Black History

Celebrating Black history and culture

Toronto Public Library celebrates Black History year round with programs, reading lists, podcast episodes and videos that honour Black heritage and culture, and consider the historical significance and contemporary contributions of Black activists and artists from around the world.

Upcoming Events

All Events

Live and On-Demand Events

Check out upcoming Live & Online events and watch replays of past events you may have missed on the TPL Culture channel on Crowdcast.

Watch replays of past programs in our Black History series

  • Before the 6ix: Behind The Beat Crowdcast Promo image

    Before the 6ix: Behind The Beat

    Hosts Del Cowie and DJ Agile are joined by Zoe Johnson, K-Cut and Rich Kidd to explore the evolution of the sound of Toronto hip-hop from the past to the present.

  • Chidiogo Akunyili-Parr: I Am Because We Are Crowdcast Promo image

    Chidiogo Akunyili-Parr: I Am Because We Are

    Chidiogo Akunyili-Parr discusses her intimate memoir, I Am Because We Are, which tells the story of her mother, a pan-African hero who faced down misogyny and battled corruption in Nigeria.

  • Dan Charnas: Dilla Time Crowdcast Promo image

    Dan Charnas: Dilla Time

    Dan Charnas discusses his new book, Dilla Time, about the life and musical legacy of Hip-Hop producer J Dilla, placing him in the wider history of Black culture and music in America.

  • Habiba Cooper Diallo: #BlackInSchool Crowdcast Promo image

    Habiba Cooper Diallo: #BlackInSchool

    Habiba Cooper Diallo talks about her new book, #BlackInSchool, an eye-opening account of the structural anti-Black racism experienced in our schools. In conversation with host Dr. Funke Oba.

  • Bernardine Evaristo: Girl, Woman, Other Crowdcast Promo image

    Bernardine Evaristo: Girl, Woman, Other

    Winner of the 2019 Man Booker prize, author and academic Bernardine Evaristo discusses her latest novel, Girl, Woman, Other, an essential text on race and feminism. In conversation with Canadian author and journalist, Donna Bailey Nurse.

  • Sarah Broom: The Yellow House Crowdcast Promo image

    Sarah Broom: The Yellow House

    Sarah Broom talks about her best-selling memoir, The Yellow House, and its excavation of a city, a community and a family, in an online conversation with Garvia Bailey.

  • Marci Ien: Off Script Crowdcast Promo image

    Marci Ien: Off Script

    Marci Ien talks about her book, Off Script, and shares personal milestones, tales of resilience and kindness, and dramatic moments from her career as a journalist. In conversation with Cynthia Loyst.

  • Kiley Reid: Such a Fun Age Crowdcast Promo image

    Kiley Reid: Such a Fun Age

    Kiley Reid talks about her striking new novel, Such a Fun Age, and explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, making someone "family" and the complicated reality of being a grown up. In conversation with Kathleen Newman-Bremang.

  • Karina Vernon & Kaie Kellough: The Black Prairie Archives Crowdcast Promo image

    Karina Vernon & Kaie Kellough: The Black Prairie Archives

    Karina Vernon discusses her recently released anthology, The Black Prairie Archives, a new perspective on Western Canada, informed by Black voices. In conversation with Kaie Kellough and Ismaila Alfa.

  • Before the 6ix: Kardinal Offishall - ‘Quest for Fire’ 20th Anniversary Crowdcast Promo image

    Before the 6ix: Kardinal Offishall - ‘Quest for Fire’ 20th Anniversary

    Kardinal Offishall is joined in conversation with journalist Del F. Cowie & DJ Agile to discuss the legacy of the album Quest for Fire: Firestarter Volume 1 and the roots of Toronto's hip-hop history.

  • Cherie Jones: How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House Crowdcast Promo image

    Cherie Jones: How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House

    Cherie Jones discusses her debut novel, an intimate and visceral portrayal of interconnected lives across race and class, following four people confronting violence and love in a beachfront "paradise".

