Being Black in Canada

Topic: being black in canada

New plaque honours black community that helped 'forge the identity' of Leslieville

A new heritage plaque in Leslieville honours some of the neighbourhood's earliest black residents — many of whom came to Toronto to escape slavery in the southern United States.
From the Archives

Black Ice: Racism in hockey

Discrimination from other players, coaches and fans lead many talented young black men to leave the sport of hockey. Racism in hockey is examined in this first part of a two-part documentary from CBC Radio's Inside Track.

Black refugees in Ontario

Prof. Daniel Hill talks about the volunteer groups that worked so hard to help black refugees arriving in Ontario on the Underground Railway in the mid-19th century, why Ontario was their main destination, the basis of the black community in Canada and the prosperous black settlement of Buxton, Ont.
From the archives

Willie O'Ree: Breaking hockey's colour barrier

In 1958, Canada's Willie O'Ree became the first black man to play in the National Hockey League. But O'Ree never became a household name. "I kind of just faded into history," says O'Ree in this 2008 CBC radio clip.
From the archives

Black Loyalist history goes up in flames

In this 2006 a devastating fire destroyed the offices of the Black Loyalist Heritage Society in Birchtown, N.S. The office housed photographs, genealogies and some artifacts.

Nova Scotia basketball star builds dream ball court for his hometown

Shaquille Smith helped raise $300,000 to build a basketball court in his hometown of North Preston, a community fighting against stigmatisation.

The resilience of North Preston, Nova Scotia

Now or Never visits Canada's largest and oldest indigenous black community, meeting people whose histories run deep and whose passion for fighting for their future cannot be shaken.

A high-profile U.S. shooting, a Canadian more involved than he ever imagined

A high-profile U.S. shooting. A man named Walter Scott left dead. A shiny object, a shaky video & a Canadian who ends up more involved than he ever imagined. Watch now.

Comic book honours Chatham Coloured All-Stars team

"I had no idea about any of this history," said Chantler, who was commissioned by a University of Windsor professor to do the graphics. 
Black History Month

10 must-read books by black authors from around the world

As Black History Month 2019 draws to a close, check out these books by writers from the African diaspora.

Black History Month at Holy Names high school

Teacher Patricia Poku-Christian put together displays each week highlighting a different aspect of black history.

Windsor students to show there's more to black history than slavery

Students at Holy Names high school are preforming a Black History Month presentation for classmates during the day Feb. 28, then for the community at 7 p.m. It will involve dancing, music and fashion.

St. Thomas University student union elects 1st black president

Jamaican-born Husoni Raymond made St. Thomas University history when he was elected president of the student union.

What would you say to your younger self? 6 Black Canadian women celebrate their inner child

This portrait series by Jacqueline Ashton explores 2019's Black History Month theme: "Black Canadian Youth."

Kwame Delfish is an artist whose tools include the paintbrush...and the hairbrush

Artist, painter and hair stylist Kwame Delfish comes from an artistic family, and he's carrying the tradition in his expressive work that is currently inspired by hair.

Black stories: 7 Montrealers recount their most personal experiences

In honour of Black History Month, CBC Montreal brought seven storytellers together for a live, tell-all event.

Breaking up Bay Street's old boys club, one hire at a time

As Black History Month comes to a close, Dennis Mitchell sat down to talk about his path into the finance industry, and what he’s doing to open the door to others.

Quebec hockey player and his family taunted by racist fans

Jonathan Diaby said as a visible minority, he is used to dealing with racist comments and usually has no problem staying focused on the ice, but he couldn't tolerate seeing his family targeted.
Black History Month

6 Canadian books for younger readers to check out during Black History Month

Check out these children and YA books created by black Canadian authors.

With few hair and beauty options, some members of P.E.I.'s black community find their own solutions

When Luke Ignace thinks about the things he misses most about his home in the Bahamas, he can't help but think about his barber.

