Words are Power: Black History Month at Holland Landing
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King Jr.
If you’ve visited our Holland Landing branch this month, you might have picked a read for Black History Month from our new black-and-yellow display. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, we used a simple bold design to highlight books and DVDs that feature Black stories and Black creators.
We created the graphic with help from our Cricut machine. Thanks to its geometric style, replicating the image felt a bit like piecing together a small and mighty puzzle!
We also chose the title “Words Our Power” to emphasize the importance of reading, learning, and talking about Black history and Black writers even beyond February. To get you started, we curated Black History Month book lists for kids, teens, and adults, with many of the titles showcased in the display.
Books for Kids
Meet Viola Desmond by Elizabeth MacLeod
Featured on our 10-dollar bill, Viola Desmond was a Nova Scotia businesswoman who stood against racial segregation at a New Glasgow movie theatre in 1946. This brightly illustrated children’s biography details Viola’s quest for Canadian civil rights in the media and the courts of law.
Hockey Night in Kenya by Danson Mutina
This fun and quirky picture book follows the lives of Kitoo and Nigosi, two Kenyan kids who love soccer and reading library books. When Kitoo stumbles upon a copy of “Sports Around the World,” he becomes fascinated by the Canadian hockey team and promptly teaches himself to skate on a pair of old roller blades.
Find more Black History Month books for kids here.
Books for Teens
Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds
This book explores recent events in the U.S., such as George Floyd’s muder and Black peoples’ challenges with Covid-19, in a multimedia format that combines poetry and art. Using the theme of breath, the story unfolds like a journal, capturing the creators’ emotions of fear, panic, and ultimately solace and inspiration.
Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe
When awkward Corinne Troy blackmails ambitious Henri Haltiwanger to increase her high school social standing, an unexpected romance crops up. Set against the backdrop of racial and class struggles, Henri faces his own moral dilemmas when deciding how far he will go to get into his dream college.
Find more Black History Month teen reads here.
Books for Adults
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
Wilkerson masterfully portrays how the U.S. has been shaped by a hidden caste system that heavily influences people’s lives and behaviours, and the fate of the nation. This #1 New York Times Bestseller and Oprah’s Book Club pick documents how the Nazis studied America’s racial systems to plan the genocide of the Jewish people.
The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
Dive into an alternative fantasy world where New York City is composed of six souls, awakened to protect themselves against an alien force. Three-time Hugo Award-winner Jemisin features a dynamic, multicultural cast that mirrors the vibrancy of America’s most iconic city.
Find more Black History Month books for adults here, and save your favourite reads to your account with our new online catalogue.
What books are you most interested in reading for Black History Month? Tell us in the comments below!