Black History Month


In a partnership between VLACC and Britannia's Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Committee, join us as we honour Black History Month and celebrate black excellence with a free arts showcase on Thursday, February 15 from 5:30-8:00pm.



  • 5:30: Visit the Britannia Art Gallery (in the Library) and view the current exhibition by Shay Carr, graphic designer and painter whose aesthetic is a blend between her obsession with bohemianism and modern-day influences from the African Diaspora.
  • 6:00pm: Join us in the 55+ Centre for an evening of live performances and film, including:
    • Opening and honouring the land with Audrey Siegl.
    • Screening of Vancouver International Black Film Festival 2023 selections—Dreamers by Ilhan Abdullahi, and Magical Hands by James Niyomugabo.
    • Live music and dance by Israel "Toto" Berriel, Yula Vostretsova and Ivan Nuñez, in a performance showcasing the mystical realm of Afro-Cuban Orishas.

Snacks will be served throughout the event. Everyone welcome.



Local Organizations:

Hogan’s Alley Society
Black Arts Vancouver
BC Community Alliance
Afro Van Connect
Black Lives Matter Vancouver
Vancouver Black Library
BC Black History


Books and Biographies:

The Sleeping Car Porter, Suzette Mayr

Washington Black, Esi Edugyan

The Book of Negroes, Lawrence Hill

The Underground Railroad, Adrienne L Shadd

Go Do Some Great Things, The Black Pioneers of British Columbia, Crawford Killian

Unsettling the Great White North Black Canadian History, Michele A. Johnson & Funke Aladejebi

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present, Harriet A. Washington

Harlem Shuffle, Colson Whitehead

The Prophets, Robert Jones Jr

A Little Devil in America, Hanif Abdurraqib

Moon Witch Spider King, Marlon James

Construction a Nervous System, Margo Jeffries

Son of Elsewhere, Elamin Abdelmahmoud

How the World is Passed, Clint Smith

My Son Jimi, James A. Hendrix

Our Friend Joe, The Joe Fortes Story, Lisa Anne Smith

Running Uphill: The Fast Short Life of Canadian Harry Jerome, Fil Fraser

A Man Called Moses: The Curious Life of Wellington Delaney Moses, Bill Gallaher

Harriet Tubman: Freedom Seeker, Freedom Fighter, Rosemary Sadlier

A Jazz Odyssey, Oscar Peterson

This Here Flesh, Cole Arthur Riley

Black Liturgies, Cole Arthur Riley

Opinions, Roxane Gay

Tremor, Teju Cole

The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, James McBride

Crook Manifesto, Colson Whitehead

Harlem Shuffle, Colson Whitehead

How Long til Black Future Month, N. K. Jeminsin

The Book of Delights, Ross Gay

Better Living Through Birding, Christian Cooper

Black TV, Bethonie Butler

Ordinary Notes, Christina Sharpe

The Furrows, Namwali Serpell

The Reformatory, Tanarive Due


Readings for Kids (Ages 6 – 99)

Trailblazers: The Black Pioneers Who Shaped Canada, Tiyaha Ridley-Padmore

Bold Women in Black History, Vashti Harrison

Stolen Science, Ella Schwartz

This is Your Time, Ruby Bridges

When Stars are Scattered, Victoria Jamieson & Omar Mohamed

Henry’s Freedom Box, Ellen Levine & Kadir Nelson

If I Just Had Two Wings, Virginia Frances Schwartz

The King of Kındergarten,  Derrıck Barnes, Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Ada Twıst, Scıentıst, Andrea Beatyy

Young Gıfted and Black, Jamıa Wılson

Martın Luther King, Marıa Isabelle Sanchez Vegara

Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race, Megan Madison, Jessica Ralli, Isabel Roxas

Intersectıon Allıes: We Make Room for All, Chelsea Johnston, LaToya Council, Carolyn Choi, Ashley Seil Smith

What is Racism, Katie Daynes & Jordan Akpojaro

Bodies Are Cool, Tyler Feder



Hair Love (2019) - Hair Love, an Oscar-winning animated short film from Matthew A. Cherry, tells the heartfelt story of an African American father learning to do his daughter’s hair for the first time.

In Our Heads About Our Hair (2012) - This documentary examines issues Black Women confront regarding hair and self-esteem. Despite a current natural-hair trend in some urban areas, many Black women say conforming to mainstream beauty standards makes it easier to find mates and corporate employment. The feature documentary celebrates natural beauty and also offers opinions (and wisdom) from people making their hairstyling choices.

Paris Is Burning (1990) - Paris Is Burning chronicles the ball culture of New York City and the African-American, Latino, gay, and transgender communities involved in it. The film explores the elaborately-structured ball competitions.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (2017) - As she fights the tide of violence against trans women, activist Victoria Cruz probes the suspicious 1992 death of her friend Marsha P. Johnson.