Anti-racism advisory council hails from across faiths, regions, experiences

Alberta's first anti-racism advisory council will focus on strengthening the human rights commission, improving the recognition of foreign credentials for immigrants and ensuring school curriculum reflects the province's diversity, says Education Minister David Eggen.

Former spiritual hub of Vancouver's black community celebrated

Members of Vancouver's black community celebrate Vancouver's Fountain Chapel, which was originally founded in 1918 then shuttered in the mid-'80s.

Choir keeping songs born of slavery alive at Stewart Memorial Church

Members of the choir at Stewart Memorial Church are making sure the songs of their ancestors live forever inside the halls of one of Hamilton’s most hallowed institutions.

Play-turned-podcast Better Angels is like Get Out for your ears

Andrea Scott's play Better Angels — resurfaced as part of the PlayME NOW series — makes connections across time, referencing both the traumatic history of the slave trade and the often subtle ways dominance and discrimination continue today.

Quebec City teen who created black history teaching materials wins $100K scholarship

Meet the 19-year-old Quebec City student who is also an activist, an educator and a poet. Laura Doyle Péan recently became one of only four Quebec recipients of the prestigious Loran scholarship.
Point of View

Love the skin you're in: Winnipeg has a diverse, resilient black culture

During Black History Month, Winnipeg's Rhonda Thompson-Wilson says cultural organizations play an important role in helping preserve connections and the uniqueness of cultures.

Parliamentary Protective Service commits to anti-racism training

A Nova Scotia senator says the Parliamentary Protective Service has agreed to equity and anti-racism training for its staff after a coalition of black Nova Scotians reported being racially profiled during a recent visit to Parliament Hill.

West Quebec bridge will honour province's 1st black MNA

The Quebec government will name a bridge on Highway 50 in the Outaouais after Jean Alfred, the first black member of the province's national assembly.

Biltong salad brings flavours from South Africa

When Victoria Machakaire came to Canada with her husband and two kids from South Africa over a decade ago, she assumed she would have no problem finding biltong, a cured beef or wild game staple from back home. Boy was she wrong.

Book written by Halifax children 'R Is For Reparations' released

The voices of about 30 black Nova Scotian children are reflected in a new book, 'R Is For Reparations', that was launched in Halifax on Saturday.

10 black Canadian athletes who made history

Black Canadian athletes have represented their country with pride in a variety of sports. At times, when things were not always fair and equal for everyone, black Canadians used the opportunities that sports provided them to display their talents, creativity to achieve their dreams and goals.

Immigrant entrepreneurs learn the Canadian way of doing business

Calgary symposium offers tips and networking opportunities for immigrant entrepreneurs.

In Conversation With Nana aba Duncan

For Black History Month, we sat with Nana aba Duncan, Host and Producer of CBC Radio’s Fresh Air. Listen to her share her thoughts about Black History Month, her career journey, and some of her experiences in the workplace.

What happened to Hamilton's anti-racism resource centre?

Organizers say Hamilton's Anti-Racism Resource Centre will be back, and better, but it wasn't reaching enough people.

CBC -This Hour Has 22 Minutes - Black History Month

With February well underway '22 minutes' own Trent McClellan shares some Black History Month do's and don'ts

A film festival, anime and a 'sick and twisted' Threepenny Opera: CBC Manitoba's weekend picks for Feb. 22-24

A festival of films by black artists — including one up for a best picture Oscar on Sunday — a chance to pull out your best anime costume and a unique take on a classic of musical theatre are among your entertainment options in Winnipeg this weekend.

Real Talk: Black Stories

CBC Montreal is producing a special series called Real Talk: Black Stories. It features black Montrealers from different walks of life, sharing some deeply personal stories. CBC Daybreak's Shari Okeke has been meeting some of these Montrealers, and she shares what she heard.

