out of their practice.

The Black Stories Collection | CBC Gem

Celebrating the strength and perseverance of Black communities in Canada. Watch films and shows that share the varied experiences of Black communities in Canada. From comedy to harrowing true life stories, this collection houses important learning for everyone.

The Porter

Inspired by real events and set in the roar of the 1920s, friends and train porters Junior and Zeke find their unbreakable bond stretched to its limits when tragedy inspires them to take conflicting paths to a better life.

Canadian short videos, films & documentaries- free to view

Deeply Rooted

Filmmaker Cazhhmere is a 7th-generation Black Canadian. Despite this deep history, she’s constantly asked “Where are you from?”, even though the answer is always “Canada.” In this film, Cazhhmere sets out to change our perception of what a multi-generational Canadian family looks like.

Freedom Summer

In Freedom Summer, Black youth in Toronto learn about self-love and Black liberation at ‘Freedom School’, a summer camp run by Black Lives Matter where Black kids learn that Black is beautiful.

Lessons Injustice

How does a parent prepare their maturing child for the specific scrutiny that comes with navigating the world while Black? For Black Canadians like Danardo Jones and his son Deshaun, the reality of systemic racism means that the system is rigged against them.

Remember Africville

Africville was a small Black settlement in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In the 1960s, the families who lived there were uprooted and their homes demolished in the name of urban renewal and integration. Now, the site is a stark, under-utilised park. Former residents, their descendants and some of the decision-makers, speak out and, with the help of archival photographs and films, tell the story of that painful relocation.

The Colour of Beauty

The Colour of Beauty is a shocking short documentary that examines racism in the fashion industry. Is a Black model less attractive to designers, casting directors and consumers? What is the colour of beauty?

The Haircut

The story of Marvin who, growing up in Ottawa in the 1950s with no Black barbers in the city, suffered through many painful haircuts. A funny and refreshing take on the Canadian immigrant story, plus an exploration of assimilation and resistance through the portrait of one man’s refusal to cut his hair.

Canadian full length dramas & documentaries- free to view

Journey to Justice

This documentary pays tribute to a group of Canadians who took racism to court. They are Canada’s unsung heroes in the fight for Black civil rights. Focusing on the 1930s to 1950s, this film documents the struggle of 6 people who refused to accept inequality. These brave pioneers helped secure justice for all Canadians. Their stories deserve to be told.

Too Colourful For the League: Racism in Hockey

A documentary about the history of racism in hockey, chronicling a crusade by NCAA hockey great Richard Lord to nominate Black superstar Herb Carnegie to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Skin We’re In: Pulling back the curtain on racism in Canada – CBC Docs POV

Urgent, controversial, and undeniably honest, The Skin We’re In is a wake-up call to complacent Canadians. Cole’s journey from journalist to activist, unfolding in real time. We follow Cole as he travels across Canada in pursuit of stories, examples, and knowledge about black identities and experiences.

True North: Inside the Rise of Toronto Basketball (Feature)

On the heels of the Toronto Raptors’ historic NBA Championship and the record-setting number ofCanadian draft picks, the “Toronto hoop dream” is more alive than ever. True North spotlights 12-year-old Elijah Fisher, 15-year-old Keone Davis and 18-year-old Cordell Veira as they pursue their NBA dreams.


Read 

Consider purchasing your books from A Different Booklist in Toronto, an African-Canadian owned bookstore. The Toronto Public Library has many books, e-books and audiobooks available for loan. For audiobooks, Libro.fm, makes it possible to purchase audiobooks through your local independent bookstore.

Non-fiction: from poets, politicians, athletes, chefs, students

#BlackInSchool by Habiba Cooper Diallo & Awad Ibrahim

#BlackInSchool is Cooper Diallo’s high school journal where she documents, processes & resists systemic racism, microaggressions, stereotypes, & overt racism while being Black in school in Canada, illustrating how institutions erase the lived experiences of Black youth to erase Black youth themselves.

Black and White An Intimate, Multicultural Perspective on “White Advantage” and the Paths to Change by Stephen Dorsey

A powerful blend of autobiography and social analysis, Black & White is an intimate excavation of systemic racism in North America. With an inclusive and accessible approach, aimed at community connection and education, Dorsey delves deep into Canada’s history of racial discrimination.

Black Matters by Afua Cooper & Wilfried Raussert

Halifax’s former Poet Laureate Afua Cooper and photographer Wilfried Raussert collaborate in this book of poems and photographs focused on everyday Black experiences. The result is a work that amplifies Black beauty and offers audible resistance.

Burning Sugar by Cicely Belle Blain

A poetic exploration of Black identity, history, and lived experience influenced by the constant search for liberation. Blain uses poetry to illuminate their activist work: exposing anti-Blackness, and helping people see the connections between history and systemic oppression.

Can You Hear Me Now? How I Found My Voice and Learned to Live with Passion and Purpose by Celina Caesar-Chavannes

Caesar-Chavannes digs deep into her childhood and her life as a young Black woman entrepreneur and politician, and shows us that effective and humane leaders grow as much from their mistakes and vulnerabilities as from their strengths.

How We Did It: The Subban Plan for Success in Hockey, School & Life by Karl Subban & Scott Colby

Subban, hockey dad, former principal and father of 3 sons who have been drafted to the NHL. How We Did It helps parents, teachers, coaches and mentors to apply the same principles, as they help the young people in their lives to identify, develop and live their dreams.

