Discover inspirational figures during Black History Month

Every February, Black History Month is an opportunity to honour the rich history and important Black culture and to recognize the contributions of Black communities to Canadian history.

This year’s theme for Black History Month is “Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate; a Future to Build.” To mark the occasion, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) invites you to discover inspirational figures who have made a remarkable contribution to shaping our country:

  • Read the Porter Talk blog post to discover the impressive story of Black porters as told in 1986–1987 to Stanley Grizzle, a Black porter himself as well as a human rights and labour rights activist, war veteran and respected public servant.
  • In the coming months, stay tuned for the new podcast mini-series called, “Porter Talk.” This mini-series features interviews that were recorded with porters, and their wives and children, in Montréal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. These insightful conversations, in which porters share their experiences in their own words, will be contextualized and interpreted by experts in Black Canadian studies and history. You can also subscribe for free to this upcoming mini-series.
  • Using the Collection Search, view the collection of Stanley Grizzle’s interviews, which are accessible and fully transcribed.
  • Help preserve the legacy of the courageous abolitionist Mary Ann Shadd Cary, the first Black woman to start a newspaper in North America: access the Co-Lab challenge on Mary Ann Shadd Cary to help transcribe, tag, translate or describe scanned documents about her. In October 2023, Mary Ann Shadd Cary’s archives were registered in the Canada Memory of the World Register, and in January 2024, Canada Post issued a stamp in her honour to commemorate her achievements and legacy.
  • Read the Fergie Jenkins’s Long and Grinding Road to Cooperstown blog post to learn more about this renowned baseball player.
  • Read the Jeremiah “Jerry” Jones blog post to learn about this soldier’s heroic act during the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917.

You can also use the resources available at LAC to research and tell your story. Use our online tool to begin your research into the family history and genealogy of Black Canadians, or ask us a question for help from our reference or genealogy experts.

Learn more

Visit the February is Black History Month web page to discover more resources and information about Canada’s Black communities and how they have shaped our country’s history.