Apology, community explored for Black History Month concert at Phog

Gospel, jazz, blues and contemporary music will pour out of Windsor's Phog Lounge downtown Thursday night.
How I Wrote It

Whitney French on why nurturing the next wave of black Canadian writers is important

Whitney French discusses how the creative nonfiction anthology she edited, Black Writers Matter, came to life.

8th annual Black History Month Dinner & Gala to celebrate growing community in Thunder Bay

Details of the 8th annual event were announced on Wednesday.

Islanders use music, spoken-word to celebrate Black History Month

The sounds of music and poetry coursed through the stacks at the Confederation Centre Library on Wednesday as the Black Cultural Society of P.E.I. welcomed Islanders to its presentation, A Loud Place in celebration of Black History Month.

U of T program with roots in black community still helping mature students 50 years later

The Transitional Year Program was designed to help adults from underrepresented communities acquire the knowledge and skills they need to enrol in university.
Artist Profile

Meet Ceddy the Barber, whose barbershop is like an art studio

Dartmouth, N.S., barber Cedric DeChamp turns hair into a canvas.

Trudeau to apologize to black Nova Scotians for racial profiling incident

Black Nova Scotians who say they were racially profiled on Parliament Hill earlier this month are expected to receive a personal apology from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his visit to Halifax.

The Jesse Owens story with Canadian actor Stephan James

Canadian actor Stephan James talks about his starring role in "Race," a movie about the sprinter Jesse Owens.

Local play highlights life of black civil rights leader Hugh Burnett from Dresden

Hugh Burnett was a civil rights leader from Dresden, Ont. who fought for the Fair Accommodations Practices Act.

Here's why Canada doesn't have a Caribbean province

In the latest episode of The Secret Life of Canada, co-hosts Leah Simone-Bowen and Falen Johnson look at the historic connection between Canada and a number of islands and countries that make up the Caribbean.

Iconic moments in fashion thanks to Black Canadian trailblazers

A timeline featuring iconic style leaders.
Black History Month

6 works of Canadian fiction to read for Black History Month 2019

These recent works of fiction by black Canadian authors highlight the literary diversity of the national scene.

Nova Scotia's Dolly Williams, Wade Smith honoured on black history poster

Students across Nova Scotia will learn about the impact of Wade Smith and Dolly Williams after they were chosen to be featured on an annual poster that celebrates Canadian heroes.

A brief of history of black Canadians & hockey

A look at black Canadians in hockey from the past to the present.

Why these black Canadian experiences are worthy of the big screen

From activists and their movements to people just trying to make a difference, CBC Radio host Amanda Parris puts forth a collection of stories that she believes represent distinct perspectives of the black experience in Canada.

Black Panther's trailblazing costume designer aims to empower others

Ruth E. Carter is a black woman blazing a trail as a costume designer in a film industry with not many who look like her. But through her upcoming career achievement award and Oscar nomination for her Afro-futuristic wardrobes in the superhero film Black Panther, Carter believes she can "knock down" more doors so others like herself can walk through them.

Pro boxer's title quest takes him to Ottawa

Custio Clayton, one of the world's top-ranked welterweight boxers, has his eyes — and his fists — set on Ottawa.

'Better than good': Designer Angela Bains on race, design and pushing for social change

Angela Bains, an award-winning instructor at BCIT, is an advocate for social change in design.

Friends come together to raise $10K to replace local busker's missing bassoon

Jeff Burke was missing something central to his very being — a bassoon the Toronto street musician and subway busker describes as "a part of me."
Still Standing

The secret behind the success of The Patty Shop

The small Vancouver shop, tucked away on a quiet strip of MacDonald Street, has become a long-standing favourite stop for students from nearby schools — and customers returning year after year for the same recipes.

Fighters, scientists, protectors: Meet 5 notable black Manitobans you may never have heard of

The contributions of black people have been entwined into the being of Manitoba from the province's formation, but few of those figures were elevated to mainstream consciousness.

If he wants to achieve his dream, he has to control his anger

Richard Amardi dreams of making it to the Toronto Raptors. But he’s 28 & time is running out. And if he’s going to have any chance, he has to control a wicked temper. Watch now.

