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SJC Reads: Black History Month 2024 & Beyond

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In this last week of February, let’s expand our reading list for the year with recommended reads that amplify Black voices and stories. Curated and reviewed by our editors at Quill & Quire (the go-to resource for the Canadian book trade), here is an all ages-list that informs and empowers. We also rounded up articles from across our media brands that mark Black History Month and beyond.

Adult Books

Ordinary Notes
by Christina Sharpe

“Building on her enormously influential book, In the Wake: On Blackness and Being, published in 2016, this new volume continues the scholar’s examination of contemporary Black life, revealing how it is marred and constrained by white supremacy within the afterlife of slavery.” Click here for the full overview

The Rage Letters
by Valérie Bah, Translated by Kama La Mackerel

The Rage Letters is a collection of 13 stories by Quebec-based writer and filmmaker Valérie Bah, translated by Mauritian-Canadian multidisciplinary artist Kama La Mackerel. Bah’s stories “create a generous literary voice where it is possible to become multiple people in order to reclaim and reconcile language,” as writer and scholar Stéphane Martelly writes in the preface.” Click here for the full overview

Clara at the Door with a Revolver
by Carolyn Whitzman

While the author is not Black, Carolyn Whitzman re-examines the historical record of a sensational crime and the life of Black woman in Toronto, who was accused of murder in the 1890s. This era was marked by significant racial prejudice and discrimination in Canada, and the book offers a rare glimpse into the challenges faced by Black communities during that time. By exploring Clara's story, readers gain a deeper understanding of the historical context of Black experiences in Canada.” Click here for the full overview

Books for Young Readers

stay up
by Khodi Dill, Illustrated by Stylo Starr

"stay up tackles topics – including white supremacy, internalized racism, chronic trauma, and the complexities of Black identity – that can be emotionally evocative for readers, particularly racialized readers who have experienced racism and discrimination.” Click here for the full overview

The Antiracist Kitchen
by Nadia L. Hohn, illustrated by Rosa Nozari

The Antiracist Kitchen is an anthology of stories each coupled with a recipe near and dear to the writer’s heart. Divided into four parts – reclaim, resist, restore, and rejoice – it boasts essays for a middle-grade audience from both Canadian and U.S. creators. Click here for the full overview

SJC Media Articles

Meet 6 Black Women Who Are Redefining The Beauty Industry

Through their work on products created by and for people of colour, these scientists and brand founders are bringing much-needed diversity to the beauty aisle. Click here to read the full article

40 Black-Run Beauty Businesses to Shop Year-Round

Canadian and international skincare, cosmetic and grooming brands that deserve your dollars. Click here to read the full article

These vintage photos celebrate Black communities in Canada through the decades

“There is an onus for us to document ourselves. I certainly wasn’t waiting for anyone to tell me about Black Kitchener-Waterloo—it was incumbent upon me to do so.” Click here to read the full article

“I have no clue how to sit still”: A Q&A with legendary sprinter Donovan Bailey
Toronto Life

Canada’s greatest runner of all time has a new memoir. Here, he talks about overcoming racism, whether anyone will ever catch Usain Bolt and what it really means to be a proud Canadian. Click here to read the full article

How Food Is At The Heart Of African Nova Scotian Culture

“How we share meals, recipes, traditions and cooking methods is vital to the preservation of any culture, including ours.” Click here to read the full article

How Dr. Liza Egbogah Started a Celeb-Approved Supportive Shoe Business
Canadian Business

Dr. Liza Shoes launched in 2017 and have been seen on the feet of celebs like Viola Davis and Kate Winslet. Click here to read the full article

Being Billy

Against all odds, Billy Porter is a magnificent couture creation of his own making — one that has conquered the worlds of music, acting and fashion. Click here to read the full article

Des films à voir pour mieux comprendre ce que vivent les Noirs

Comment comprendre le racisme systémique quand on ne l’a jamais vécu ? Par le cinéma, qui peut être un puissant outil d’éducation populaire. Voici 13 films montrant la réalité de la violence policière et des inégalités, ainsi que les racines du mouvement « Black Lives Matter ». Cliquez ici pour lire l'article complet

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