Please read something other than To Kill a Mockingbird

Throughout the month of February we’ve been featuring books about black history, and books, movies and music created by black artists, on our website and on display in our library locations.

Our February Free Flicks included BlacKKKlansman, Sorry to Bother You, and In the Heat of the Night. And we hosted a dance workshop – thank you to our partners, the Afro-Tribal Dancers!

afro dance workshop

As the month draws to a close, we want to share some resources to support you in reading, listening to, and supporting black artists all year long, as well as a few books that may help further your thoughts and conversations about race and racism in this community and in this country.

Watch: Check out these films from CBC’s Curio collection, including How Much Do You Know About Black History in Canada, hosted by Amanda Parris.

Listen: Here’s a Black History Month playlist from Freegal, free for you to download with your library card.

Read: A few recommendations from our collection:

They call me George: the untold story of black train porters and the birth of modern Canada by Cecil Foster (Foster will be appearing at Central Library on April 6)

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Policing Black Lives by Robyn Maynard

Unapologetic : a Black, queer, and feminist mandate for radical movements  by Charlene A. Carruthers

How to Be Less Stupid About Race by Crystal M. Fleming

So what’s wrong with To Kill a Mockingbird? Nothing, really. Harper Lee’s novel (and the movie, stage adaptations, children’s books, and graphic novels inspired by it) continues to be well-loved. But many parents and educators are turning to other books to open conversations about racism, including books that do not centre white people. Here’s a piece by Kristian Wilson for Bustle that offers five alternatives.

For more recommendations, ask a librarian, or head to the website of the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD). FOLD’s mission is to celebrate diversity in literature by promoting authors from marginalized communities.

What else can you do? Save these dates: On Thursday, March 21 we’re partnering with several local organizations to host a film screening and conversation to mark International Day for the Elimination of Discrimination. And on Saturday, April 6, we’re hosting a mini-FOLD festival at Central Library with artistic director Jael Richardson and authors S.K. Ali, Cecil Foster, and Waubgeshig Rice. Stay tuned for details, and we hope to see you at one or both of these events!



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