Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative

Black History Month

Feb 4, 2015

Wierd. The CBC on its website recommends 10 books to read for Black History Month, yet as far as I can tell all of the titles are novels, not history.

So let me add to the list a few books that are actually Black history.

First of all, a couple of old chestnuts:

The Blacks in Canada, by Robin Winks: first published in 1971, this classic has a second edition with a new introduction by the author.

Go Do Some Great Thing, by Crawford Kilian: a history of Blacks in BC, first published in 1978 and reissued four years ago.

Then some more recent work.

I've Got a Home in Glory Land, by Karolyn Smardz Frost: a tale of the underground railroad, it won the Governor General's Award for Non-fiction in 2007.

Done With Slavery, by Frank Mackey: a history of Blacks in Montreal in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

The Hanging of Angelique, by Afua Cooper: a micro-history of a Montreal slave in 1734.

After Canaan, by Wayde Compton: a book of essays about Blacks in Canada, specifically in Vancouver.

These are just six titles that come to mind, there are many others. Why not celebrate Black History Month by reading one?