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Celebrating Black History Month

Written by Library in Library Blog on February 17, 2021

Black History Month

February is Black History Month, a time to remember and celebrate Black history and culture. Originally celebrated during the second week of February in the 1920s, it was eventually expanded to the full month of February by the 1970s, with official U.S. government recognition in 1976. In Canada Black History Month traces back to the 1950s, with official recognition being established in 1995 by the House of Commons. In 2008 Senator Donald Oliver, the first Black man appointed to the Senate, introduced a motion to “Recognize Contributions of Black Canadians and February as Black History Month.” In Vancouver specifically we remember and celebrate the history of Hogan’s Alley, a diverse neighbourhood home to many Black families and Black businesses. You can learn more about Black History Month and events in Vancouver from the City of Vancouver’s Official Celebrations and Observances page.

eBooks About Black History

Title Author PermaLink Book Cover
North of the Color Line: Migration and Black Resistance in Canada, 1870-1955 Sarah-Jane Mathieu Link
The Black Atlantic Reconsidered: Black Canadian Writing, Cultural History, and the Presence and the Past Winifried Siemerling Link
The African Canadian Legal Odyssey: Historical Essays Barrington Walker Link
The Origins of the African-American Civil Rights Movement Ai-min Zhang Link

Additional Resources

BC Black History Awareness Society – The BCBHAS is a non-profit organization that celebrates the achievements of Black people in British Columbia. Learn more about the historical and current achievements of persons of African ancestry in arts, education, government, sports, science etc.

Black History Month 2021, Vancouver & Lower Mainland Events Blog – A list of virtual events celebrating Black History Month throughout the month of February.

NFB: Black Communities in Canada –A collection of films on NFB by Black filmmakers and allies of the Black community. Watch these films by logging into your Library account from the ‘Articles and Databases’ page!

Hogan’s Alley Society – Information of Vancouver’s historical Black neighborhood, Hogan’s Alley.

Secret Vancouver: Return to Hogan’s Alley – A video of the history of Hogan’s Alley and how it was destroyed by urban renewal.

SFU Library, Black History Month – A list by SFU of recommended readings for Black History Month as well as information about an upcoming online event.

VPL, Black History Month – Selected list of books on Canadian Black History available at the Vancouver Public Library.

Surrey Libraries Reading List, Fiction – Collection of recommended fiction relating to Black experiences (2019).

Surrey Libraries Reading List, General – Collection of recommended books about Black history (2020).

Cover Image: Black History Month Poster. Government of Canada, 2021,

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