About Black History Month
In Canada, the House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month in 1995. The motion was introduced by the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament, the Honourable Dr. Jean Augustine. In February 2008, former Nova Scotia Senator Donald Oliver, introduced a motion to have the Senate officially declare February as Black History Month. The motion received unanimous approval and was adopted on March 4, 2008.
Black History Month Podcast Episodes
Ever wondered about the history of Black History Month? Historian Deirdre McCorkindale, Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph, talks about the history behind the month, things to consider when teaching Black History, and why you should keep your lessons local.
Rosalie Griffith, (Con.Ed.’99) Secondary School Principal with the Toronto District School Board, joined us to talk about Black History month, available resources and why it is important to talk about race in the classroom.
The ETFO guides include Ontario curriculum expectations and Black history lesson plans for grades K-8. Natasha Henry, President of the Ontario Black History Society, served as the content editor.
- Elementary Teacher's Federation of Ontario 365 Black Canadian Curriculum (ETFO Login needed)
- 365 Black Canadian Curriculum Worksheets (ETFO Login needed)
- Virtual Children's Stories: Black History Month - notable figures from the Black Canadian community read children's stories written by Black authors
- Teaching African Canadian History - this site includes K-12 lesson plans about slavery in Canada, famous Black Canadians, African Canadians and the War of 1812, African Canadian Labour History, and African Canadian women.
- Ontario Teachers Federation - This site focuses on Canadian Black History through the use of grades nine and ten literacy lessons. Ninth and tenth-grade literacy lesson plans are included for subjects such as Social Science, Religion, English, Marth, Art, Science, and Business.
Black History Societies and Museums
Black Loyalist Heritage Center
From 1775-83, thousands of free or enslaved Africans fought for the British during the American Revolutionary War. Called Black Loyalists, they hoped to gain their freedom. In 1783, when the Treaty of Paris was signed, British forces fled to Europe, the West Indies, and Upper and Lower Canada. More than 3,000 free Blacks or former enslaved people settled in Nova Scotia. The Black Loyalist Heritage Center is located in Birchtown Bay. The site offers virtual tours.
Ontario Black History Society
The Ontario Black History Society was founded in 1978. The OBHS is dedicated to the study, preservation, and promotion of Ontario's Black History. The organization provides tours and online learning resources. The OBHS is also the only Ontario Provincial Heritage Organization of the Ministry of Culture devoted to Black history and heritage.
Black History Ottawa
Black History Ottawa (BHO) is a registered Canadian charity whose mandate is to advance education by increasing public knowledge and appreciation and by researching the history, culture, traditions, and achievements of African Canadians.
Buxton National Museum
Buxton is one of Ontario's oldest Black Canadian communities. Formerly called The Elgin Settlement in 1849, it became known as North and South Buxton in 1872. The descendants of the original settlers remain in the area to this day. Virtual tours available.
Black Cultural Center for Nova Scotia
The Black Cultural Center for Nova Scotia is incorporated under Nova Scotia legislation, known as the Black Cultural Society act of 1977. The Centre is supported by the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture, and Heritage, and through donations and membership.
Amherstburg Freedom Museum
The Amherstburg Freedom Museum is located in Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada. It is a non-profit, community-based museum that tells the story of African-Canadians' history and contributions. Founded in 1975 by residents of Amherstburg, it preserves, presents artifacts and tells the story of the African-Canadians' journey and contributions. They have a wealth of video resources.
- Historica Canada: Black History in Canada
- Ontario Heritage Trust: Slavery to Freedom
- Black History Month - Notable Black Canadians
- Black History Month Videos - Ontario Black History Society, The goal of #ShareTheirStory is to change the way we talk about history in Canada by brining the stories of five historic Black entrepreneurs into the discussion. The site was developed in partnership with the OBHS, Toronto Metropolitan University and the Rella Braithwaite Foundation.
- Canadian Heritage:
Toolkits for Educators
- The Black Cultural Center for Nova Scotia provides PDF infosheets on topics such as Black Loyalists and important historical Black figures.
- The Black Canadian Educational Package includes a magazine issue about the history of Black Canadians aimed at primary learners, lesson plans, and videos about Africville, Black Canadian railway porters, Viola Desmond, and Portia White.
- Black History Month Resources: Approaches, Identities, Histories, Legacies, & Inclusion - this four-part list of resources focuses on Approaches and Mindsets, Exploring Black Identity and Black Joy, Black Canadian History in Chronological Order, and Legacy and Memorials.
- Black History Month Toolkit
- CBC Kids: Black History Month
- Teaching Canadian History provides a curated list of books about Black History for children to young adults.
- The Kids Book of Black Canadian History by Rosemary Sadller, Toronto: Kids Can Press
- Eight must-read Canadian nonfiction works for Black History Month
- An African-Centred Approach to Teaching Black History by Alana Butler, 2021. Policy Options.
- The Conversation - Black History Month Articles
- Here is the story behind Black History Month - and why it's celebrated in February by Jonathan Franklin, Feb. 1, 2022, NPR
- Black History Month: What is it and why do we need it? by Alem Tedeneke, January 27, 2022, World Economic Forum