Black History -- Tracing Ongoing Contributions Throughout History

From the earliest explorers who brought slaves in New France to migrations from the United States and elsewhere, the threads of Black history in Canada are varied, often lost in the margins, too often just mentioned (when mentioned at all) but not usually uncovered in any detail, and much less with consideration of minority perspectives in mind.

A project just in its infancy at LEARN is something we are tentatively calling Essential Counter Histories.  As we built materials (for the new History program, for example) we are allowing ourselves to wander into various margins, expanding on the program's knowledge lists, and beginning to tracing the contributions of different groups, over time and into the future, in Quebec and elsewhere too.

i.e. Black History is not just about Black History Month.

Teaching and Learning Tools

Educational Resources on LEARN

Some Missing Pages and A WW1 Soldier's Story
"A project on the presence of the Black community in Quebec and Canada."  Note: We were unable to import the Missing Pages section of the old site, but the book has been made available.  Download  Also, we have created PDFs of the old learning scenario a Soldier's Story, which refers to the sections in the original book.   Download

Black Loyalists in context of other Loyalist movements
Overview of loyalists experiences and Black settlements, article from the Societies & Territories Loyalist section.  Go to page

Education Guides and Resources around the web

Black History Canada Education Guide by Historical Canada. Online resources and teacher guide.  Go to site  See also their older list of suggestions here.  

People of African Descent This lesson plan introduces a selection of historical works by artists' of African descent and portraits of individuals of African descent in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada.  Go to site

Black History Month Lessons & Resources at NEA.  American site but with several applicable lesson ideas and resources for use in Canadian classrooms too.  Go to site

Guide to Online Resources for Teaching and Learning about Black History in Canada blog post by @AndreaEidinger Article with some good ideas and links to resources, media, social media, etc.  Go to site

Your ideas on how to teach black history beyond Black History Month.  CBC Forum article and comments by viewers on how to teach Black History Month, etc.  Go to site

Ontario Black History Society.  Notes on events, places to visit and resources.  See their educator guide PDF at bottom of the page. Go to site 

The Underground Railroad Lesson on Historical Thinking site Students use the National Geographic website to participate in an online simulation that traces the journey to freedom on the Underground Railroad.  Go to site


Curated Resources, Web Sites and Video Collections

Web Sites worth visiting

Black History in Canada at Library and Archives Canada Research in published sources,  Research at other institutions and online, etc. Go to site

Black History Canada.  Mentioned above for their learning activities, see also their timeline of events in form of several articles.  Mathieu Da Costa, Departure of Black Loyalists, Abolition of Enslavement in Canada, Founding of Oro Settlement, etc. Go to site

Black History Month Resources list from InspireLEARNING   The resource list below offers some resources that may be helpful in learning about Black History both here in Canada, and around the world. Go to site

Images of Black History, Exploring the Alvin McCurdy Collection.  Materials that pre-date the founding of the province in 1791, and extends through the mid-20th century. This exhibit illustrates some of the key events and trends in Ontario black history with pictures and documents. Go to site

ARCHIVED - The Anti-Slavery Movement in Canada.  Archived content worth grabbing now.  Sections on Black Communities in Canada Refugees, The Anti-Slavery Society of Canada, The American Civil War. Go to site

Video Collections worth viewing

National Film Board  THE BLACK COMMUNITY IN CANADA: A RICH HISTORY  [Login to LEARN first then visit to access Campus, etc.].  To celebrate the history of the Black community in Canada, we've selected a group of NFB of films that can only scratch the surface of such a rich and multi-layered culture. Incredible stories in the Black community of strength, courage and perseverance in the face of adversity date back to the beginning of time. Go to site

CURIO:  Celebrating Black History Month 
[Login to LEARN then access via our button!] has pulled together a selection of teacher resource guides, videos and audio series that honour black history in Canada. These resources are intended to complement teachers’ Black History Month activities and initiatives.  In particular, we wish to highlight the Burgundy Jazz Teacher Resource Guide, a must-read resource aimed at educators at the elementary (Grades 6-8) and secondary school levels. Go to site

CTV video related to BLACK HISTORY MONTH.  
Local Quebec-focused stories that highlight prominent individuals influencing history now.  Go to site

New York Times list: 28 Days, 28 Films for Black History Month
Our chief film critics have chosen essential movies from the 20th century that convey the larger history of black Americans in cinema. Go to site


Consultant LEARN et contacts

Paul Rombough - Consultant services pédagogiques

Mes dossiers à LEARN :

Social Sciences
Ethics and Religious Culture
Physical Education and Health
Sex Education

Vous pouvez me joindre:


Coordonnées de LEARN 

For LEARN Office addresses and phone contacts, and for eConferencing Support, visit  the main LEARN contacts section

Pour les adresses et contacts de LEARN ainsi que pour les visioconférences, visitez la section principale des contacts. Visiter la page



TEMPORARY SECTION - Old site links to check


These are resources from our old, old site.  Just pasting here temporarily to check the links.  

