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Children's Books

Birtha, Becky. Grandma's Pride. (2005) Albert Whitman Books.
ISBN: 0-8075-3028-X
An inspirational story based on real events and memories of Black America in the 1950's. Historical notes by the author are included.

Ehrhardt, Karen. (2006) The Jazz Man. Harcourt, Inc.
ISBN: 0-15-205307
An introduction to nine of the era's best jazz musicians and a biography for each musician.

Grifalconi, Ann. (2008) Ain't Nobody a Stranger to Me. Jump At the Sun.
ISBN: 0-7868-1857-3
Loosely based on the life of Orleans Finger, this remarkable and inspiring tale of the Underground Railroad comes to life.

Harrison, Troon. (2006) Courage to Fly. Red Deer Press.
ISBN: 0-88995-361-9
Meg, far from her Caribbean home, finds herself very lonely as she is teased by big city kids. When she finds a small bird, her mother, a kind Chinese man, and a new friend Jenny, help her decide to release it to freedom.

Keens-Douglas, Richardo. (1992) The Nutmeg Princess. Annick Press Ltd.
ISBN: 1-55037-239-4
Aglo and Petal live on the small Isle of Spice, in the Caribbean. This is story of their friendship with Petite Mama, a mountain dweller, and the tale of the Nutmeg Princess who lived in the bottomless lake.

McKissack, Patricia, (2005) Precious and the Boo Hag. Atheneum.
ISBN: 0-689-85194-4
The Boo Hag is a mean and scary imaginary ghostly shape. Precious, the spunky little girl, reverses the tricks the Boo Hag tries to play and as a result this folksy tale shows how she gets back at the Boo Hag.

Sadu, Itah. (1993) Christopher, Clean up your Room. Scholastic Canada Inc.
ISBN: 0-590-74034-2
A story about a young African Canadian boy who refuses to clean up his room until the cockroaches come in the night and give him a message!

Sadu, Itah. (1992) Name Calling. Women's Press.
ISBN: 0-88961-204-8
A story about a group of children who are bullying each other with name calling and how the problem gets resolved.

Sadu, Itah (2003) A Touch of the Zebra's. Women's Press.
ISBN: 0-88961-410-5
A story about Chelsea who struggles with being a biracial child and who to play with at school. She soon discovers she's not alone and that rainbows come in all colours.

Rappaport, Doreen. (1999). Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Hyperion Books for Children.
ISBN: 978-0-786807147
The author of Freedom River brings Dr. King to life in this picture book, using quotes from his speeches.

Adler, David. (1990). A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday House.
ISBN: 978-0823408474
An illustrated biography of the civil rights leader whose philosophy and practice of nonviolent civil disobedience helped American Blacks win many battles for equal rights.

Pinkney, Andrea. (1999). Duke Ellington: the piano prince and his orchestra. Hyperion Books.
ISBN: 978-078601787
Duke Ellington was hailed as the "King of the Keys." Most people called his music jazz, but he said it was "the music of my people." He was a great man who proudly celebrated the history of African Americans.

Hart, Philip. S. Up In the Air: the Story of Bessie Coleman. Carolrhoda Books.
ISBN: 978-0846149782
In 1920, Bessie Coleman was the first Black person to get her pilot's license.


Burtinshaw, Julie. (2005). Freedom Jenny, The. Raincoast Books.
ISBN: 1-55192-839-6
Jenny Estes and her family relate the story of African American slaves from Mississippi who immigrated to Saltspring Island, B.C., in the 1860s.

Cooper, John. (2002) Rapid Ray: The Story of Ray Lewis. Tundra.
ISBN: 0-88776-612-9
Ray Lewis won medals at the 1932 Olympics and the 1934 British Empire Games. This story is about this Canadian-born athlete who worked as a railway worker and who trained by running along the tracks.

Curtis, Christopher Paul. (2002) Bud, Not Buddy. Yearling.
ISBN: 0-440-41328-1
Young Bud, a motherless boy of ten, tries to find his father, a Jazz Musician. With his own suitcase of "special things," the story outlines an emotional journey for Bud.

Curtis, Christopher Paul. (2007) Elijah of Buxton. Scholastic.
ISBN: 0-439-93-647-0
This book talks about a Black Pioneer Settlement in Buxton, Ontario in 1859. It talks about the life of the main character, a free-born Black man named Elijah. The story has memorable characters and provides an awareness of slavery and the people who risked their lives in the Underground Railroad.

