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February 2023 marks the 32nd anniversary of Black History Month in Montréal, This year’s theme is “Out of the Darkness, into the Light” (De l’obscurité à la lumière). Shining a light on a community of many noteworthy Black figures, theatre, film and musical concerts are among the many highlights during the 32nd annual Black History Month in Montreal.
Here is a selection of reputable Canadian websites that describe resources related to Black History Month.
7 ways to celebrate Black History Month in Montreal (Article)
Out of the Darkness, Into the Light is the theme of Montreal’s 32nd annual Black History Month, featuring concerts, theatre, film and more.
Shining a light on a community of many noteworthy Black figures, theatre, film and musical concerts are among the many highlights during the 32nd annual Black History Month in Montreal.
Black History in Canada - The Canadian Encyclopedia (Article)
"Have we read our own authors such as Dionne Brand, Afua Cooper and George Elliott Clarke? Do we know that the story of African-Canadians spans four hundred years, and includes slavery, abolition, pioneering, urban growth, segregation, the civil rights movement and a long engagement in civic life?"
— Lawrence Hill
Black History in Canada until 1900 - The Canadian Encyclopedia (Article)
Olivier Le Jeune is the first enslaved person to have been transported directly from Africa to Canada. He was brought to Québec in 1629 in but apparently died a free man. From then until the British Conquest (1759-60), approximately 1,000 Black people brought from New England or the West Indies were enslaved in New France (see Black Enslavement in Canada). Local records indicate that by 1759 there had been a cumulative total of 4,092 enslaved people in New France, including 1,443 of African origin. Most enslaved Africans were domestics rather than fieldhands.
Black Montreal Experience (Website)
Historical Walks through Montreal Neighborhoods. Black Montreal Experiences chronicles the presence and history of the Black Community of Montreal and its significant impact on local and international culture.
Blacks in Quebec History: A Forgotten Legacy (Article)
School history books have long glossed over the record of visible minorities in the Canadian province of Quebec. It’s as if Quebec, if not all of Canada, has always been some sort of paradise of racial tolerance. It’s as if Black people never existed in Quebec. But in fact Quebec has had an African presence from its inception as a French colony in the early 1600s.
Canadian Museum for Human Rights: The Story of Slavery in Canadian History (Article)
When Canadians talk about slavery, we often point with pride to the role our country played in the mid‐1800s as a safe haven for Americans escaping captivity via the Underground Railroad. This, however, is only half the story. Like the United States, this land has its own history of slavery – and it is a history we should never forget.
CBC - 'A Tight-Knit Community’: Black Contemporary Life in Montreal’s Little Burgundy Neighbourhood (Article)
Montreal’s Little Burgundy is nestled between the southwest neighbourhoods of Saint-Henri and Pointe-Saint-Charles. It has a distinct history and unique importance as one of the earliest Black community settlements in Canada. As the birthplace of Montreal’s Black English-speaking and working-class community and home to many world-renowned musical legends during the golden age of jazz, it’s historically been referred to as the ‘Harlem of the North’.
CBC: Quebec History X (Article)
Local historian, writer and rapper Aly Ndiaye has developed a walking tour of Old Quebec that highlights the history of slavery in Quebec City and the province of Quebec. On the tour, which Ndiaye calls Quebec History X, he takes people on a deep dive into the city’s Black history and the lives of several well-known historical figures who owned slaves.
CBC Books - 6 Black Canadian Writers to Watch in 2023 (Article)
In celebration of Black History Month 2023, CBC Books is highlighting six Black Canadian writers who are making their mark.
CBC News - Montreal·2023 Black Changemakers (Article)
CBC Quebec is highlighting people from the province's Black communities throughout the month of February
Concordia University: Black Studies Subject Guide (Website)
This guide is being developed and updated by Concordia librarians, faculty members, and students to support research in Black Studies at Concordia. It showcases Concordia's archival collections, and brings together relevant resources for academic work in this field including database and journal recommendations, tips for designing search strategies, and links to online collections and tools.
CTV - 'To Shine a Light': Montreal Unveils Programming for Black History Month (Article)
Under the theme "From Darkness to Light," the 32nd Black History Month aims this year to highlight the richness and diversity of Quebec's Black communities, as well as to create moments of exchange and reflection among the population.
From Feb. 1 to 28, the Black History Month Roundtable will hold various cultural, educational, social and historical events to promote and celebrate the contribution of Afro-descendants to Quebec society.
CTV - Black-Owned Restaurateurs in Montreal Making Space in the Culinary Scene (Article)
More and more Black-owned restaurants and culinary experiences have begun to dot the landscape of the city's culinary scene, but more is needed to help their communities' gastronomic enterprises thrive.
The organization Desta has been a valuable resource in Montreal's Little Burgundy neighbourhood for the past 16 years, having seen hundreds of young Black people successfully enter the workforce through its employability program.
Government of Canada: About Black History Month (Website)
Every February, people across Canada participate in Black History Month events and festivities that honour the legacy of Black people in Canada and their communities.
The 2023 theme for Black History Month is: “Ours to tell”. This theme represents both an opportunity to engage in open dialogue and a commitment to learning more about the stories Black communities in Canada have to tell about their histories, successes, sacrifices and triumphs.
No matter where you live, we invite all Canadians to learn more about these communities, and how they continue to help shape Canadian history.
La librairie Racines (Website)
Librairie Racines specializes in books and authors that highlight Black stories and culture. From English to French, Librairie Racines offers a wide variety of books including children, teen novels, adult fantasy, romance, and more.
Little Burgundy and Montreal's Black English-Speaking Community - The Canadian Encyclopedia (Article)
Little Burgundy is a neighborhoods in the southwest borough of Montreal, Quebec. It is the historical home of the city’s Black English-speaking, working-class community. Montreal's early Black settlement was comprised mainly of African Americans who lived in the Faubourg (French for "suburb") of St. Antoine — a neighborhood that is now known as Little Burgundy. The settlement dates to the emergence of the railway companies in the mid- to late 19th century and the era of the Black sleeping car porters.
McGill University: Equity at McGill (Website)
This year marks the 7th annual celebration of Black History Month at McGill. Each year, Black History Month at McGill brings together students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members through events held both in person and online. These events present an opportunity to learn, reconnect, and celebrate Black communities’ contributions to education and research.
Mois de l’histoire des Noirs (Website)
The Round Table on Black History Month is a non-profit organization that promotes activities highlighting both the history and the contemporary situation of Black communities in Quebec.
Noir Guides (Website)
Black Montreal is diverse and growing. This article discusses the two prominent groups of Black Montrealers.
Tourisme Montréal (Website)
February 2023 marks the 32nd anniversary of Black History Month in Montréal, and this year’s edition features a full slate of theatre, film screenings, musical concerts and other cultural events.