Through Many Dangers: The Story of Gospel Music (2004) - A documentary on the history of gospel church music from its West African roots to its widespread influence on popular music across the world today.

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise (2016)  - The story of iconic writer, poet, actress and activist Dr. Maya Angelou, whose life intersected with some of the most defining moments in America's recent history.

Rustin (2023) - The film tells the story of the charismatic, gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin. Despite incredible odds, he managed to organize the March on Washington in 1963. This event is considered one of the high points of the civil rights movement in the United States. Over 200,000 people gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. and called for an end to racial discrimination in the USA. Martin Luther King gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the event.

American Fiction (2023) - Based on the 2001 novel Erasure by Percival Everett, it follows a frustrated novelist-professor who writes an outlandish satire of stereotypical "black" books, only for it to be mistaken by the liberal elite for serious literature and published to both high sales and critical praise.

The Color Purple (1985) - Based on the novel by Alice Walker, this epic tale spans forty years in the life of Celie (Whoopi Goldberg), an African-American woman living in the South who survives incredible abuse and bigotry. She perseveres, holding on to her dream of one day being reunited with her sister in Africa.

The Last Repair Shop (2023) - The documentary is about a Los Angeles downtown warehouse where a dwindling handful of devoted craftspeople keep over 80,000 student instruments in good repair.

The Barber of Little Rock (2023) - The Barber of Little Rock explores America's widening racial wealth gap through the story of Arlo Washington, a local barber whose visionary approach to a just economy can be found in the mission of People Trust, the nonprofit community bank he founded.  Operating as the sole bank within a ten-mile radius, Arlo's People Trust provides an economic beacon of hope that could reshape the future of banking.

American Symphony (2023) - Explores a year in the life of musician Jon Batiste, chronicling his career in music (including his 11 nominations at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards) and the struggles his wife, Suleika Jaouad, faces with leukemia.

Origin (2023) - An American biographical drama film written and directed by Ava DuVernay. Grappling with tremendous personal tragedy, writer Isabel Wilkerson sets herself on a path of global investigation and discovery as she writes Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.

Till (2002) -  The true story of Mamie Till Mobley's relentless pursuit of justice for her 14 year old son, Emmett Till. In Mamie's poignant journey of grief turned to action, we see the universal power of a mother's ability to change the world.

Wakanda Forever

Woman King

I Wanna Dance with Somebody


Honk for Jesus Save your Soul


A Jazzman’s Blues


Black Adam




Podcast: The Black History Buff - The Black History Buff podcast is a fun and thrilling journey through time. Covering the full historical tapestry of the African Diaspora, you’ll hear tales covering everything from African Samurai to pistol-wielding poets. The show is a bridge that links communities throughout the African diaspora and enlightens and empowers its friends.

Podcast: Louder than a Riot - Rhyme and punishment go hand in hand in America. Louder than a Riot reveals the interconnected rise of hip-hop and mass incarceration. From Bobby Shmurda to Nipsey Hussle, each episode explores an artist's story to examine a different aspect of the criminal justice system that disproportionately impacts Black America.

Code Switch

Yo is the Racist

Black on the Air

Party Lines

Pop Chat-Commotion with Elamin Abdemahmoud


Enslaved; The Lost History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade (2020) - Samuel L. Jackson goes on a personal odyssey to explore the history of the transatlantic slave trade. Over 12 million African people were trafficked over centuries. Roughly two million died en route. In this 6-part series, a team of investigative journalists and divers locate and explore long-lost shipwrecks, collecting and documenting the artifacts left behind.

Abbot Elementary

A Black Lady Sketch Show



Strange New Worlds

Women of the Movement


Other Resources

Naturally: Black Hair Journeys & Stories
A library guide that highlights the beauty and significance of textured hair, also known as natural hair or Black hair. This Library guide was created because there are far too few conversations and not enough awareness about the impact of natural hair

Amber Valley – the First Black Settlement in Alberta
A member of our community has strong ties to Amber Valley, the first black settlement in Alberta. In their words: “It was first settled by 40 families including the Bowens and my great great great grandfather, Columbus Bowen. My family and the other settlers were fleeing Jim Crow laws and discrimination in Oklahoma (and others from Texas) and in search of a better life – but they were met with a lot of discrimination when they arrived. In response to this wave of black migrants, the Canadian government tried to limit and even drafted a Order to ban black immigration for a year (the Order did not proceed). Two years ago, Canada Post commemorated this history with a stamp.”


Have a suggestion to add to our community resource list? Email  and let us know!


Celebrating Black Lives Mural on Gym C by Ejiwa “Edge” Ebenebe