Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Literary Collections Canadian

The Black Prairie Archives

An Anthology

edited by Karina Vernon

Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2020
Canadian, Black Studies (Global)
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2020
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Feb 2020
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


The Black Prairie Archives: An Anthology recovers a new regional archive of “black prairie” literature, and includes writing that ranges from work by nineteenth-century black fur traders and pioneers, all of it published here for the first time, to contemporary writing of the twenty-first century.

This anthology establishes a new black prairie literary tradition and transforms inherited understandings of what prairie literature looks and sounds like. It collects varied and unique work by writers who were both conscious and unconscious of themselves as black writers or as “prairie” people. Their letters, recipes, oral literature, autobiographies, rap, and poetry- provide vivid glimpses into the reality of their lived experiences and give meaning to them.

The book includes introductory notes for each writer in non-specialist language, and notes to assist readers in their engagement with the literature. This archive and its supporting text offer new scholarly and pedagogical possibilities by expanding the nation’s and the region’s archives. They enrich our understanding of black Canada by bringing to light the prairies' black histories, cultures, and presences.

About the author

Karina Vernon is an associate professor of English at the University of Toronto, where her teaching and research focus on black Canadian literature, archives, and decolonization.

Karina Vernon's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"The Black Prairie Archives: An Anthology was an illuminating, affirming, enraging, revelatory, exciting, and daunting read. ... This 580-page anthology serves as a mere introduction to the myriad of Black lives in the Prairies. We are here. We have been here. We have histories here. We have futures here. ... This book is a portal. An opening to the may more stories to be told from our past, our present, and our future."

C Magazine (147)

Karina Vernon’s anthology, The Black Prairie Archives, is readable, engaging, lively, polyphonic, political and literary, and simply impossible to reduce to simple periodization or even to a set of aesthetic values.

Alberta Views