Jazz - A History of America's Music

The Fight for Equal Rights: Black Soldiers in the Civil War 

The Amistad Case 

Beyond the Playing Field: Jackie Robinson, Civil Rights Advocate 

BooksShades of Black - The Best Books on the Black Experience in Canada 
by Nancy Sparks and Jane Thornley 



African American historical documents online

Do you like the idea of using historical documents with your students but aren't quite sure what to do with them? Try consulting some of the websites listed at the end of this page to get resources on the use of primary sources in the classroom.

African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship

This Special Presentation of the Library of Congress exhibition, The African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship, showcases the Library's incomparable African American collections. Includes a wide array of full-text important and rare books, government documents, manuscripts, maps, and musical scores.

African American Perspectives - Pamphlets from the The Daniel A. P. Murray Collection 1818-1907 

The collection presents a panoramic and eclectic review of African-American history and culture, spanning almost one hundred years from the early nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries, with the bulk of the material published between 1875 and 1900. Among the authors represented are Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Benjamin W. Arnett, Alexander Crummel, and Emanuel Love.

African-American Women - On-line Archival Collections - Special Collections Library, Duke University

Elizabeth Johnson Harris - Life Story, 1867-1923 
Elizabeth Johnson Harris was born in Augusta, Georgia, in 1867 to parents who had been slaves. This on-line collection includes full text of her memoirs as well as several of her poems and vignettes that were published in various newspapers during her lifetime.

Vilet Lester Letter, 1857 
Although many of the facts of Vilet Lester's life may be elusive, she still gives us a rare and precious view into slave life through this letter.

Hannah Valentine and Lethe Jackson: Slave Letters 1837-1838 
These letters were written by Hannah Valentine and Lethe Jackson to their mistresses and other slave family members during this time period. The letters provide a rare firsthand glimpse into the lives of slaves and the relationships they had with their owners.

African American Women Writers of the 19th Century

A digital collection of some 52 published works by 19th-century black women writers. A part of the Digital Schomburg, this collection provides access to the thought, perspectives and creative abilities of black women as captured in books and pamphlets published prior to 1920. A full text database of these 19th and early 20th- century titles, this digital library is key-word-searchable.

American Slave Narratives: An Online Anthology 

From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection, 1824-1909

Presents 397 pamphlets from the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, published from 1824 through 1909, by African-American authors and others who wrote about slavery, African colonization, Emancipation, Reconstruction, and related topics. The materials range from personal accounts and public orations to organizational reports and legislative speeches.

Images of African Amercians from the 19th Century 
Exploring Amistad 
Search results here

The Fight for Equal Rights: Black Soldiers in the Civil War 

The Amistad Case 

Beyond the Playing Field: Jackie Robinson, Civil Rights Advocate




Oscar Peterson - A Jazz Sensation / Une sensation jazz Mary Shadd Cary (1823-1893) Mary Shadd Cary (1823-1893)
En français - Slave, Soldier, Settler One Pioneer's Story, The

Life of Richard Pierpoint is only copy I found of activity for:
This lesson activity looks at the life of Richard Pierpoint, an African and one of the first
non-Native settlers of Ontario. He is a reminder that Ontario from its earliest roots was a
multi-ethnic society. The activity can be used during Black History Month as a special project,
for multi-cultural studies or for a unit on pioneers. It is geared for a Formative Years level
class, but could be modified for later or earlier grades.

Frederick Douglass - American Visionaries

Frederick Douglass has been called the father of the civil rights movement. He rose through determination, brilliance, and eloquence to shape the American nation. He was an abolitionist, human rights and women's rights activist, orator, author, journalist, publisher, and social reformer.

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site

Frederick Douglass was born into slavery on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 1818, and was given the name Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey (Baly), after his mother Harriet Bailey. During the course of his remarkable life he escaped from slavery, became internationally renowned for his eloquence in the cause of liberty, and went on to serve the national government in several official capacities. Through his work he came into contact with many of the leaders of his times. His early work in the cause of freedom brought him into contact with a wide array of abolitionists and social reformers. As a major Stationmaster on the Underground Railroad he directly helped hundreds on their way to freedom through his adopted home city of Rochester, NY.

Great African Americans - Celebrate Black History Month - History

Muhammad Ali | Martin Luther King, Jr. | Louis Armstrong | Thurgood Marshall | Josephine Baker | Toni Morrison | Chuck Berry | Jesse Owens | Ralph Bunche | Rosa Parks | George Washington Carver |Sidney Poitier | Nat King Cole | Colin Powell | Frederick Douglass | Jackie Robinson | W.E.B Du Bois | Harriet Tubman | Duke Ellington | Sojourner Truth | Alex Haley | Booker T. Washington | Billie Holiday | Ida B. Wells | Langston Hughes | Oprah Winfrey | Jesse Jackson | Malcolm X

The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela - An intimate portrait of one of the 20th century's greatest leaders

Teacher's Guide

Nelson Mandela Martin Luther King Jr. - A Man Who Stirred the Nation Robinson - Stealing Home

African American - The Digital Bridge

Articles, columns, biographies of historical and contemporary figures and much, much more...