Curtis, Christopher Paul. (2008) Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963. Yearling.
ISBN: 0-440-41412-1
The 'weird' Watsons head south to Birmingham during a bleak period in the country's history. The older brother becomes involved in crime and the parents make good their threat to place him in the strict care of his grandmother.

Ellis, Deborah. (2007) The Heaven Shop. Fitzhenry and Whiteside.
ISBN: 1-55455-086-6
Binti and her siblings are orphaned due to AIDS and are forced to live with strict relatives. Her anger and frustration with her difficult circumstances are challenges to overcome.

Kositsky, Lynne. (2001) Rachel Book 1: A Mighty Big Imagining. (Our Canadian Girl Series) Penguin Canada.
ISBN: 0-14-100252-2
10-year-old Rachel boards a ship that will take her and her mother from slavery in America to freedom in Nova Scotia. As part of the adventure and a recurring theme through all 4 books, Rachel learns how to read and write.

Kositsky, Lynne. (2002) Rachel Book 2: The Maybe House. (Our Canadian Girl Series) Penguin Canada.
ISBN: 0-14-331208-1
In this story, we follow the hardships Rachel and her family face as her mother and baby Jem become ill. Their rations from the government were going to be cut in thirds and the land the settlers were to receive was still a "maybe."

Kositsky, Lynne. (2003) Rachel Book 3: Certificate of Freedom. (Our Canadian Girl Series) Penguin Canada.
ISBN: 0-14-301462-5
Titan, Rachel's stepfather, begins to build their house with tools he has borrowed from the local dignitary, Colonel Blucke. Rachel's momma still isn't very happy and their living conditions are tough and miserable.

Kositsky, Lynne. (2004) Rachel Book 4: An Elephant Tree for Christmas. (Our Canadian Girl Series) Penguin Canada.
ISBN: 0-14-301671-7
In this final book of the series, Rachel ends up looking after the family and the new house. Mama has gone and Rachel also becomes the teacher for the other children.

McFarlane, Brian. (2005) Book 8: The Baseball Thief. (Mitchell Brothers Series) H. B. Fenn.
ISBN: 1-55168-276-1
The Mitchell boys meet Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson, two famous baseball legends, when their team bus breaks down. They find themselves in the position of taking on their town's prejudice against the Black players.

Russell, Nancy. (2007) So Long, Jackie Robinson. Key Porter Books.
ISBN: 1-55263-863-4
About the struggles of Jackie Robinson and his struggles as he becomes the first African-American baseball player. It is told through the eyes of 12-year-old Matt Parker, who in 1946 works at the Delorimier Downs Stadium in Montreal. He and his friends live through an exciting period in the history of baseball.

Schwartz, Ellen. (2006) Stealing Home. Tundra.
ISBN: 0-88776-765-6
A young boy finds himself caught in the 1947 Yankee Fever, dealing with racial prejudice, a new baseball team, and a special hero.

Schwartz, Virginia Frances. (2002) If I Just had Two Wings. Fitzhenry and Whiteside.
ISBN: 0-7737-6192-6
A 13-year-old slave girl finds codes in songs about the Underground Railroad that motivate her to begin the journey north from the cotton fields in Alabama to Canada.

Smucker, Barbara. (1993) Underground to Canada. Penguin Books.
ISBN: 0-14-130686-6
This classic in Canadian Black History novels for young people is the story of a young girl taken from her mother who escapes from the harsh work in the cotton fields, and escapes from slavery by way of the Underground Railroad.

Spinelli, Jerry. (1999) Maniac Magee. Little Brown.
ISBN: 0-136-80906-3
This book is about the life of a runaway orphan boy who encounters racism, violence, and mystery and tackles it all with a maniacal attitude that helps him survive. It is also a story about friendship as he finally finds a family that accepts him.

Wilson, John. (2004) Flags of War. Kids Can Press.
ISBN: 1-55337-568-8
A comparison of life in Canada and the United States during the American Civil War. The story revolves around cousins: Nate, the American son of a plantation owner, and Walt, a Canadian.

Wilson, John. (2005) Battle Scars. Kids Can Press.
ISBN: 1-55337-703-6
This book is a sequel to Flags of War and follows up on the connections between Nate, the American boy and Walter, his Canadian cousin, and the interaction with Sunday, a former slave on Nate's father's plantation.

Canadian Flyer Adventure
Wishinsky, Frieda. (2008) Hurry, Freedom. Maple Tree Press.
ISBN: 1-897349-15-7
This time-travel series features Emily and Matt who arrive in Canada and join the Abolitionist movement to help slaves escape to freedom.