  • Imagine a World: Nalo Hopkinson and Lateef Martin with Karen Lord Crowdcast Promo image

    Imagine a World: Nalo Hopkinson and Lateef Martin with Karen Lord

    Canadian authors Nalo Hopkinson and Lateef Martin discuss speculative fiction, Afrofuturism and the act of writing towards imagined worlds, in conversation with writer Karen Lord.

  • Eternity Martis: They Said This Would Be Fun Crowdcast Promo image

    Eternity Martis: They Said This Would Be Fun

    Award-winning journalist Eternity Martis discusses her debut memoir, They Said This Would Be Fun, and the experiences that created it, with host Nam Kiwanuka.

  • Tamara Payne: The Dead are Arising - The Life of Malcolm X Crowdcast Promo image

    Tamara Payne: The Dead are Arising - The Life of Malcolm X

    Tamara Payne is joined in conversation with journalist Huda Hassan for an in-depth examination of The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X, which recently won the National Book award for non-fiction.

  • Robert Jones Jr: The Prophets Crowdcast Promo image

    Robert Jones Jr: The Prophets

    The staggering debut novel from Robert Jones Jr., The Prophets, tells the story of the forbidden love between two enslaved men on a plantation in the deep south. In conversation with academic and author Rinaldo Walcott.

  • Véronique Tadjo: In the Company of Men Crowdcast Promo image

    Véronique Tadjo: In the Company of Men

    Véronique Tadjo talks about In the Company of Men, a tale which is acutely relevant to our times in light of COVID-19, exploring critical questions about how we cope with a global crisis and how we can combat fear and prejudice.

  • Tawhida Tanya Evanson: Book of Wings Crowdcast Promo image

    Tawhida Tanya Evanson: Book of Wings

    Poet, author and artist Tawhida Tanya Evanson discusses her sweeping and impressionistic novel, Book of Wings, and how grief can point us to who we truly are. In conversation with Chelene Knight.

  • Natasha Brown: Assembly Crowdcast Promo image

    Natasha Brown: Assembly

    Natasha Brown discusses her novel Assembly, a story about the stories we live within – those of race and class, safety and freedom, winners and losers. In conversation with Aparita Bhandari.

  • Imbolo Mbue: How Beautiful We Were Crowdcast Promo image

    Imbolo Mbue: How Beautiful We Were

    Award-winning author Imbolo Mbue discusses her powerful second novel, How Beautiful We Were, a modern fable about the environmental degradation brought on by an American oil company in the fictional African village of Kosawa.

  • You Are the Dream: Writers in Conversation Crowdcast Promo image

    You Are the Dream: Writers in Conversation

    Authors Jayne Allen, Kailtyn Greenidge and Myriam Chancy talk to host Glory Edim about their new novels and the complex lives they portray across a spectrum of settings.

Black Voices

Videos

This video features a discussion on the importance of representation in literature, with Glory Edim, the founder of the popular book club Well Read Black Girl, and writers Jamia Wilson and Renée Watson. Moderated by writer Zalika Reid-Benta.

Explore our entire Black Voices YouTube playlist.

Podcast

Listen to these featured episodes, and discover more captivating conversations and archived recordings on our Live Mic and Writers Off the Page podcast series.

Reading Lists

Related Links

Rita Cox Black and Caribbean Heritage Collection

The Rita Cox Black and Caribbean Heritage Collection features over 18,000 books, DVDs, CDs, newspapers and magazines for adults, children, and teens. Materials focus on the Black and Caribbean historical and cultural experience, with a special emphasis on Canadian content.

Our Black History Image

You may have seen this image in our Black History materials. The artwork, titled Mama’s Quilt, is an original work by Ivey Hayes and is used by permission.

Support Heritage Collections

Help grow the Rita Cox Black and Caribbean Heritage Collection by donating to the Rita Cox Endowment Fund. Donate today at Toronto Public Library Foundation or at 416-393-7123.