Black History Month
Throughout February, we recognize Black History Month at King's. This is a further opportunity to bring awareness of Black history and culture to the King's community. King's continues to work for further diversity and inclusivity.
Jennifer Slay, King's Director of Director of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization, talks about Black History Month.
BIPOC Student Support Group
This is an important time to recognize the experiences of people of colour on campus and their daily life. Shifting Perspectives, KUCSC, and King's Student Affairs are teaming up to facilitate a BIPOC Student Support group. This is a safe place for students to be heard, seen and relate to one another. There will be conversations regarding racism, discrimination, microaggression sexism etc. This platform acknowledges each individuals’ differences and projects their voice on campus.
Meetings will be held in person every 2nd and 4th Wednesday in the Vitali Lounge in Wemple. You must register to join the group.
Nikisha Evans, President of the Congress of Black Women of Canada, London Chapter, will speak to students in Human Rights 1000 on March 3 at 12:30 p.m., in LH105B. All are welcome.
Learn more about Black History in one of these courses currently taught at King’s.
3301F/G (In)Equity and Violence
This course examines two inter-related topics central to modern political theory and modern societies: first, equality and inequality; second, violence. Readings include canonical statements (Rousseau, Marx, Fanon, Arendt), contemporary treatments and case studies. These include the purpose of equality, the distribution of wealth, the psychology of violence and its justifications.
2301A/B Social Activism and Theories of Political Change
This class exposes students to a wide range of perspectives and debates on social activism and political change. We will investigate the major theories of how political change occurs, examine several prominent case studies of how activists have changed their society, and investigate contemporary debates in Canadian activism.
2303A/B Humanitarianism and Global Justice
This course examines the relationship between spiritual practices and the environment through lenses of social justice. Students will explore how spirituality and spiritual practices offer ways to reframe our relationship to our natural world at a time of intensifying climate and economic crises.
2304/G Social Networks of Power and Privilege
This course will prepare students to be aware of power relations and ethical complexities in experiential learning or practicum settings, and to be reflexive and critical about their own positions, motives and potential influence.
3383F/G Ecological Justice
This course critically examines ecological ideas. Students will study ecological philosophies, concepts, major environmental challenges, impacts of human experiments on the environment, as well as creative ways to develop environmentally just society where all life systems can flourish.
4404F/G Contemporary Issues in Social Justice
A research seminar designed to facilitate a final year integration process in Social Justice and Peace Studies. This course will focus on an in-depth individual research project that relates to the history, and philosophical foundations of social justice and peace, while exploring the relationship between theory, research and practice.
Events for Black History Month (outside of King's)
Western University acknowledges and celebrates Black History Month, and encourages the campus and London communities to listen, learn and discuss. Visit Western's Black History Month page to learn more.
Passing the Baton – A fireside chat with The Honourable Jean Augustine: February 8, 10:00 a.m., McKellar Room, University Community Centre
RISE Above Adversity – Transforming Pain to Power with Randell Adjei: February 15, noon - 1:15 p.m,, Zoom
Black History Month Film Screening: February 15, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m., University College, Room 3110
Paving the Way with Anthony Lue: February 28, 11 a.m. - noon, Health Science Building, Room 40
Emmanuel Jal Comes to Western: March 10, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m., McKellar Room, University Community Centre
From Windsor to Washington: How a Western Student from Essex County Made his Way to Partnership in an Elite American Law Firm: March 16, 12:30 p.m., Law Building, Moot Court
The Western Black Students Association is hosting a number of events, including the For the Girls Reflection, a Black History Month reflection to discuss and highlight Black women. February 6, 6 - 8 p.m., University Community Center, Room 41
London Black History Coordinating Committee (LBHCC) Events
LBHCC has a full calendar of Black History Month events, including these:
- Black History Month Opening Ceremony: February 4, 1 - 4 p.m. at Museum London, 421 Ridout Street North
- Family Program: February 11, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., London Public Library, 251 Dundas Street
- Black Opportunities Open House, February 18, 9:30 a.m. - noon, North London Optimist Community Centre, 1345 Cheapside Street
- Fugitive Slave Chapel Documentary Screening, February 18, 2 - 5 p.m., London Public Library, 251 Dundas Street
- Abel Maxwell, February 23, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Aeolian Hall, 795 Dundas Street
- 2023 Lewis Coray Trailblazer Awards, 6 - 9 p.m., London Police Headquarters, 601 Dundas Street
- African Food Festival, February 25, 5 - 8 p.m., Carrefour Communautaire Francophone de London, 920 rue Huron
- Closing Ceremony, February 25, 2 - 6 p.m., Wolf Performance Hall, 251 Dundas Street
Most events are free of charge. Find more information on these and other LBHCC events.