Teen Fiction

Bell, William. (2003). Stones. Seal Books.
ISBN: 0-7704-2875-4
A girl ghost who lived 150 years ago comes back to haunt Garnet a young man of current times. In this thriller, he gains insight into an unnatural prejudice and persecution in the Black community of her time.

Draper, Sharon M. (2008) Copper Sun. Simon Pulse Press.
ISBN: 1-4169-5348-5
Amari is sold into slavery but with the help of a little boy and a white indentured servant, she sets out on a dangerous journey to gain their freedom.

Lester, Julius. (2007) Day of Tears. Jump at the Sun Press.
ISBN: 1-4231-0409-9
A historical perspective on American History and the heart-breaking stories of slavery.


Black, Ayanna, ed. (2000) Fiery Spirits & Voices: Canadian Writers of African Descent. HarperCollins.
ISBN: 0-0064-8521-9
This volume combines two previous works: Voices: Writers of African Descent and Fiery Spirits, providing a rich and vibrant celebration of Canadian-African literature. It includes short fiction and poems, by a talented group of emerging and established writers. Also includes brief biographical sketches of the writers.

Blight, Dave. (2006) Passages to Freedom: The Underground Railroad in History and Memory. HarperCollins.
ISBN: 1-0060-851-18x
Accompanied by a host of archival photos and illustrations, this collection of essays, by fifteen respected historians, covers the history, mythology, and significance of the famous Underground Railroad.

Cooper, Afua. (2007) The Hanging of Angelique: The Untold Story of Canadian Slavery and the Burning of Old Montreal. HarperCollins.
ISBN: 0-00-200553-0
Marie-Joseph Angelique, a Black woman and slave, was executed in Montreal after being tried, tortured, and condemned for starting a fire in 1734 that destroyed forty-six buildings in the city. Using trial transcripts, private letters, and other New World correspondence, Cooper offers a new perspective on slavery in Canada, at the same time shedding new light on what might have compelled a young woman to commit such a crime.

Cooper, John. (2005) Season of Rage: Hugh Burnett and the Struggle for Civil Rights. Tundra Books.
ISBN: 0-8877-6700-1
This is the story of what happened to many ex-slaves who escaped the United States via the Underground Railroad only to face further discrimination in Dresden, Ontario, the centre of the civil rights struggle in the 1950s. What occurred in Dresden parallels much of what occurred in the United States on a smaller scale. Black-and-white photographs and timelines are included.

Hansen, Joyce, Laurie McGaw, Illus. (2004) African Princess: The Amazing Lives of Africa's Royal Women. Hyperion Press.
ISBN: 0-7868-5116-3
A illustrated history of six royal women and the times in which they lived. It depicts the strong self determination of these women from 1473 B.C. to the present day.

Hill, Daniel G. (1992) The Freedom Seekers: Blacks in Early Canada. Stoddart Publishing.
ISBN: 0-7725-5284-3
Chronicles the history of Blacks in early Canada.

Hill, Lawrence. (1993) Trials and Triumphs: The Story of African Canadians. Umbrella Press.
ISBN: 1-895642-01-9
A historical perspective of the roles of Black Canadians in Canada's history. It tells of from their roots in Africa and the Caribbean and the key points of settlement and immigration. A readable and informative overview of the contributions of African Canadians.

Hundey, Ian. (2005) John Ware. Fitzhenry and Whiteside.
Born a slave in the southern United States, John Ware immigrated to Canada after the American Civil War. He achieved fame, success, and respect as a Black man and was one of the first settlers in the region that eventually became Alberta. His illustrated with archival photographs, maps, and drawings, and includes suggested readings and an index.

Johnston, Justin. (2005) James Robinson Johnston: The Life and Death and Legacy of Nova Scotia's Most Famous Black Lawyer. Nimbus Publishing.
ISBN: 1-5510-9509-2
A brief biography of the first African-Canadian professional in Nova Scotia. The author reveals how the racial climate of the early twentieth century and the shame of his own family helped to suppress the memories of James Johnston's remarkable achievements as a civil rights activist and educator.

Johnson, Walter. (2005) Challenge of Diversity. Black Rose Books.
ISBN: 1-5516-4272-7
Using Canadian and American data, the author examines the challenges posed by the increasing cultural diversity of North American society. He covers such key issues as racism, employment equity, and security. A glossary and a resource guide outline each chapter's objectives.

Sadlier, Rosemary. (2003) The Kids Book of Black Canadian History. Kids Can Press.
ISBN: 1-55074-892-0
An overview of the history of Blacks in Canada from the beginnings in Africa to current day immigration from the Caribbean. It highlights the important role that Black Canadians have played in Canada's history. It also includes profiles of famous African Canadians and historical events with timelines and an index.