The African American Journey - History

American History | Genealogy | Slavery | Harlem Renaissance | Military History | Civil Rights Movement | Speeches & Other Historical Documents

Africans in America - America's Journey Through Slavery

A major collection of images, documents, stories, biographies, and commentaries.

Afro americ@

History and culture links

Kids Zone

Fun and games | Myths and fables | Brain Teasers | Discover Africa

Afro-American Almanac

A fabulous resource including a plethora of historical texts and documents, biographies of prominent historical figures. Also contains folk tales, trivia games and more. Black Press - Soldiers Without Swords Resistance - Slavery in the United States Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families - Frontline

One of the early roots of the film "Secret Daughter" was FRONTLINE's research into the growing debate over racial classification and the social phenomenon commonly known as "passing." Mario deValdes y Cocom, an historian of the African diaspora, researched some of history's more interesting examples of mixed racial heritage.

The Civil War and the African American response Great Day in Harlem

Explore jazz history through on photograph...

The Internet African American History Challenge©
Profiles of Some Important 19th Century African Americans Menare Foundation's North Star Website

In 1998 The Menare Foundation, Inc. sponsored The Walk to Canada: The Revival, a three-month journey through ten different states from Alabama to Canada, where Anthony Cohen traced routes of the Underground Railroad to bring attention to its important history. Within this site you can read excerpts from Anthony's 1998 "Walk." Learn how to document Underground Railroad sites and preserve safe-houses in your area. You will also find special resources and educational activities. Multicultural Pavillion - Classic African American Literature

Links to online texts written by Frederick Douglass, Maya Angelou, W.E.B. Dubois, Martin Luther King, Jr. and many others.

National Geographic Online presents - The Underground Railway Two Nations of Black America - Frontline

In this FRONTLINE report, correspondent Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a Harvard scholar, explores the gaping chasm between the upper and lower classes of black America and probes why it has happened: "How have we reached this point where we have both the largest black middle class and the largest black underclass in our history?"

Interviews with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. | Julian Bond | Eldrige Cleaver | Kathleen Cleaver | Angela Davis | Christopher Edley | Jesse Jackson | Quincy Jones | Maulana Karenga | Cornel West | William Julius Wilson

The Underground Railroad Freedom Center


African Canadian History

Some Missing Pages: 
The Black Community in the History of Québec and Canada >> 

Blacks have continued to make a positive impact on Canadian society though largely missing from popular texts and public documents. This document focuses on their contribution. The material is directly compatible with the History of Québec and Canada program (History 414). Many of the items included can also serve as valuable content in a variety of subject areas and grade levels.

See also: A web and paper-based activity: 
A Soldier's Life: The History of Black Soldiers and their Impact ... 
Based on: Some Missing Pages 

Recently added: has put up a few excellent resources, including a nice timeline of Black History before and after the Europeans, and also  “Journey to the Present”: A Black History Month Exhibit.  Visit their site at

Radio-Canada has put up a BHM site in English and French  which details events and contains media at

York Region has a nice list of resources and sites as well at

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has a Youtube channel containing several videos related to Black History in Canada.   They recently posted a sample with transcript of Proud of our History on their main site as well at

Northern Blue Publishing is pleased to announce the release of the  Slavery in Canada Portal, to commemorate Black History Month and to serve as a resource site for students of Canadian history. For more information about using these materials in your classroom, please visit the  Northern Blue Publishing home pages.


Great Unsolved Mysteries: Resource for Black History.  If you’re going to be studying Black History Month be sure to check out this mystery: Torture and the Truth: Angélique and the Burning of Montreal


Black History Month - African Heritage Month

Multiculturism - Canadian Heritage Site

Visite for access to their main page>>>

See also some of their subsections such as:


175th Anniversary of the British Imperial Act of 1833 - the Act to Abolish Slavery in the British Empire 

1807- Abolition of the Slave Trade in the British Empire 

Mathieu Da Costa Challenge 

Historic Events 

People - Past and Present 



The Canadian Teacher links collection on Black History 
A growing collection of links to sites and lesson ideas for teachers in Canada.  Includes elementary and secondary materials. 

CBC Archives Celebrating Black History 
"CBC Digital Archives has pulled together a selection of radio and TV clips that honour black history — some of which exemplify the racism blacks have had to endure and overcome, both in Canada and around the world, while others highlight the remarkable accomplishments of extraordinary people." 

Celebrate Black History Month - Educational Materials 
Materials intended to accompany the A&E Classroom videos. 

History Channel - Great African Americans

Online profiles and some videos available for purchase: Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King, Jr., Louis Armstrong, Thurgood Marshall, Josephine Baker, Toni Morrison, Jesse Owens, Ralph Bunche, Rosa Parks, George Washington Carver, Sidney Poitier, Nat King Cole, Frederick Douglass, Jackie Robinson, W.E.B Du Bois, Harriet Tubman, Duke Ellington, Sojourner Truth, Alex Haley, Booker T. Washington, Billie Holiday, Ida B. Wells, Langston Hughes, Oprah Winfrey, Jesse Jackson, Malcolm X