In celebration of Black History Month,  the TWU History Department has recommended a list of books to help us learn about and honour the accomplishments of blacks throughout history and appreciate the diversity of our community.

Each week during the month of February, TWU Library will be highlighting these important and foundational works.

We hope that you will check out these titles!

The Colour Purple by Alice Walker.
This classic fiction work is set in the deep American South between the wars, it is the tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls ‘father’, she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. Eventually, Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves.

Transformations in Slavery: A History of Slavery in Africa, 3rd ed. by Paul Lovejoy.
This title examines how indigenous African slavery developed within an international context, and considers the impact of European abolition and assesses slavery’s role in African history. This title corrects the accepted interpretation that African slavery was mild and resulted in the slaves’ assimilation. Instead, slaves were used extensively in production, although the exploitation methods and the relationships to world markets differed from those in the Americas.

“We’re Rooted Here and They Can’t Pull us Up”: Essays in African-Canadian Women’s History by Peggy Bristow, ed.
This collection of six essays explores three hundred years of Black women in Canada, from the seventeenth century to the immediate post-Second World War period.  Sylvia Hamilton documents the experiences of Black women in Nova Scotia, from early slaves and Loyalists to modern immigrants. Adrienne Shadd looks at the gripping realities of the Underground Railroad, focusing on activities on this side of the border. Peggy Bristow examines the lives of Black women in Buxton and Chatham, Ontario, between 1850 and 1865. Afua Cooper describes the career of Mary Bibb, a nineteenth-century Black teacher in Ontario. Dionne Brand, through oral accounts, examines labourers between the wars and their recruitment as factory workers during the Second World War. And, finally, Linda Carty explores relations between Black women and the Canadian state.

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth about our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson.
This title reframes our continuing conversation about race, chronicling the powerful forces opposed to black progress in America, and provides a new dimension to the national conversation about race in America.

X—The problem of the Negro as a Problem for Thought (ebook) by Nahum Dimitri Chandler.
This title offers an original account of matters African American, and challenges the conception of analogous objects of study across dominant ethnological disciplines (e.g., anthropology, history, and sociology) and the various forms of cultural, ethnic, and postcolonial studies.