Sadlier, Rosemary. (1994) Leading the Way: Black Women in Canada. Umbrella Press.
ISBN: 1-895642-11-6
A collection of biographies and stories about Black Women who made significant contributions to Canada's history and growth, both in the past and present. It contains pictures, maps, and historical accounts of important events.

Sadlier, Rosemary. (1995) Mary Ann Shadd. Umbrella Press.
ISBN: 1-8956-4216-7
About Mary Ann Shadd, a publisher, teacher, lawyer and suffragette who advocated for both women and Blacks.

Sansregret, Marthe. (2006) Oliver Jones: The Musician, The Man. Quest Library, XYZ Publishing.
ISBN: 1-8948-5222-2
Montreal jazz pianist Oliver Jones (of Barbadian roots), a regular at the Montreal Jazz Festival, gained international recognition and won a Juno Award. He taught music in Canadian universities and received, among other awards, the Order of Canada.

Shoveller, Herb. (2006) Lincoln Alexander: A Biography. Dundurn Press.
ISBN: 978-1550026634
A story of one of Canada's heroes, the African-American son of a maid and railway porter, who embarked on a life path which took him to military service for his country, a thriving law career, and a political career. As he was Canada's first Black Member of Parliament, Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, and then a university chancellor.

Professional Reference

Hill, Lawrence. (2001) Any Known Blood. Harper Perennial.
ISBN: 978-0006481355
A story of five generations of African Canadians. Langston Cane, the protagonist, sets out on a voyage of discovery about his ancestors. The rich text uses his exploration to document the historical aspects of the Underground Railroad, the take-over of Harper's Ferry by John Brown, and the Ku-Klux Klan in Canada and fully integrates them into this novel.

Hill, Lawrence. (2007) The Book of Negroes. HarperCollins.
ISBN: 978-0-00-225507-3
This book was also published as Someone Knows My Name. This historical novel transports the reader from an African Village to a plantation in the southern United States; from refuge in Nova Scotia and back to Sierra Leone. The female protagonist registers her name in the "Book of Negroes," a British military ledger that allowed 3000 Black Loyalists to sail from Manhattan to Nova Scotia.



Ellington was Not A Street [VHS and DVD]
colour 12 min, Scholastic 2004
This program pays tribute to some of the most influential cultural and political African American leaders of the twentieth century.

Follow the Drinking Gourd [DVD]
(Reading Rainbow Series)
30 min, GPN Educational Media 1993
Based on the song Follow the Drinking Gourd which celebrates the road to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Viewers are introduced to the history, heroes, stories, and music of the African American culture which emerged from slavery.

Father Henson: His Spirit Lives On [VHS and DVD]
colour 26 min, Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site:
Josiah Henson was born into slavery in the United States in 1789. He and his family fled to Canada via the Underground Railroad in 1830. The segments profile the life of Josiah Henson, from his early years in slavery to the founding of the famous Dawn Settlement in Dresden, Ont.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day [VHS]
colour 10 min, McIntyre Media 1992
Highlights the career of Dr. King, one of the world's foremost civil rights leader and his contributions to people throughout the world.

Voice of Freedom [VHS and DVD]
(A Scattering of Seeds: the Creation of Canada Series, Season II)
colour 30 min, White Pine Pictures 1998 (distributed by McNabb Connolly)
Ugandan refugee, Opiyo Oloya, became the cultural centre of Toronto's diverse African community through his popular community radio programme. As a teacher he tells his story to students and learns about their experiences.

Harriet Tubman [VHS and DVD]
(Animated Hero Classics Series)
colour 28 min close captioned, Nest Entertainment 1996
Harriet Tubman, called "the Moses of her people," led 17 dangerous missions to the Confederate South, where she helped over 300 slaves escape to freedom.

Sojourner Truth: I Sell the Shadow [VHS]
sepia toned 27 min, Women of Diversity Productions 1997 (also distributed by
Actress Kim Russell portrays Sojourner Truth, a nineteenth century former slave, abolitionist, suffragette, and social activist.

Making It Happen: Masters of Invention [DVD]
colour 22 min, LightStream Media 1995 (distributed by
This program utilizes archival footage to document the creativity and achievement of African Americans in the fields of engineering, science, communications, health care, agriculture, transportation, and manufacturing.

The March on Washington Remembered [VHS]
colour 20 min, Central City Marketing/WGN Television Chicago 1990 (distributed by Encyclopaedia Britannica Educational Corporation)
On August 28, 1963, over 200,000 people assembled near the Lincoln Memorial and demanded equal justice for all citizens. Highlights Dr. King's stirring "I have a Dream" speech.