Mr. Jane and Finch

A Toronto community activist works to share his life-long video archive of Black history with the world for the first time.

Lincoln Alexander, parliamentarian and public servant

From the time he was elected to represent the people of the federal riding of Hamilton-West to his appointment to represent the Queen, Lincoln Alexander's was a career of firsts.

Vancouver rapper Teon Gibbs releases new single about being mid-20s, in debt and black

Vancouver rapper Teon Gibbs is releasing a new song to coincide with Black History Month that pivots on three aspects of his life right now: being in his mid-20s, having debt and being part of a minority in North America.

Music teacher hopes to inspire on Quebec's version of The Voice

Ottawa music teacher Ferline Regis's performance on Sunday has guaranteed her a place in the francophone reality talent show La Voix.

Shelley Hamilton on being a black country artist

Shelley Hamilton grew up listening to country music, but as a young black woman, she never saw herself represented in the genre. Dwight Drummond sat down with her to talk about releasing her first album — and being black in country.
Black History Month

6 must-read Canadian nonfiction works for Black History Month 2019

Here are six nonfiction books about the black experience that all Canadians should read.

Bringing the foods and flavours of Africa to London

African communities pride themselves on preparing traditional fare with vegetables, meats and spices from their home countries, something a local food market in London, Ont. supplies.

Toronto's first black theatre companies are gone, leaving a void that still hasn't been filled

In the early 1970s, a pair of black theatre companies brought stories about immigration, race and African folklore to stages around Toronto. Half a century later, they're both gone, and some say not enough is being done to continue their mission.

The Skin We're In: What it's like to be black in 21st century Canada

"We focus on what happens in the United States & then say, 'Thank goodness it’s not as bad here.'" Anti-black racism in Canada — the history & the reality. Watch now.

'That glass ceiling is being broken:' 1st African-Nova Scotian joins Halifax Fire's senior ranks

Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency has promoted Corey Beals to one of three newly created assistant chief positions, making him the highest-ranking black chief officer in the fire service’s 265-year history.

Digital series showcases the stories of 8 black youth

CBC Ottawa is collaborating with Youth Ottawa to create a unique digital series that tells the stories of eight black youth.

what Quebec needs for Black History Month 2019 Breakaway

Conversations around racism, violence and hate speech are still front and centre in Quebec society. Webster joins guest host Allison Van Rassel in studio and reflects on a year of challenges, as well as how we can move forward, together.

Traditional African scars are helping researches tell the stories of the slave trade

When people from Africa were shipped across the ocean during the transatlantic slave trade, homelands, languages, religions and names were ripped away - but traditional markings endured.

How a jazz singer-turned-minister is bringing upbeat music and lively sermons to Windsor

When Charmain Bailey Foutner arrived as a student diaconal minister at Sandwich Town's Bedford United Church nearly four years ago, she knew she wanted to jazz things up.

How Canada's Fergie Jenkins pitched his way to the Hall of Fame

There's only one Canadian-born player with a plaque in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and his name is Fergie Jenkins.

Trey Anthony on Black mothers

Award-winning playwright Trey Anthony has a new production called "Oh no i'm becoming my mother and other fears of black women". She explores the relationships Black women have with their mothers, including her own, and her journey to become a mother through adoption.

African-Nova Scotia youth publish book on damages caused by slavery, colonialism

The book, R is for Reparations, is written by children ranging in ages from seven to 12 that expresses their hopes and dreams for a fairer and more just world.

All three of this woman's children died from gun violence

It is every mother's worst nightmare — learning that her child has been killed. It's a nightmare Carol Roache has endured three times, in three separate incidents, with each of her children. Watch now.

How to eat your way through Black History Month in K-W

Honouring Black History Month in Waterloo region can include a celebration of food and culture in local restaurants, suggests columnist Andrew Coppolino. And you don't have to limit it to just one month per year.

