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Black History Books

By 49thShelf
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We're compiling for Black History Month, but these are books you can be reading all year around.
A Credit to Your Race

A Credit to Your Race

edition:Paperback
tagged : literary

A longtime resident of Surrey, Truman Green wrote 'A Credit to Your Race' (1973), in which a fifteen-year-old black porter's son falls in love with, and impregnates, the white girl next door. Set in Surrey, circa 1960, 'A Credit to Your Race' is a disturbing and convincing portrayal of how the full weight of Canadian racism could come to bear on a youthful, interracial couple. "If Isolation is a key theme of black B.C. writing," says social historian Wayde Compton, "Green's protagonist Billy Rob …

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Execution Poems

Execution Poems

edition:Paperback
also available: Paperback
tagged : canadian

After nine years and nine trade printings, Gaspereau Press is issuing a revised and redesigned second edition of its most popular title. Originally released in 2000 in a limited edition of 66 books handset and printed letterpress in a folio format, Execution Poems has gone on to sell over 6000 copies. It was the winner of the 2001 Governor General’s award for poetry and took first place in the poetry category of the 2001 Alcuin Awards for Excellence in Canadian Book Design.

Execution Poems is …

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Viola Desmond Won't Be Budged

Viola Desmond Won't Be Budged

edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook

Finalist for the 2011 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction

"On behalf of the Nova Scotia government, I sincerely apologize to Mrs. Viola Desmond’s family and to all African Nova Scotians for the racial discrimination she was subjected to by the justice system . . . We recognize today that the act for which Viola Desmond was arrested, was an act of courage, not an offence." -- Darrell Dexter, Premier of Nova Scotia, April 15, 2010

In Nova Scotia, in 1946, an usher in a movie thea …

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Elijah of Buxton

Elijah of Buxton

edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback Hardcover
tagged :

Master storyteller Christopher Paul Curtis lends his trademark humour and vibrant narrative style to the gripping tale of eleven-year-old Elijah Freeman. The first child born into freedom in Buxton, Ontario, a settlement of runaway slaves just over the border from Detroit, Elijah is best known in his hometown as the boy who threw up on Frederick Douglass. Not on purpose, of course he was just a baby then! But things change when a former slave calling himself the Right Reverend Zephariah W. Conne …

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After Canaan

After Canaan

Essays on Race, Writing, and Region
edition:Paperback

Finalist, City of Vancouver Book Award

After Canaan, the first nonfiction book by acclaimed Vancouver poet Wayde Compton, repositions the North American discussion of race in the wake of the tumultuous twentieth century. It riffs on the concept of Canada as a promised land (or "Canaan") encoded in African American myth and song since the days of slavery. These varied essays, steeped in a kind of history rarely written about, explore the language of racial misrecognition (a.k.a. "passing"), the …

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Black Then

Black Then

Blacks and Montreal, 1780s-1880s
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback eBook
tagged :
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Season of Rage

Season of Rage

Hugh Burnett and the Struggle for Civil Rights
edition:Paperback

The last place in North America where black people and white people could not sit down together to share a cup of coffee in a restaurant was not in the Deep South. It was in the small, sleepy Ontario town of Dresden.

Dresden is the site of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Slaves who made their way north through the Underground Railroad created the thriving Dawn Settlement in Dresden before and during the Civil War. They did not find Utopia on the Canadian side of the border, despite their efforts.

In 1954 so …

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