A Proud Past, A Promising Future [VHS and DVD]
colour 24 min, Ontario Black History Society 1984
This eight-unit parts video documents the arrival, settlement, and achievement of Blacks in Ontario, from 1780 to the early 1980s. The program emphasizes the political and economic causes for Black immigration to Canada.


King [DVD] colour 271 min closed captioned, MGM Home Entertainment 2005
In America during the 1950s and '60s, the civil rights movement found its leader in a Southern Baptist minister. Using lyrical eloquence, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., motivated masses of people - Black and white - to demand equality through nonviolent protest.

Honour Before Glory [DVD]
colour 67 min, McIntyre Media 2001
Written, produced, and directed by Anthony Sherwood. This documentary film is about Canada's one and only African Canadian military battalion, the Number Two Construction Battalion formed during the First World War.

A Farmer from Amber Valley: J.D. Edwards [VHS and DVD]
(A Scattering of Seeds: the Creation of Canada Series, Season IV)
colour 23 min, White Pine Pictures 2000 (distributed by McNabb Connolly)
A story of Jefferson Davis Edwards, a Black American in search of a freer life in Alberta. Chosen to go to Africa as a missionary, young Jeff opted instead to head north for the adventure of homesteading. He was one of many Black Oklahomans who looked to Canada as a land of opportunity.

Before his Time: Dr. Alfred E. Waddell [VHS and DVD]
(A Scattering of Seeds: the Creation of Canada Series, Season IV)
colour 23 min, White Pine Pictures 2000 (distributed by McNabb Connolly)
The story of Alfred Waddell, the son of a headmaster who set out for New York in 1923 with dreams of becoming a doctor. But it was Nova Scotia's Dalhousie University that opened its doors for him to study medicine.

Journey to Justice [VHS and DVD]
colour 47 min close captioned, National Film Board of Canada 2000
Meet an amazing group of Black Canadians who took racism to court. Viola Desmond kept her seat at a Halifax theatre in 1946 rather than moving to the section normally reserved for Blacks. Fred Christie, denied service at a Montreal tavern, appealed all the way to the Supreme Court in 1936. An insightful depiction of Canada's civil rights history.

Path to Freedom: Buxton Settlement [VHS and DVD]
(History Lands: Canada's Heritage Sites Series)
colour 23 min, Good Earth History 2000 (distributed by McNabb Connolly)
The history of Buxton, Ontario is tied to the vision of one man, and the triumph of the human spirit. It is a defining symbol of the beginnings of Canada's identity as a benevolent, democratic nation.

Mary Ann Shadd [VHS]
(Witness to Yesterday Series)
colour 26 min, The Film Works 1998
Mary Ann Shadd, the first Black woman newspaper editor in the world, reveals the long hidden Civil War story of her role in the epochal raid of Harper's Ferry.

Rose Fortune: Rhythm Stick to Freedom [VHS]
(Canadians: Biographies of a Nation Series)
colour 45 min, Great North Productions 1998
Rose Fortune was born into slavery in the Southern United States in 1774. She was owned by the Devone family, who eventually made their way to Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, as loyalist refugees following the American Revolution. It was in Annapolis Royal that Rose Fortune would gain her freedom.

Breaking the Ice: The Mary Ann Shadd Story [VHS and DVD]
(A Scattering of Seeds: the Creation of Canada Series, Season I )
colour 23 min, White Pine Pictures 1997 (distributed by McNabb Connolly)
Mary Ann Shadd, abolitionist and teacher, living in Windsor, Ontario, become the first female newspaper editor and the first female Black lawyer in North America.

Steal Away: The Harriet Tubman Story [VHS]
colour 30 min close captioned, National Geographic Television 1997
The story of a network of brave compatriots from different races, classes, and religions, who risked all they had to fight the institution of slavery by helping those in bondage steal away to freedom.

Race to Freedom: The Underground Railroad [DVD]
colour 90 min, Atlantis Films 1993
The real-life story of thousands of American blacks who escaped slavery by fleeing to Canada. It is set in the 1850s, shortly after the United States passed the Fugitive Slave Act.

Slavery, a Canadian Story: The Packwood Family [DVD]
(Hymn to Freedom: The History of Blacks in Canada Series)
colour 58 min, International Telefilm 1994
The Quebec story features the history of slavery in Lower Canada.