'Honey with the medicine': Singer-songwriter Khari McClelland on how music can help tell difficult truths

Singer and songwriter Khari McClelland dropped by to speak with CBC's Margaret Gallagher on Hot Air ahead of a Canadian tour for Black History Month.

Lesson about slavery and empathy from inside a cardboard box

How do you teach 11-year-olds about slavery? A sixth grade teacher decided to use a box.

Redefining Black Representation

During the month of February, we are partnering with influential Black Canadians who are expanding and redefining black representation to takeover the @cbc Instagram account ( for a day.

Meet the student who went straight from a Kenyan refugee camp to Acadia

Noor Ahmed is originally from Mogadishu, Somalia. When he was in his teens, his family fled to the Kenyan refugee camp of Dadaab because of civil war, fighting and bombings.

Hall of Famer, pioneering manager Frank Robinson dead at 83

Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, the first black manager in Major League Baseball, the last manager of the Montreal Expos and the only player to win the MVP award in both leagues, has died. He was 83.

She Never Wants The Black Doll

A black mom talks about her daughter's preference in dolls and why

4 Black Canadian fashion brands to put on your radar right now

Impressive artisans to know, stunning creations to covet.

Tapestries depict scenes from New Brunswick's black history

A collection of nine tapestries on loan from St. Thomas University is on display at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery depicting scenes from New Brunswick's black history.

Canada's dark military history with black soldiers

Mint's first Black History Month coin celebrates Viola Desmond

In 1946, Viola Desmond refused to give up her seat in a segregated section of a New Glasgow, N.S., movie theatre.
Black History Month

6 black Canadian writers to watch in 2019

Here are six writers of black heritage making their mark on Canadian literature.

How an at-risk youth program is using a $468K grant to fill a gap left by the city

If you've ever doubted if good things truly come to those who wait, Mehari Hagos, the founder of a fitness program for at-risk youth, is sure to make you a believer.

Meet John Ware — legendary Black Cowboy

John Ware’s life took him from enslavement to legend. The first Black Cowboy in Alberta traveled hundreds of miles and greatly contributed to the Albertan ranching, agricultural and cattle industry.

How rap music helped this immigrant find her power and community

In rap ciphers, rappers and beat boxers hang out and share their music and ideas. That's where artist SUM-01 says she learned to share her music ideas and to belong in Canada.

Toronto's Africentric school draws consistent praise — so why is enrolment flagging?

As Toronto's Africentric Alternative School approaches its 10th anniversary, students and parents are praising the school for a decade of inspiring and inclusive learning. So why has enrolment sunk to an all-time low?

From refugee to Toronto police officer

Alain Arakaza fled the civil war in Burundi in 2007. This week he was sworn in as a Toronto police officer.

Her family's been in Canada for 200 years but people never believe her

Filmmaker Cazhhmere is a 7th-generation black Canadian. Despite this deep history, she’s constantly asked to explain where she’s from — even though the answer is always 'Canada.' Watch now.

Hogan's Alley Society brings cultural sensitivity to temporary housing project

As the city moves ahead with plans to tear down the Georgia Street viaduct and and redevelop the Northeast False Creek area, Vancouver's Black community is playing an important part of the revitalization process.

Name change possible for award-winning Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site

The Dresden, Ont. historic site won the Harriet Tubman Award from the Ontario Black History Society.

'I'll get a haircut when I'm dead': Why at 65, this man still hates to get his hair cut

Marvin grew up in Ottawa in the 1950s. With no Black barbers in the city, he suffered through many painful haircuts. The trauma still lingers with him today. Watch now.

February 3: Randie-Mae Stanford Liebold on mindfulness and meditation

For mindfulness practitioner Randi-Mae Stanford Liebold, the key to living life fully is mindfulness and meditation--a way of living she learned after a very difficult time in her teens.

Your 2019 guide to Black History Month arts and culture

A list of must-see events happening around the country.