Épelle-Moi Canada presents Colloque sur la diversité, February 11, noon - 3 p.m., École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Jeanne-d'Arc, 35 Fallons Lane
YAYA's Kitchen offers an Afro Vegan Tasting Menu from 7 - 10 p.m. on Friday nights in February and March.
Black History Month Resources
Visit the Government of Canada's Black History Month page for information and resources.
The Canadian Centre for Diversity and inclusion (CCDI)
The CCDI is presenting a webinar, Unlearning anti-Black racism, on February 9, from 1 - 2 p.m. Find more information and register at https://ccdi.ca/event-calendar/ccdi-webinar-black-history-month-unlearning-anti-black-racism/.
Here is a list of local Black artists and entrepreneurs compiled by a beautiful online magazine called See Collective. https://www.seecollective.co/
Founded by Kerry Ssemugenyi and Zion Bekele, SEE COLLECTIVE is an online community based in London, Ontario, embracing the electric and adventurous spirit of this generation of creatives and entrepreneurs. Founded on the desire to inspire, SEE COLLECTIVE highlights local tastemakers and creatives through stories and visuals that immerse you into the very fabric of the FOREST CITY.
Check out See Collective’s list of local Black-owned businesses, which includes restauranteurs, retailers, suppliers, creatives, collectives, musicians and more.
Books for Black History Month
Recommendations from Jennifer Slay, King’s Director of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization (EDID)
Watch Melanated View, the award-winning six-episode Rogers TV series co-executive produced by Jennifer Slay.
Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome – Dr. Joy DeGruy
What do repeated traumas, endured generation after generation by a people produce? What impact have these ordeals had on Black people today? With over thirty years of practical experience as a mental health professional, Dr. DeGruy helps to lay the necessary foundation to ensure the well-being and sustained health of future generations and provides a rare glimpse into the evolution of society's beliefs, feelings, attitudes and behavior concerning race. On order at King’s and available through Omni partners
Immigration, Race and Survival – Cecily Pouchet Alexander
This memoir begins with a childhood in Trinidad where classism is a theme, to immigration to Canada at nineteen, which opened her eyes to the challenges she would face. In this account of Alexander’s life story, the reader will see that her experiences of racism, mainly in two work settings, are clearly a series of microaggressions. Her use of critical race theory also helps put Canada's racism into context. F1035.B53 A37 2021
The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
Mocked for her dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes, Pecola Breedlove yearns for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in. As her dream grows more fervent, her life starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. Morrison’s first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that characterize her writing. PS3563.O7 B5 2007
So You Want to Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo
Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from police brutality and cultural appropriation to the model minority myth in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race, and about how racism infects every aspect of American life. E184.A1 O454 2019
Becoming – Michelle Obama
In her memoir, Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her time at the world’s most famous address. Warm, wise, and revelatory, this is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same. E909.O24O33 2018
The Path Made Clear – Oprah Winfrey
Oprah shares what she sees as a guide for activating your deepest vision of yourself, offering the framework for creating not just a life of success, but one of significance. The book’s ten chapters are organized to help you recognize the important milestones along the road to self-discovery, laying out what you really need in order to achieve personal contentment, and what life’s detours are there to teach us. Available through London Public Library.