Richardo Keens-Douglas: Believe [DVD]
(Literature Alive Series)
colour 30 min, Leda Serene Films 2005
Like all great children's authors, Richardo Keens-Douglas is first and foremost a storyteller. Performing his work for young audiences, we see him inspire children to believe in themselves and have pride in their cultural heritage.

Pam Mordecai: Her True - True Name [DVD]
(Literature Alive Series)
colour 30 min, Leda Serene Films 2005
Jamaican born Pamela Mordecai has held many professional positions including teacher, TV host, editor, and publisher. An accomplished writer, her works include poems and short stories for adults and children, newspaper editorials, dance criticism, language art textbooks and studies on Caribbean culture.

Nalo Hopkinson: Fabulous Spaces [DVD]
(Literature Alive Series)
colour 30 min, Leda Serene Films 2005
Nalo Hopkinson's work combines Caribbean and Canadian culture, mixes her life story with folklore, blurs the boundaries between the real and the fantastic, and takes place in an invented urban landscape that reflects her hybrid history.

M. Nourbese Philip: Word Hammers [DVD]
(Literature Alive Series)
colour 30 min, Leda Serene Films 2005
Not one to sit still, poet, novelist, and former lawyer M. Nourbese Philip takes us on a power walk through the park using of language as a weapon in her powerful and courageous work.

Jemeni in the City [DVD]
(Literature Alive Series)
colour 30 min, Leda Serene Films 2005
Poet, writer, actor, comic, journalist, spoken word artist, and host of Flow 93.5's Morning Rush, Jemeni (Joanne Gairy) has become a voice that stands out in the Babel of urban Toronto.

Dwayne Morgan: The Man Behind the Mic [DVD]
(Literature Alive Series)
colour 30 min, Leda Serene Films 2005
In this portrait of enterprising poet/promoter/producer, Dwayne Morgan, we witness his tireless efforts to mount rousing literary and music events in Toronto.

Creation Fire, Part 1 [DVD]
(Literature Alive Series)
colour 30 min, Leda Serene Films 2005
In May 2005, Jamaica's Calabash Literary Festival celebrated its fifth year. The theme of the festival was 'The fire is Lit' and features performances by international stars.

Creation Fire, Part 2 [DVD]
(Literature Alive Series)
colour 30 min, Leda Serene Films 2005
Profiles writers Dionne Brand, Lynton Kwesi Johnson, Mutabaruka, Andrea Levy, and Stacey Anne Chin.

Andre Alexis: Memory Places [DVD]
(Literature Alive Series)
colour 30 min, Leda Serene Films 2005
In Memory Places, author and playwright Andre Alexis takes us on a tour of the places that spark his memories and stir his imagination. The documentary travels from his birthplace in Trinidad to Ottawa, where he spent his childhood, and finally to the Toronto neighbourhood he now calls home.

Whispers of Angels: A Story of The Underground Railroad [VHS and DVD]
colour 60 min, Teleduction Inc. 2001
Blending dramatic scenes with stories of historical scholars, this documentary explores the dangerous world of fugitive slaves who travelled the Underground Railroad. Ed Asner and Blair Underwood portray two of the Railroad's greatest "stationmasters."

The Gift [VHS and DVD]
(Jazz Series)
colour 110 min, Ken Burns 2000 (distributed by PBS Home Video)
This series traces the history of Jazz from its roots in the African American community of New Orleans to the present day. The Gift covers the years 1917-1924.

Gumbo [VHS and DVD]
(Jazz Series)
colour 110 min, Ken Burns 2000 (distributed by PBS Home Video)
Jazz begins in New Orleans, where the sound of marching bands, Italian opera, Caribbean rhythms, and minstrel shows fill the streets with a diverse musical culture. Gumbo traces the evolution of Jazz from its beginnings up to the year 1917.



Black History Society [Website]
Fosters recognition, preservation, and promotion of the contributions of Black peoples and their collective histories through education, research, and cooperation; promoting the inclusion of material on Black History in school curriculum.

Ontario: Greater Horseshoe Region

Another Story
315 Roncesvales Avenue, Toronto, ON, M6R 2M6
Tel: 416-462-1104

Burke's Bookstore
873 St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto, ON, M6C 1C4
Tel: 416-656-5366   Email: [email protected]

Different Booklist
746 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 2R6
Tel: 416-538-0889   Web:

Knowledge Bookstore
177 Queen Street West, Brampton, ON, L6Y 1M5
Tel: 905-459-9875   Web:

Ontario Black History Society Book Store
10 Adelaide Street East, Suite 202, Toronto, ON, M5C 1J3
Tel: 416-867-9420   Web:

201 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 1H6
Tel: 416-537-8334   Web:

