Black History Month 2024
Every February, people across Canada participate in Black History Month events and festivities that honour the legacy of Black people in Canada and their communities. The 2024 theme for Black History Month is: “Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate; a Future to Build.”
Through education, awareness, and celebration, we strive to create a society that recognizes and appreciates the richness of its diverse population.
The 1619 Project : a new origin story
The animating idea of The 1619 Project is that our national narrative is more accurately told if we begin not on July 4, 1776, but in late August of 1619, when a ship arrived in Jamestown bearing a cargo of twenty to thirty enslaved people from Africa. Their arrival inaugurated a barbaric and unprecedented system of chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This is sometimes referred to as the country's original sin, but it is more than that: It is the country's very origin. The 1619 Project tells this new origin story, placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are as a country. Orchestrated by the editors of The New York Times Magazine, led by MacArthur "genius" and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, this collection of essays and historical vignettes includes some of the most outstanding journalists, thinkers, and scholars of American history and culture--including Linda Villarosa, Jamelle Bouie, Jeneen Interlandi, Matthew Desmond, Wesley Morris, and Bryan Stevenson. Together, their work shows how the tendrils of 1619--of slavery and resistance to slavery--reach into every part of our contemporary culture, from voting, housing and healthcare, to the way we sing and dance, the way we tell stories, and the way we worship. Interstitial works of flash fiction and poetry bring the history to life through the imaginative interpretations of some of our greatest writers. The 1619 Project ultimately sends a very strong message: We must have a clear vision of this history if we are to understand our present dilemmas. Only by reckoning with this difficult history and trying as hard as we can to understand its powerful influence on our present, can we prepare ourselves for a more just future.
Black food : stories, art and recipes from across the African diaspora
"A beautiful, rich, and groundbreaking book exploring Black foodways within America and around the world, curated by food activist and author of Vegetable Kingdom Bryant Terry"-- Provided by publisher.
Chain-gang all-stars : a novel
Adjei-Brenyah, Nana Kwame, author
Loretta Thurwar and Hamara "Hurricane Staxxx" Stacker are the stars of Chain-Gang All-Stars, the cornerstone of CAPE, or Criminal Action Penal Entertainment, a highly-popular, highly-controversial, profit-raising program in America's increasingly dominant private prison industry. In CAPE, prisoners travel as Links in Chain-Gangs, competing in death-matches for packed arenas. Thurwar and Staxxx, both teammates and lovers, are the fan favorites. And if all goes well, Thurwar will be free in just a few matches. As she prepares to leave her fellow Links, she considers how she might help preserve their humanity, in defiance of these so-called games, but CAPE's corporate owners will stop at nothing to protect their status quo.
The city we became
Jemisin, N. K., author
Every great city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City? She's got six. But every city also has a dark side. A roiling, ancient evil stirs in the halls of power, threatening to destroy the city and her six newborn avatars unless they can come together and stop it once and for all.
Drunk on love
Guillory, Jasmine, author
Margot Noble needs some relief from the stress of running the family winery. Enter Luke: sexy, charming, and, best of all, she lucked into the perfect one-night stand she'll never have to see again. That is, until the winery's newest hire, Luke, walks in the next morning. Luke has no idea what is next for him, but one thing is certain: he wants more from the incredibly smart and sexy woman he hooked up with - even after he learns she's his new boss. Nothing goes to your head as fast as a taste of love - even if it means changing all your plans.
George, Jessica, 1994-, author
It's fair to say that Maddie's life in London is far from rewarding. When her mum returns from her latest trip to Ghana, Maddie leaps at the chance to get out of the family home and finally start living. A self-acknowledged late bloomer, she's ready to experience some important "firsts:" find a flat, say yes to after-work drinks, pushes for more recognition in her career, and throws herself into the bewildering world of internet dating. But it's not long before tragedy strikes, forcing Maddie to face the true nature of her unconventional family, and the perils - and rewards - of putting her heart on the line.
