Black Histories -- Tracing Ongoing Experiences, Contributions and Participation

From the earliest explorers who brought slaves into New France, to migrations from the United States and elsewhere, the threads of Black Experience and History in Canada are varied, often lost in the margins, and often just mentioned but not really explored in any depth in our provincial programs.


Teaching and Learning Tools

Educational Approaches and Strategies:

Refer to other purple section below this for Curated Resources, Timelines, Videos, etc.

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 the context of other Loyalist movements
An overview of loyalist experiences and Black settlements  Go to page

Tracing Black Histories throughout the QEP program
As we at LEARN curate and build learning materials for the new HQC program here,  we are allowing ourselves to wander into its various margins. Expanding on the program's "knowledge" lists, we are beginning a process that traces the contributions of different groups, over time and into the future, in Quebec and elsewhere too.  We have only just begun, but feel free to take a look here


Education Guides & Teacher Resources available elsewhere online

ABC's of Canadian Black History
The ABC’s of Canadian Black History is a pre-designed curriculum enhancer tailored to an educator’s perspective for in-class teaching, presentations as well as in-depth study and research. The Kit can be used in elementary through university to inform students of the contributions of the Black community to the development of Canada since the 1600’s. The largely ignored historical role of Blacks throughout Canadian history is particularly relevant today in the multiethnic and multicultural environments in our present day schools and educational institutions. Go to site

Black History Canada Education Guide by Historical Canada.  
This guide is now on page at Encylopedia Canada.  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 applicable lesson ideas & resources for use in Canadian classrooms.  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

The Amistad Case 
Primary source documents & U.S. v. Amistad: A Case of Jurisdiction on DocsTeach. Go to site 

Lesson activity looks at the life of Richard Pierpoint
Taken offline, this activity can still be found at  Go to site 

Long Walk of Nelson Mandela Viewers' & Teachers' Guide
Contexts, discussion questions, family activities  Go to site


See below this for other Curated Resources, Timelines, Videos, etc.

Curated Resources, Web Sites and Video Collections

Web Sites and online resources

Black History Timeline on The Canadian Encyclopedia
Black history did not begin in recent times in Canada, but in ancient times in Africa. People connected by their common African history and ancestry have created Black history here. Go to site

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

BooksShades of Black - The Best Books on the Black Experience in Canada 
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:  Sections on Black Communities in Canada Refugees, The Anti-Slavery Society of Canada, The American Civil War. Go to site

American Slave Narratives: An Online Anthology  Go to site 

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

Images of African Americans from the 19th Century Go to site 

African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship  Go to site

Slavery: History & Memory.  Vast collection of articles and imagery, various angles.  Go to site

Video Collections

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

Black History in America on 
Information and many videos Go to site

A few biographies


23 historical black Canadians you should know
Reflect on the stories, experiences, and accomplishments of Canada's black community. Here are 23 black Canadians who made major contributions to Canada's culture and legacy. Go to site

Black Female Freedom Fighters
"To be black and female in a society which is both racist and sexist is to be in the unique position of having nowhere to go but up," said Rosemary Brown. Go to site

Ten Famous Black Canadians. Go to site

Black History Month Noteworthy historical figures via Canada Heritage Go to site 



Mathieu Da Costa
Historians consider him the first Black person known to have visited Canada, probably in the company of Pierre Dugua de Mons and Samuel de Champlain. Go to site

Thomas Peters A biography of Thomas Peters. From the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.  Go to site
Stephen Blucke A biography of Stephen Blucke. From the Black Loyalists: Our History, Our Peoplewebsite. Go to site

Richard Pierpoint (old and new links) on Richard Pierpoint entry on Pierpoint
Heritage Minute on Richard Pierpoint
Richard Pierpoint, Slave, Loyalist, Soldier, Farmer - Fact Sheet by FCWMSlave, Soldier, Settler One Pioneer's Story, The Life of Richard Pierpoint by David Meyler. 

Josiah Henson
His profile page at Canadian Encyclopedia Go to site
See also his role in Rebellions of 1837-38 described here: Go to site

Viola Desmond
A Viola Desmond primer: Who’s the woman on today’s new Canadian $10 bill? 
Viola Desmond Heritage Minute 
Viola Desmond | The Canadian Encyclopedia

Mary Shadd Cary (1823-1893) - educator, publisher, abolitionis, first Black female newspaper publisher.  Canadian Encyclopedia

Oscar Peterson - A Jazz Sensation / Une sensation jazz
Historica Canada and Canadian Encyclopedia

Oliver Jones  - "A musical prodigy, Oliver Jones made jazz a way of life"  Canadian Encyclopedia

Daisy Peterson Sweeney - teacher, pianist, organist, early teacher, of celebrated jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, also taught other notable Montréal jazz pianists, including Oliver Jones and Joe Sealey.   Canadian Encyclopedia

For other important Black Musicians in Canada see


Paul Rombough

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Me of course!  @paulrombo 
MoisHistoireNoirs @lemoisdesnoirs
Linton Garner @LINTONGARNER1
Anthony Morgan @AnthonyNMorgan
Black Perspectives @BlkPerspectives
Karen Flynn, :PhD @KarenFlynnPhD
Afua Cooper @afuacooper
Natasha Henry @NHenryFundi
Melissa N. Shaw @MelissaNShaw



Resources, ideas, inspiration