Black History 365

Learn about Black history 365 days of the year! Celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate, and prosperous nation it is today. In collaboration with community partners, UPlift Black #UPLiftBlack365.

Black Voices - Local Love

UPLift Black 

UPlift Black is a social service agency working to UPlift the complete wellbeing of Black people who live in Simcoe Muskoka. Their work is culturally based and anchored in 2SLGBTQPNIA+ inclusivity striving to achieve the ultimate goal of racial equity through a conscious community.

Making Change

Making Change is a not-for-profit organization started by a group of passionate volunteers, led by a community of Black women. Launched in 2019, they  plan and coordinate activities, projects, and events in the community. Collaborations and partnerships are vital to our continued community impact.

Barrie Anti-Racism Task Force

The Barrie Anti-Racism Task Force is dedicated to growing a strong, positive understanding and representation of Barrie's racialized communities. 

Parents Against Racism

Parents Against Racism Simcoe County engage education leaders and develop frameworks that focus on dismantling white supremacy, in order to create an equitable educational experience for  children that is free from oppression and promotes the values anti-racism and anti-hate for children in Simcoe County. 

Georgian College - Anti-Racism Resource

These “Educate Yourself” resources are suitable for all levels, whether you are years into an anti-oppression teaching practice or are new to learning how systems of oppression operate. 

Adinkra Farm

Adinkra Farm has been offering community programs for over 10 years. They are non-profit and operate as a cooperative, community building organization. As a welcoming space for all, it is based on the principles of Africentric Leadership which requires optimism, confidence, truth and knowledge centred on African cultures and values of love, life-long learning, and living in harmony with nature and humanity. 

Shak's World

Shak's World Community Centre (SWCC) uses basketball, innovation, and mentorship as a bridge to youth employment, education, and training. SWCC's youth-led urban community development project tackles the underlying issues leading to youth addiction, homelessness, and mental health challenges by creating a positive, inclusive and diverse environment in the downtown core.

Through mentorship, sport and community engagement SWCC encourages a positive and stable environment for youth. They welcome youth from across Simcoe County between the ages of 7 and 17. SWCC protects BIPOC youth of the Simcoe County Area by providing them with a safe space to gather and grow relationships necessary for social and self development. Their team has been able to create a safe space for important community conversations around diversity and inclusion 365 days a year. 



 Cultural Tile Mosiac Project

Facilitated by Making Change, this interactive Art Engagement Project in Simcoe County is inviting individuals to paint 4x4 wooden tiles to present their cultural backgrounds using symbols, imagery and colours. Each tile reflects the create, their culture and what culture means to them. When placed together, they represent the mosaic landscapes of our community.  For more information on Making Change's Black History Month events, visit:

MacLaren Art Centre

Attend a variety of events ranging from art exhibits, talks and performances reflecting on black history throughout the month of February. For more information, visit their website.

Simcoe County 

Diverse Voices Unite - A video presentation that honours and celebrates Black History Month in Simcoe County. Watch

Black Voices - Stories

By our Amazing Library Staff

lady holding octopus puppet

  Learn more about this important celebration with the help of library staff. Watch here

  Read some stories, learn about historical figures, and share what you learn with family and friends every day of the year! 



 From Our Reading Champions


Ignite a love of reading with our local reading champions as they share some of their favourite stories that make them laugh and learn!



From the Community 

Community Voices is a special series where you can learn more about your neighbours, listen to their stories, and celebrate the diversity of Simcoe county.

From Authors

Social media page written by authors of colour, or have a central character who is a person of colour, with readers of African, Indigenous, Asian and Latinx descent.

Black Voices - Books

Learn about others and challenge the norm

Diversity Reads invites you to discover the world from different perspectives, in the hope that learning about and celebrating our differences, bringing us closer together. Diversity Reads is based on the Read Woke reading initiative started by Cecily Lewis. 

Get started now to make change

Here's how you can keep track of the books you read:

  1. Visit the App Store or Google Play and download the FREE Beanstack Tracker app, or join us from your computer
  2. Select books from a recommended reads list below or choose your own
  3. Post your review and share your learnings

Discover diverse books, log activities, and READ! 

Black Voices - Local History

Ontario Black History Society

The Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) is dedicated to the study, preservation and promotion of Black History and Heritage. It encourages interest in Black History through the recognition and documentation of contributions people of African descent and their collective histories. It develops and supports educational initiatives, exhibits and the inclusion of Black History material in school curricula.


