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.

Being Black in Canada

UPlift Black the Webseries on Youtube


With the generous support of, UPlift Black’s online Webseries focuses on members of the Black Community living in Canada. Our platform makes space to tell their stories and share their work. The show creates a call to action each episode, offering pathways to achieving racial equity through a conscious community. If you would like to be featured on the show, please visit

Our Mosaic Lives


Growing up black and “fitting out” for most of my life, I am a mosaic of my experiences. This personal journey connected me with inspirational black women. – Michele Newton

Being Black and Queer in Canada


Four queer Black men discuss how they deal with anti-Black racism while caring for themselves and each other

Being Black in Canada:Canada's largest mentorship, training, and creation program to be entirely dedicated to Black filmmakers

Black History Month: Government of Canada

CBC: Being Black in Canada

Charity Williams Using Platform to Inspire Young Black Canadians

Elle Canada: Inspirational Black Canadians to Know

NOW Toronto: Exploring Black-Canadian History in The Porter 

Black Local Love


MacLaren Art Centre

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

Mosaic of Black Culture

During Black History Month, communities across Simcoe County will welcome the Mosaic of Black Culture - A Family Event. Created by Making Change, this interactive event features live steel pan music, a make your own steel pan craft and an overview of Black History from a local Canadian perspective. Admission is free. Registrations are available for Innisfil (February 11), Essa and Wasaga Beach (February 18), Bradford West Gwillimbury (February 19), Orillia and Barrie (February 25).

For more information and to register, visit

How to Be a Young Antiracist - with Ibram X Kendi and Nic Stone

Ibram and Nic will virtually discuss their new book, give practical tips, and share their knowledge and experiences empowering and encouraging young people to build a more equitable world. The event will be streamed live on February 16 at our downtown library from 1:00 to 1:30 pm.

For more information, see


Adinkra Farm


ADINKRAFARM has been offering programs to community for over 10 years. They are officially registered as a non profit and operate as a cooperative, community building organization. A welcoming space for all, 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. They offer opportunities for community to learn plan and develop in harmony through their three pillars of sustainability: Reclaim, Build and Grow. 

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.

Black-Owned Business Listing

Explore Making Change's Black-owned Business Listing (Simcoe County) –  search for a business or add a your own. 

Georgian College - Anti-Racism Resource

The resources provided by Georgian College are suitable for all levels, whether you are years into an anti-oppression teaching practice, or brand new to learning about how systems of oppression operate. If you are new to this subject, a good place to start is with the “Educate Yourself” resources.

Simcoe County 

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


Community Voices

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.

For more information and to pledge your support, visit

Community Voices


Join us for this special series as we learn more about our neighbours, listen to their stories, and celebrate the diversity of Simcoe county.  

Diversity Reads

Learn about others and challenge the norm

Books give us a fantastic opportunity to explore beyond our lived experience. 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 amazing 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! 



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!

Stories of Colour


Children's books are 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. It is of the utmost importance that children not only see themselves being represented in the stories, but also by the individuals telling the stories.

February is Black History Month 

lady holding octopus puppet


Learn more about this important celebration with the help of library staff. Read some stories, learn about historical figures, and share what you learn with family and friends every day of the year! 

Local History

Ontario Black History Society



The Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) is a registered Canadian charity, dedicated to the study, preservation and promotion of Black History and heritage. The Society aims to encourage public interest in Black History through the:

Recognition and documentation of the contributions of peoples of African descent and their collective histories, past and present, through education, research and collaboration.

Development and support of educational initiatives and exhibits.

Inclusion of Black History material in school curricula.

Sheffield Park Black History Museum


It was the dream of Howard Sheffield to gather and preserve the history of his ancestors and share with the family. Community friends also became interested in 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.

Interest increased and various cultural artifacts were donated to Howard's project. Sheffield Park Museum now became Sheffield Park Black History & Cultural Museum. The museum includes pioneer life and times, the social networking of a community and the preservation of past generations.

Howard Sheffield's dream was to keep the events of the past visible so we, and future generations, would never forget. The dream continues...

Bethel Union Cemetery


This cemetery was established in 1855. It was considered one of the only integrated cemeteries of its time, with black, white and aboriginal peoples all buried in it. It remained an active cemetery until 1940 and ended up falling into a state of disrepair by the 1960’s. Prison inmates were used to clear away the surrounding debris of the site however; it fell into disrepair again by the 70’s. It continued to remain in a woeful state until 1997 when 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.

NFB Film

Join us for some National Film Board selections and honour the legacy of Black Canadians, past and present. Log in with your library card and pin from our website

John Ware Reclaimed

John Ware Reclaimed follows filmmaker Cheryl Foggo on her quest to re-examine the mythology surrounding John Ware, the Black cowboy who settled in Alberta, Canada, before the turn of the 20th century. Foggo’s research uncovers who this iconic figure might have been, and what his legacy means in terms of anti-Black racism, both past and present.

Speak It! From the Heart of Black Nova Scotia

In their predominantly white high school in Halifax, a group of black students face daily reminders of racism, ranging from abuse (racist graffiti on washroom walls), to exclusion (the omission of black history from textbooks). They work to establish a Cultural Awareness Youth Group, a vehicle for building pride and self-esteem through educational and cultural programs. With help from mentors, they discover the richness of their heritage and learn some of the ways they can begin to effect change.

Sisters in the Struggle

This documentary features Black women active in politics as well as community, labour and feminist organizing. They share their insights and personal testimonies on the double legacy of racism and sexism, linking their personal struggles with the ongoing battle to end systemic discrimination and violence against women and people of colour.

Golden Gloves

A classic NFB documentary about the Golden Gloves boxing tournament, the Canadian amateur's hope for success in the boxing world. This Gilles Groulx film shows three Montreal boxers in training. In behind-the-scenes interviews they talk about their ambitions and what prompted them to take up the sport.

Read Black Voices


Join us as BPL staff recommend reads featuring Black authors and characters.

Staff Pick Lists: Black Voices

Take a look at some curated lists from our catalogue for people of all ages.

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.


Read Black Queer Canadian Voices

Being Black and Queer in Canada


Four queer Black men discuss how they deal with anti-Black racism while caring for themselves and each other


Three Black Canadians on Inspiring the Next Generation of Queer Leaders


Black queer Canadians have been leading the way to not only create change in their spaces, but also inspire the next generation of queer leaders. 


Canada’s Queer Rights Movement Exists Because of Black People- But That History is Often Ignored


“Black people and trans activists have always been at the front of these protests…they’ve been very visible in that struggle”


Queering Black History Month


Highlighting the histories, struggles and contributions of Black Queer & Trans folks across Turtle Island.


Four Queer Black Canadian Women Writers You Should Be Reading 


Check out these four queer Black Canadian women authors whose books you should definitely have on your shelves.


Wellness and Mental Health

Read about Black Mental Health and Wellness 

6 Black Canadian Women On Tackling Mental Health Taboos


What are Black Canadian women doing to take care of their mental well-being? Here’s how six women are doing it.


8 Black Mental Health Resources in Canada and Online


These organizations focus on the mental health and well-being of Black communities across Canada. 


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.