In celebration of Black History Month, the Curriculum Resource Centre (CRC) is featuring a list of resources 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, the CRC will be highlighting important works; this week we are featuring bibliographies. Be sure to check out these titles!

A Voice of Her Own: The Story of Phillis Wheatley, Slave Poet by Kathryn Lasky and illustrated by Paul Lee
(Interest Level: Grades 4-8)

In 1761, a young girl was sold to the Wheatley family in Boston, who named her Phillis after the slave schooner that had carried her. Kidnapped from her home in Africa and shipped to America, she’d had everything taken from her-her family, her name, and her language. But Phillis had a passion to learn. Amid the tumult of the Revolutionary War, Phillis Wheatley became a poet and ultimately had a book of verse published, establishing herself as the first African- American woman poet in the United States.

Meet Viola Desmond by Elizabeth MacLeod and illustrated by Mike Deas
(Interest Level: Kindergarten-Grade 12)

On the night of November 8th 1946, Nova Scotia businesswoman Viola Desmond stood up for her right to be in the “unofficial” whites-only section of a New Glasgow movie theatre and was arrested for it. Supported by the Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NSCAACP) and the black-owned newspaper The Clarion, Viola took her quest for the right to freedom from discrimination to the courts.

Tubman: Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railway by Rosemary Sadlier
(Interest Level: Grades 8-12)

Harriet Tubman was born a slave on a plantation near Bucktown, Maryland, about 1820. She died over ninety years later in 1913 in Auburn, New York. Harriet led an unbelievable life; she guided hundreds of Black freedom seekers out of their slavery to freedom through the underground railway. This book tells the story of Harriet Tubman and traces what life was like in St. Catharines during the eight years she lived in Canada.

Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges
(Interest Level: Grades 6-9)

On November 14, 1960, a tiny six-year-old black child, surrounded by federal marshals, walked through a mob of screaming segregationists and into her school.  This is the story of a pivotal event in history as Ruby Bridges saw it unfold around her. Ruby’s poignant words, quotations from writers and from other adults who observed her, and dramatic photographs recreate an amazing story of innocence, courage, and forgiveness. Ruby Bridges’ story is an inspiration to us all.

Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas by Gwendalyn Hooks and illustrated by Colin Boolman
(Interest Level: Grades 1-8)

The life story of Vivien Thomas, an African American surgical technician who developed the first procedure used to perform open-heart surgery on children. Vivien Thomas’s greatest dream was to attend college to study medicine. But after the stock market crashed in 1929, Vivien lost all his savings. Then he heard about a job opening at the Vanderbilt University medical school under the supervision of Dr. Alfred Blalock. Vivien knew that the all-white school would never admit him as a student, but he hoped working there meant he was getting closer to his dream.

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
(Interest Level: Kindergarten-Grade 9)

Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden were so good at math that NASA hired them as mathematicians to help send the United States into space for the very first time.