Meals, music, and muses : recipes from my African American kitchen
Smalls, Alexander, 1952- author
Iconic chef and world-renowned opera singer Alexander Smalls marries two of his greatest passions--food and music--in Meals, Music, and Muses. More than just a cookbook, Smalls takes readers on a delicious journey through the South to examine the food that has shaped the region. Each chapter is named for a type of music to help readers understand the spirit that animates these recipes. Complete with anecdotes of Smalls's childhood in the Low Country and examinations of Southern musical tradition, Meals, Music, and Muses is a heritage cookbook in the tradition of Edna Lewis's A Taste of Country Cooking. -- Provided by publisher.
The new Jim Crow : mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness
Alexander, Michelle, author
Seldom does a book have the impact of Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow. Since it was first published in 2010, it has been cited in judicial decisions and has been adopted in campus-wide and community-wide reads; it helped inspire the creation of the Marshall Project and the new $100 million Art for Justice Fund; it has been the winner of numerous prizes, including the prestigious NAACP Image Award; and it has spent nearly 250 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.Most important of all, it has spawned a whole generation of criminal justice reform activists and organizations motivated by Michelle Alexander's unforgettable argument that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it." As the Birmingham News proclaimed, it is "undoubtedly the most important book published in this century about the U.S." Now, ten years after it was first published, The New Press is proud to issue a tenth-anniversary edition with a new preface by Michelle Alexander that discusses the impact the book has had and the state of the criminal justice reform movement today.
Mottley, Leila, 2002- author
Kiara Johnson and her brother Marcus are barely scraping by in a squalid East Oakland apartment complex. Both have dropped out of high school, their family fractured by death and prison. One night, what begins as a drunken misunderstanding with a stranger turns into the job Kiara never imagined wanting but now desperately needs: nightcrawling. And her world breaks open even further when her name surfaces in an investigation that exposes her as a key witness in a massive scandal within the Oakland police department.
On the rooftop
Sexton, Margaret Wilkerson, author
At home they are just sisters, but on stage, they are The Salvations. Thanks to the rigorous direction of their mother, Vivian, the sisters become a bona fide girl group whose shows are the talk of the Jazz-era Fillmore. Now, Vivian has scored a once-in-a-lifetime offer from a talent manager, who promises to catapult The Salvations into the national spotlight. But sometime between the hours of rehearsal on their rooftop and the weekly gigs at the Champagne Supper Club, the girls have become women, women with dreams that their mother cannot imagine.
The sleeping car porter
Mayr, Suzette, author
It's 1929, and Baxter is lucky enough, as a Black man, to have a job as a sleeping car porter on a train that crisscrosses the country. On this particular trip out west, the passengers are more unruly than usual, especially when the train is stalled for two extra days and their secrets start to leak out. When he finds a naughty postcard of two gay men, Baxter's memories and longings are reawakened; keeping it puts his job in peril, but he can't part with the postcard or his thoughts of his Porter Instructor.
The sweetness of water
Harris, Nathan, author
In the waning days of the Civil War, brothers Prentiss and Landry - freed by the Emancipation Proclamation - seek refuge on the homestead of white farmer George Walker and his wife, Isabelle. Parallel to their story runs a forbidden romance between two Confederate soldiers. But when their secret is discovered, the resulting chaos brings convulsive repercussions for the entire community. With candor and sympathy, this novels introduces an unforgettable cast of characters, depicting Georgia in the violent crucible of Reconstruction.
Brown, Jericho, author
Jericho Brown's daring new book The Tradition details the normalization of evil and its history at the intersection of the past and the personal. Brown's poetic concerns are both broad and intimate, and at their very core a distillation of the incredibly human: What is safety? Who is this nation? Where does freedom truly lie? Poems of fatherhood, legacy, blackness, queerness, worship, and trauma are propelled into stunning clarity by Brown's mastery, and his invention of the duplex--a combination of the sonnet, the ghazal, and the blues--testament to his formal skill.
The vanishing half
Bennett, Brit, author
The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect?
We rip the world apart
Carr, Charlene, author.
When 24-year-old Kareela discovers she's pregnant it amplifies her struggle to understand her place in the world as a woman who is half-Black and half-white. Her mother, Evelyn, fled to Canada with her first-born child, Antony, during the politically charged Jamaican Exodus of the 1980s. Years later, in the aftermath of Antony's murder by the police, the traumas carried grow into a web of secrets that threatens the very family they all hold so dear. Weaving the women's stories across multiple timelines, this novel reveals the ways that simple choices can have deeper repercussions.