S & B Books Ltd.
3085 Universal Drive, Mississauga, ON, L4X 2E2
Tel: 905-629-5055 or 1-800-997-7099   Email: [email protected] Web:

Tinlids Inc.
130 Martin Ross Avenue, Toronto, ON, M3J 2L4
Tel: 416-665-5663 or 1-800-461-9397   Web:

Ontario: Central Region

The Ginger Press
842 2nd Avenue East, Owen Sound, ON, N4K 2H3
Tel: 519-376-4233   Fax: 519-376-9871   Web:

The Bookshelf
41 Quebec Street, Guelph, ON, N1H 2T1
Tel: 519-821-3311   Fax: 519-821-6422   Web:

121 First Street, Credit Creek Village, Orangeville, ON, L9W 3J8
Tel: 519-942-3830   Email: [email protected]

Firefly Books
66 Leek Crescent, Richmond Hill, ON, L4B 1H1
Tel: 416-499-8412   Web:

Community Sites/Plaques

Ontario: Greater Horseshoe Region

Bertie Hall
657 Niagara Parkway, Fort Erie, ON, L2A 3H9
Tel: 905-871-5833
Escaped slaves used this house as a haven after crossing the Niagara River. A Niagara Freedom Trail plaque at the site explains the history of the home. Today, Bertie Hall houses the Mildred M. Mahoney Silver Jubilee Doll's House Gallery.

British Method Episcopal (BME) Church "The Salem Chapel"
92 Geneva Street, St. Catharines, ON, L2R 4N2
Tel: 905-682-0993   Web:
One of the last sites of the Underground Railroad, with ties to Harriet Tubman. Harriet Tubman lived in St. Catharines from 1851-1858 and the BME Church and Salem Chapel became her place of worship. Harriet Tubman made about eight dangerous trips back and forth, bringing back "freedom seekers" (runaway former slaves) to the church.

Fort Erie, ON
Now a marina and part of the Niagara Freedom Trail, this site was an export point for lumber coming from the settlement, "Little Africa." Many African-Americans worked at this marina during the 1840s.

Fort George at Niagara-on-the-Lake
26 Queen's Parade, Box 787 Niagra-on-the-Lake, ON, L0S 1J0
Many Underground Railroad refugees volunteered for militia service when military threats arose. Black Canadians served with militia units at Fort George and Fort Malden in both the War of 1812 and the 1837 Rebellion.

George Brown House
186 Beverley Street, Toronto, ON, M5T 1L4
Globe newspaper editor, George Brown, and his family were staunch abolitionists and supporters of the Underground Railroad community.

Griffin House
733 Mineral Springs Rd., Ancaster, ON
Tel: 905-546-2424 ext. 7220   Fax: 905-546-2338
Web: Hamilton Civic Museums: Griffin House
Griffin House offers Black-history-related and educational tours by appointment and is part of the Black Heritage Network.

Lakeside Park
1 Lakeport Road, Port Dalhousie, St. Catharines, ON L2N 5B6
This park was a popular site for thousands of African-Americans who gathered here annually from the 1920s to the 1960s to celebrate Emancipation Day.

Norval Johnson Heritage Centre, Nathaniel Dett Chapel
5674 Peer St, Niagara Falls, ON, L2G 1X1
Tel: 905-358-9957   Fax: 905-358-8976
The British Methodist Episcopal Church was a centre of spiritual and social activities for newly arrived Blacks in Ontario in the 1800's. It was designated a National Historic Site in 2001. The chapel was named after Robert Nathaniel Dett, who was the church organist from 1898 to 1903, and world-renowned composer, music professor, choral director. The site illustrates the early Black settlement of the Niagara area and the role of the church in assisting newly arrived Underground Railroad refugees, 1836. The Norval Johnson Heritage Library holds a reference collection of print and non-print materials on the history of Blacks in Canada specifically the Niagara Peninsula.

Osgoode Hall
130 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON, M5H 2N6
Tel: 416-947-3300 or 1-800-668-7380   Web:
Site of historic legal trials related to extradition and also the location of the Archives of Ontario.

St. Lawrence Hall
157 King St. East, Toronto, ON, M5C 1G9
Tel: 416-392-7130
Site of public meetings and gatherings related to support for the Underground Railroad and the cause of abolition of slavery.

Ontario: Southwest Region

Buxton National Historic Site and Museum
21975 A.D. Shadd Road, Box 3, North Buxton, ON, N0P 1Y0
Tel: 519-352-4799   Fax: 519-352-8561
Contains historical documents and artifacts of local Black history. Originally called the Elgin Settlement and founded in 1849 and, it was the last stop for many on the Underground railway and one of the few Black Canadian settlements still in existence.