My Ackee Tree: A Chef’s Memoir of Finding Home in the Kitchen by Suzanne Barr

A memoir about food, family, and the recipes that brought one woman home when she needed it the most. The story of a woman who battles the stereotypes of being a Black female cook to become a culinary star in an industry of dated practices and landlords with too much power.

Saga Boy: My Life of Blackness and Becoming by Antonio Michael Downing

An enthralling, deeply personal account of a young immigrant’s search for belonging and Black identity amid the long-lasting effects of cultural dislocation. The story of a lonely immigrant who overcomes adversity and abandonment to reclaim his Black identity and embrace his heritage.

Willie The Game-Changing Story of the NHL’s First Black Player by Willie O’Ree with Michael McKinley

When Willie O’Ree was finally called up to the NHL and stepped out onto the ice, not only did he fulfil the childhood dream he shared with so many other Canadian kids, he did something that had never been done before: He broke hockey’s colour barrier.

Fiction: including sci-fi, fantasy, graphic novels, young adult

Black Sun Comic Series by Kelvin Nyeusi-Mawazo

Set in the fantasy realm of Alkebulan, Black Sun is an Afrofuturist graphic novel series that follows a group of unlikely heroes who must band together to reclaim their world from a ruthless, invading alien armada. This series has science, technology, magic, monsters & the timeless sophistication of fine art.

Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi

An intergenerational saga about 3 Nigerian women: a novel about food, family, & forgiveness. A story of choices & their consequences, of motherhood, of the malleable line between the spirit & the mind, of finding new homes and mending old ones, of voracious appetites, of queer love, of friendship, faith, and above all, family.

Gutter Child A Novel by Jael Richardson

Gutter Child reveals one young woman’s journey through a fractured world of heartbreaking disadvantages and shocking injustices. Elimina is a modern heroine in an altered but all too recognizable reality who must find the strength within herself to forge her future and defy a system that tries to shape her destiny.

Dominoes at the Crossroads by Kaie Kellough

An alternate nation–one populated by Caribbean Canadians who hopscotch across the country. The characters navigate race, class, and coming-of-age. Seeking opportunity, some fade into the world around them, some appear in different times and hemispheres, whether as student radicals, secret agents, historians, fugitive slaves, or jazz musicians.

Other Side of the Game by Amanda Parris

In this striking debut, Amanda Parris turns the spotlight on the Black women who organize communities, support their incarcerated loved ones, and battle institutions, living each day by a ride-or-die philosophy, strengthening their voices and demanding to be heard.

Reproduction by Ian Williams

A hilarious and moving family saga set in Brampton. Felicia, a teenager who recently immigrated from the Caribbean, and Edgar, the heir of a wealthy German family more than twice her age, form an unlikely relationship that will forever leave them entangled. A profoundly insightful exploration of the bizarre ways people become bonded that insists that family isn’t a matter of blood.

The Midnight Bargain by C.L Polk

Magic meets Bridgerton. A sweeping, romantic new fantasy set in a world reminiscent of Regency England, where women’s magic is taken from them when they marry. A sorceress must balance her desire to become the first great female magician against her duty to her family.

The Son of the House by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia

The lives of 2 Nigerian women divided by class and social inequality intersect when they’re kidnapped, held captive, and forced to await their fate together. Pulsing with vitality and intense human drama, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia’s debut is set against four decades of vibrant Nigeria, celebrating the resilience of women as they navigate and transform what remains a man’s world.

Must Reads from American Authors

Be Anti-racist: A Journal for Awareness, Reflection, and Action by Ibram X. Kendi

Antiracism is not a destination but a journey–one that takes deliberate, consistent work. Reflect on your understanding of race & discover ways to work toward an antiracist future with this guided journal. Be Antiracist is both a confessional & log of your journey toward a more equitable and just society, helping you reflect on topics such as body, power, class, gender, and policy.

Black Futures by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham

In answering the question of what it means to be Black and alive, Black Futures opens a prismatic vision of possibility for every reader. Drew & Wortham bring together a collection of work- images, photos, essays, memes, dialogues, recipes, tweets, poetry, & more—to tell the story of the radical, imaginative, provocative, and gorgeous world of Black creators.

Fearing the Black Body The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia by Sabrina Strings

Fearing the Black Body argues convincingly that fat phobia isn’t about health at all, but rather a means of using the body to validate race, class, and gender prejudice. An eye-opening historical narrative ranging from the Renaissance to the current moment showing that fat phobia, as it relates to Black women, did not originate with medical findings, but with the Enlightenment era belief that fatness was evidence of “savagery” and racial inferiority.

Black on Both Sides A Racial History of Trans Identity by C. Riley Snorton

The story of Christine Jorgensen, America’s first prominent transsexual, famously narrated trans embodiment in the postwar era. Their erasure from trans history masks the profound ways race has figured prominently in the construction and representation of transgender subjects. In Black on Both Sides, C. Riley Snorton identifies multiple intersections between blackness and transness from the mid-nineteenth century to present-day anti-black and anti-trans legislation and violence.

The Sum of Us What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGee

Heather McGhee’s specialty is the American economy—and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. The Sum of Us is not only a brilliant analysis of how we arrived here but also a heartfelt message, delivered with startling empathy, from a black woman to a multiracial America.