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African Heritage Month

Dalhousie University is proud to recognize and celebrate African Heritage Month with a series of events throughout the month of February.


The commemoration of African Heritage Month can be traced back to 1926 when Harvard-educated Black historian, Carter G. Woodson, founded Negro History Week to recognize the achievements of African Americans. Woodson purposefully chose February for the birthdays of Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln, both key figures in the emancipation of enslaved Blacks. In 1976, as part of the American Bicentennial celebrations, Negro History Week was expanded to Black History Month.   

The vast contributions of African Canadians to Canadian society have been acknowledged informally since the early 1950s. However, Nova Scotia, particularly the Halifax Region, has been a leader in the promotion and awareness of African Heritage Month. Highlights of the development of Black History Month in Canada through the efforts of Nova Scotian trailblazers include the following:   

  • 1985 - First “official” Opening Night for Black History Month (January 29) at the Halifax North Branch Library.
  • 1987 - First meeting of the Black History Month Association
  • 1988 -  First Black History Month in Nova Scotia
  • 1996  - Black History Month renamed to African Heritage Month in Nova Scotia


Want to learn more?

In addition to the list below, the HR Library contains books about the Black experience. Please contact Alex at for more information.

  • 'Membering by Austin Clarke
  • Amazing Black Atlantic Canadians: Inspiring Stories of Courage and Achievement by Lindsay Ruck
  • Angry Queer Somali Boy by Mohamed Abdulkarim Ali
  • Any Known Blood by Lawrence Hill
  • Black Writers Matter by Whitney French
  • BlackLife by Rinaldo Walcott & Idil Abdillahi
  • Blank by M. NourbeSe Philip
  • Burnley “Rocky” Jones Revolutionary: An Autobiography by Burnley “Rocky” Jones and James W. St. G. Walker
  • Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta
  • Halifax Champion: Black Power in Gloves by Robert Ashe
  • Historic Black Nova Scotia by Bridgal Pachai and Henry Bishop
  • How She Read by Chantal Gibson
  • I've Been Meaning to Tell You by David Chariandy
  • Invisible Shadows: A Black Woman’s Life in Nova Scotia by Verna Thomas
  • It's Our Time: Honouring the African Nova Scotian Communities of East Preston, North Preston, Lake Loon/Cherry Brook by Wanda Taylor
  • Land to Light On by Dionne Brand
  • North of the Color Line by Sarah-Jane Mathieu
  • Policing Black Lives by Robyn Maynard
  • Queer Returns by Rinaldo Walcott
  • Righting Canada's Wrongs: Africville: An African Nova Scotian Community Is Demolished ― and Fights Back by Gloria Ann Wesley
  • Schooling the System: A History of Black Women Teachers by Funké Aladejebi
  • Shame on Me by Tessa McWatt
  • Shovels not Rifles: A Novel by Gloria Ann Wesley
  • Shut Up You're Pretty by Téa Mutonji
  • Singing Towards the Future: The Story of Portia White by Lian Goodall
  • The Black Battalion 1916 -1920: Canada’s Best Kept Military Secret by Calvin Ruck
  • The Black Loyalists: Southern Settlers of The First Free Black Communities In Nova Scotia by Ruth Holmes Whitehead
  •  The Journey Continues: An Atlantic Canadian Black Experience by Craig Marshall Smith
  • The Lonesome Road: The Autobiography of Carrie M. Best by Carrie M. Best
  • The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole
  • Unsettling the Great White North: Black Canadian History by Michele A. Johnson and Funké Aladejebi
  • Until We Are Free by Rodney Diverlus, Sandy Hudson and Syrus Marcus Ware

Children and youth specific books

  • Abigail's Wish by Gloria Ann Wesley
  • Viola Desmond Won't Be Budged! by Jody Nyasha Warner
  • One Summer in Whitney Pier by Mayann Francis
  • Mayann's Train Ride by Mayann Francis
  • Africville by Shauntay Grant
  • Meet Willie O’Ree by Elizabeth Macleod
  • Up Home by Shauntay Grant
  • Music from the Sky by Denise Gillard
  • Oscar Lives Next Door by Bonnie Farmer
  • A Likkle Miss Lou by Nadia L. Hohn 

  • BlackLantic Weekly with Clinton Davis and Hilary LeBlanc
  • Daily Dose of Blackness Podcast
  • Afropolitan Dialogues with Meres J. Weche
  • I Am Black History (ITBC): Our Stories, Our Voices with Donna Paris
  • Dear Society: From A Young Black Girl with Kendra-Ann Haynes
  • Black in The Maritimes Podcast
  • Africville Forever with Eddy Carvery III & Alfred Burgesson
  • BlacktoCanada with Channon Oyeniran
  • Seat at the Table with Isabelle Racicot and Martine St-Victor
  • Party Lines with Elamin Abdelmahmoud and Rosie Barton
  • Unfinished Work Podcast with Kordeena Clayton, Kate Macdonald, and I’thandi Munro
  • A Shot of Melanin with Michelle
  • My Blackness, My Truth with Jayde Symone
  • The Loyalist Connections Podcast with Laurice Downey and Shawn Smith
  • Creating Communities of Care Podcast 

Image Collections

  • In This Place: 100 Years of African Nova Scotian Art by David Woods and Dr. Harold
  • As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic by Dr. Kenneth Montague
  • Lynn Jones African-Canadian and Diaspora Heritage Collection
  • Images of Black History by the Alvin McCurdy Collection
  • Gone but Never Forgotten: Portrait of Africville in the 1960s by Bob Brooks

 Cultural Centers


Further resources