Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise. I rise. I rise. - Maya Angelou
African Heritage Month honours the extraordinary culture, heritage, experiences, and accomplishments of the African Canadian community. Discover and share with these great stories:
The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
“Compelling and richly drawn, the story of Aminata Diallo is destined to become a Canadian classic. In this remarkable historical epic, Lawrence Hill brings home the brutal realities of the slave trade through the powerful, haunting tale of one woman's extraordinary life.”
Rainbow in the Cloud: The Wisdom and Spirit of Maya Angelou by Maya Angelou
“ Inspired by the woman who has inspired us all, Rainbow in the Cloud offers more than 200 of Dr. Angelou's most pivotal quotes, organized in themed sections from sage advice and beautiful stanzas to humorous quips and pointed observations--drawn from each of her published works and from her celebrated (and much shared) social media posts."
Soucouyant by David Chariandy
“When a son who long abandoned his mother returns to confront her, he must also confront a young woman who mysteriously lives in his childhood home and his mother's entire life - from her childhood in Trinidad during WWII to coming to Canada in the 1960s to the present day. A challenging and inventive book.”
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
"Doctors took her cells without asking. Those cells never died. They launched a medical revolution and a multimillion-dollar industry. More than twenty years later, her children found out. Their lives would never be the same."
Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
“A vivid evocation of Berlin and Paris during the Second World War, Half-Blood Blues centres around the disappearance of Hiero, a talented young black German jazz musician, at the hands of the Nazis in Occupied France. Half-Blood Blues is an entrancing, electric story about jazz, race, love and loyalty, and the sacrifices we ask of ourselves, and demand of others, in the name of art."
Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story by Ben Carson, Cecil Murphey
"Young Ben Carson didn't have much of a chance. Growing up in a broken home amongst poverty and prejudice, his grades suffered and his temper flared. And yet, his mother never lost her faith in him. Insisting he follow the opportunities she never had, she helped to grow his imagination, intelligence and, most importantly, his belief in himself. That faith would be his gift - the thing that would drive him to follow his dream of becoming one of the world's leading neurosurgeons.”
Chasing Freedom by Gloria Ann Wesley
"The American Revolutionary War is being waged, and the fate of slaves in the colonies is on the line. Sarah Redmond, a slave on a South Carolina plantation, watches with a heavy heart as her father steals away in the dead of the night to join the British army, enticed by promises of freedom, land and provisions for his whole family. But before her father can return, the war draws to a close and the Loyalist slaves are all freed including Sarah and her grandmother, Lydia. The Redmonds are assigned to a ship bound for the first all-black community in North America: Birchtown, Nova Scotia. Chasing Freedom is the story of a young woman struggling to discover who she is and what she can become in a world that offers her few opportunities.”