Sheffield Park Black History Museum

Was the dream of Howard Sheffield, who wished to gather and preserve the history of his ancestors. Community friends also contributed to the history of the black pioneers and settlers of Collingwood and the surrounding areas. His collection of family photos and artifacts attracted donations of more items from white families who grew up with the original homesteaders. Now Sheffield Park Black History & Cultural Museum, it incorporates themes related to pioneer life and times, the social networking of a community and the preservation of past generations.

Bethel Union Cemetery

Established in 1855, it was considered one of the only integrated cemeteries of its time, with black, white and aboriginal peoples all buried there. It remained an active until 1940, falling into a state of disrepair by the 1960’s. In 1997, Jane Cooper-Wilson and a group of volunteers secured permission from the Township of Clearview to restore and maintain the site. Her organization, The Silver Shoe Historical Society, has worked hard to restore and maintain the cemetery. They have also discovered around 400 documented burials with even more awaiting investigation.

Black Settlement - Oro Township

As the only government-sponsored Black settlement in Upper Canada, it was established in 1819 to help secure the defence of the province's northern frontier. Black veterans of the War of 1812 were offered land grants here. By 1831, nine had taken up residence. Bolstered by other Black settlers who had been attracted to the area, the community soon numbered about 100. The settlement eventually declined, however, as farmers discouraged by the poor soil and harsh climate gradually drifted away. Today only the African Episcopal church erected near Edgar in 1849 remains as a testament to this early Black community.

Black Voices - On Air and In Film

CBC News 

Being Black in Canada

National Film Board of Canada selections (free when you log in with your library card):

Black Cinema at the NFB: Before and After 1983: Curator's Perspective - Blog post

Black Communities in Canada - Films by award-winning Black filmmakers, creators, and allies of the Black community

Focus on Black Filmmakers - From Black filmmakers across Canada, showcasing an extensive selection of stories told from Black perspectives.

Koromousso: Big Sister 

With candor, humour and courage, a group of African-Canadian women challenge cultural taboos surrounding female sexuality and fight to take back ownership of their bodies.

Combining her own journey with personal accounts from some of her radiant, endearing friends, co-director Habibata Ouarme explores the phenomenon of female genital mutilation and the road to individual and collective healing, both in Africa and in Canada.


 Molly Movie

 Raised in the wings of the theatre, it is perhaps no surprise that Molly Johnson was destined to become one of Canada’s greatest voices.

Directed by Molly’s brother—acclaimed actor and director Clark Johnson—Molly Movie is as much a tribute to Molly’s singer-songwriter career as it is a testament to the communities she supports and the philanthropic work that drives her.


 Speakers for the Dead

 In the 1930s in rural Ontario, a farmer buried the tombstones of a Black cemetery to make way for a potato patch. In the 1980s, descendants of the original settlers, Black and White, came together to restore the cemetery, but there were hidden truths no one wanted to discuss. Deep racial wounds were opened.

Scenes of the cemetery excavation, interviews with residents and re-enactments—including one of a baseball game where a broken headstone is used for home plate—add to the film's emotional intensity.


Statement on Race & Social Equity

The Barrie Public Library has joined dozens of Canadian public library systems to show our strong commitment to ending structural racism by signing CULC’s Statement on Race and Social Equity. This statement was originally endorsed by the Urban Libraries Council which includes over 160 libraries across North America. Libraries use this statement as a baseline for building progressive policies, activities and collaborative relationships to advance equity.

As a library, our values are rooted in inclusion, diversity, accessibility and education. We are a safe space for open dialogue, and we are proud to be a place where community comes together. We also acknowledge that we have work to do.

Black Voices - Wellness and Mental Health

Black Health Alliance 

The Black Health Alliance is a community-led registered organization working to improve the health and well-being of Black communities in Canada.

Black Youth Helpline

Black Youth Helpline serves all youth and specifically responds to the need for a Black youth specific service, positioned and resourced to promote access to professional, culturally appropriate support for youth, families and schools.

Substance Abuse Program for African Canadian and Carribean Youth (SAPACCY)

SAPACCY provides services to African and Caribbean Canadian youth and their families who are dealing with problem substance use and mental health concerns. They work from a cultural competence lens offering mental health and addictions counselling. They also help youth and their families to access resources that assist in reducing harm, moving toward recovery, and making the best choices.