First Baptist Church
135 King Street East, Chatham, ON, N7M 3N1
Tel: 519-352-9553
The site where John Brown held his first "convention" to plan the raid on Harper's Ferry in Virginia, for which he was later executed.

Fort Malden National Historic Park
100 Laird Avenue South, Amherstburg, ON, N9V 1X5
Tel: 519-736-5416   Web:
Second British fort built in Amherstburg. The first fort was the centre of British operations during the War of 1812.

John Freeman Walls Historic Site and Underground Railway Museum
859 Puce Rd., Essex, ON, N8M 2X7
Tel: 519-727-6555   Web:
John Freeman Walls, a fugitive slave from North Carolina, built his log cabin on land purchased from the Refugee Home Society in 1846. His family's flight is told by his descendent, Dr. Byran Walls in a book, "The Road That Led to Somewhere."

North American Black Historical Museum and Cultural Centre 277 King Street, Amherstburg, ON, N9V 2C7
Tel: 519-736-5433   Web:
Includes the restored Taylor Log Cabin and the Nazrey African Methodist Episcopal Church. Built by former U.S. slaves and free Blacks, the church provided temporary housing and served as a school and social centre. The museum features African culture, the years of slavery and the achievements of Black North Americans. On display are leg irons and balls and chains; personal papers of Elijah McCoy, inventor of locomotive lubrication systems; and papers of Mary Ann Shadd, the first Black woman in North America to edit a weekly newspaper, The Provincial Freeman of Windsor, in the 1850s.

Sandwich First Baptist Church
3652 Peter St, P.O. Box 7087, Windsor, ON, N9C 1J8
Tel: 519-252-4917   Fax: 519-254-3427   Web:
Originally a log cabin but was rebuilt using bricks made by slaves escaping through the Underground Railroad. It was a centre for local anti-slavery activities and is still an active community centre. The church was completed in 1851 to accommodate the growing Black communities created by the Underground Railroad refugees.

Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site
29251 Uncle Tom's Rd., Dresden, ON, N0P 1M0
Tel: 519-683-2978
School and Educational and African-Canadian Heritage Tours. Honours the life of Reverend Josiah Henson, an abolitionist who worked in the Underground Railroad. Harriet Beecher Stowe used his memoirs as a source for her 1852 anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin.

The Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society – W.I.S.H. Centre
177 King Street East, Chatham, ON, N7M 3N1
Tel: 519-354-5248   Fax: 519-354-2642   Web:
Dramatization and slide presentation of the history, and achievements of Chatham's Black community after escaping slavery. The Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society's research collection and local artifacts are located in the Heritage Room at the W.I.S.H. Centre.

Ontario: Central Region

Grey Roots Museum & Archives
102599 Grey Road 18, RR 4,l Owen Sound, ON, N4K 5N6
Tel: 519-376-3690 or 1-877-473-9766 Email: [email protected]   Web:
Focus on 19th and 20th century peoples and settlements of Grey County. Offers two programs on Black History: From Slavery to Freedom, Grades 1-6, and African Canadians in Grey County Grade 7+.

Oro African Methodist Episcopal Church National Historic Site of Canada
Old Barrie Road West and Line 3 North, Oro-Medonte, ON
Located approximately 1km west of Edgar, Ontario. Last built remnant of African Canadian community uniquely rooted in the history of the United Empire Loyalists.

Sheffield Park Black History and Cultural Museum
207 Long Point Road, P.O. Box 265, Collingwood, ON, L9Y 3Z5
Tel: 705-445-0201   Web:
Guided tour of the museum, and stories about early families who lived in the Collingwood Area. Model ships, photographs and artifacts on display. A large boulder engraved with the names of the early Black Pioneer families and their descendents.

Wellington County Museum and Archives, and Guelph Museums (online only) [Website]
Slavery in Upper Canada, Underground Railroad, and Wellington County Black Settlements.


Black History Society [Website]
Fosters recognition, preservation, and promotion of the contributions of Black peoples and their collective histories through education, research, and cooperation; promoting the inclusion of material on Black History in school curriculum.

Black History Canada [Website]
In For Teachers section is a one-page overview of Canada's Black community, with links to specific resources related to that sub-heading.

African Canadian Online [Website]
Provides information on African Canadian artists and their work, as well as links to other Canadian resources on the web. Content is available on politicians, pioneers, sports, the arts (dance film, theatre), a bibliography of writers, including section on children's authors, as well as visual arts.