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*And every month!

Black history continues to be under-acknowledged and under-recognized in Canada. Few Canadians are aware that Black people were once enslaved in the territory that is now Canada or how those who fought enslavement helped to lay the foundation of Canadian society.

February is Black History Month. It’s meant to celebrate resilience, innovation, and determination, and place a much-needed spotlight on the enormous contributions made by our Black communities in all sectors of Canadian society.

To kick-off a new series of blog posts where I will share with you, dear ones, those books and authors who have a permanent, dog-eared spot on my desk and night-stand, we’ve gathered 5 Black Authors to Read This Month & Every Month (damn, it was hard to keep to that tiny number).

  1. Ijeoma Oluo—writer, author of So You Want to Talk About Race, comedian, mother, fierce feminist, Oluo has become one of my favourites in so many respects.  
  2. Cheryl Foggo—Alberta-born playwright and author (including three children’s books). My current favourite of her books is Dear Baobab.
  3. Alice Walker—I first fell in love with her quote: “the most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any”, in addition of course to her novel, The Color Purple.
  4. Toni Morrison—The Bluest Eye and Beloved are two of the most incredible pieces of work. She was also the first Black female editor at Random House. She spoke as eloquently as she wrote. 
  5. bell hooks —her pen name—is another fierce feminist with such interesting takes on the portrayal of women, particularly Black women, in media and movies. She said, “there can be no love where there is no justice”. I’ll argue that her most popular book, All About Love, is what this world needs right now. 

Also, I reiterate—my words as a privileged white woman are still and will continue to NOT be what is needed in a space that’s occupied by powerful Black and Indigenous voices. To find some (of the many) voices teaching and inspiring me every day, check out our 2020 post on Black Lives Matter:

One more! Check out TED: 62 great books by Black authors, recommended by TED speakers.

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