February is Black History Month and a selection of OISE Library resources are on display in the lobby of the OISE building. This display features useful resources for classroom lessons about Black history, with an emphasis on Black Canadian history.
A Forgotten Sisterhood: Pioneering Black Women Educators and Activists in the Jim Crow South, by Audrey Thomas McCluskey
This books profiles the Black women who were school founders in the American South during the Jim Crow era. The period between the late-1800s and the mid-1900s was one where the number of Black children entering schools grew exponentially, and many southern Black women in the field of education responded to this demand. The lives of four women are examined in depth, with an emphasis on their work in education and social activism: Lucy Craft Laney (1854-1933), Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955), Nannie Helen Burroughs (1879-1961), and Charlotte Hawkins Brown (1883-1961).
All Aboard! Elijah McCoy’s Steam Engine, by Monica Kulling
Elijah McCoy is a Canadian engineer and a prolific inventor. This picture book shares the story of his first invention: an oil cup that oiled the steam engine while the train was moving. This revolutionized train travel, making train travel faster for the passengers and safer for the workers. Elijah McCoy would go on to file a total of 57 patents for his inventions, including a portable ironing board and a lawn sprinkler.
Drawing on interviews, oral histories, and archival sources, this book profiles the lives of 35 Black nurses who were either born in Canada or who immigrated to Canada from the Caribbean. Many of these women were pioneers in the health care field, as nursing as a profession was closed to Black women before the late-1940s; the 1940s and 1950s in Canada were a period of integration both in nursing schools and in hospitals more generally. This book examines how these women’s personal lives shaped their professional lives as nurses and vice-versa, and explores oft-overlooked aspects of intersectionality such as religion, education, family, and migration.
I Came as a Stranger: The Underground Railroad, by Bryan Prince
Replete with pictures and suitable for use as a classroom textbook, this book functions as a detailed guide to the Underground Railroad. Emphasis is placed on those instances where Canada was the final destination, and looks at the lives of men and women who escaped slavery after they arrived in Canada. This book profiles the lives of real individuals and provides a realistic look at what life was like for Black Canadians in the 1800s.
Season of Rage: Hugh Burnett and the Struggle for Civil Rights, by John Cooper
Well after laws were passed banning segregation elsewhere, discrimination in one restaurant in Dresden, Ontario finally prompted the development of civil rights laws here as well. In 1954, the Ontario Legislature passed the Fair Accommodation Practices Act, and when some businesses refused to abide by the new law, civil rights activists took them to court. Written for use by children, this book contains short chapters, clear language, and plenty of background information including timelines and profiles of prominent people involved in the fight for equal rights.
For these and other titles on Black History Month, visit the OISE Lobby Display on the ground floor of the OISE building. To borrow these books, please stop by the OISE Library Service Desk and we’ll retrieve it for you.