The Book of Negroes – Lawrence Hill
A sweeping story that transports the reader from a tribal African village to a plantation in the southern United States, from the teeming Halifax docks to the manor houses of London, The Book of Negroes introduces one of the strongest female characters in Canadian fiction, one who cuts a swath through a world hostile to her colour and her sex. Watch the miniseries on CBC Gem. PS8565.I444B66 2007
Recommendations from King's Library
The Skin We're In: A year of Black resistance and power – Desmond Cole
In his national bestseller, celebrated writer and activist Desmond Cole punctures the naive assumptions of Canadians who believe we live in a post-racial nation. Chronicling just one year in the struggle against racism, The Skin We're In shows the injustices faced daily by Black Canadians. Cole draws on his own experiences in this personal, painful, and comprehensive picture of entrenched, systemic inequality. F1034.A1 C65 2020 + ebook + streaming video
Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada – Rodney Diverlus, Sandy Hudson & Syrus Marcus Ware, editors
The Black Lives Matter movement found fertile ground in Canada, where Black activists speak of generations of injustice and continue the work of the Black liberators who have come before them. This collection contains some of the best writing on the hottest issues facing the Black community in Canada: the latest developments in Canadian Black activism, organizing efforts through the use of social media, Black-Indigenous alliances, and more. F1035.B53 U58 2020
Angry Queer Somali Boy: A complicated memoir – Mohamed Abdulkarim Ali
Kidnapped by his father on the eve of Somalia’s societal implosion, Mohamed Ali was taken first to the Netherlands, and then to Canada. Unmoored from his birth family and caught between twin alienating forces of Somali tradition and Western culture, Mohamed must forge his own queer coming of age. This is a fierce and unrelenting account of one young man’s nascent sexuality fused with the violence wrought by displacement. HQ75.8.A398A3 2019 + ebook
They Said This Would Be Fun: Race, campus life, and growing up – Eternity Martis
A powerful memoir about what it's like to be a student of colour on a predominantly white campus. As one of the few Black students at Western, Martin learned more about what someone like her brought out in other people than she did about herself. Using her award-winning reporting skills, she connects her own experience to the systemic issues plaguing student, in a memoir of pain, but also resilience. LC212.43.C3 M37 2020 + ebook
The Outer Harbour: Stories – Wayde Compton
In his debut story collection, poet Wayde Compton explores the concept of place and identity in which characters and space merge to make narrative. With interconnected stories moving from 2001 through to 2025, this is both a history book and a cautionary tale of the future, condensing and confounding our preconceived ideas about race, migration, gentrification, and home. PR9299.1.C653O98 2014 + ebook
Frying Plantain – Zalika Reid-Benta
Set in “Little Jamaica,” Frying Plantain follows a girl as she navigates the tensions between mothers and daughters, second-generation immigrants experiencing first-generation cultural expectations, and Black identity in a predominantly white society. A rich portrait of growing up between worlds, these stories show how, in one charged moment, friendship and love can turn to enmity and hate, well-meaning protection can become control, and teasing can turn to something much darker. PR9299.2.R35F94 2019
Gutter Child: A novel – Jael Ealey Richardson
Set in an imagined world in which the most vulnerable buy their freedom by working off their debt to society, Elimina Dubois is one of one hundred babies taken from the Gutter and raised in the land of opportunity. As a modern heroine in an altered but recognizable reality, Elimina must find the strength to forge her future in defiance of a system that tries to shape her destiny. PR9299.2.R52G98 2021
Butter Honey Pig Bread: A novel – Francesca Ekwuyasi
An award-winning intergenerational saga about three Nigerian women; a novel about food, family, and forgiveness. Butter Honey Pig Bread is a story of choices and their consequences, of motherhood, of the malleable line between the spirit and the mind, of finding new homes and mending old ones, of voracious appetites, of queer love, of friendship, faith, and above all, family. PR9898.N59E365 B98 2020
The Night Piece: Collected short fiction – André Alexis
Vivid, profound, moving, and with moments of sly humour, these stories reveal worlds both familiar and deeply strange. Drawing from Alexis's acclaimed debut collection, Despair and Other Stories of Ottawa, and the highly original Beauty and Sadness, and including previously uncollected stories, here is the surreal and brilliant short fiction of one of Canada's most extraordinary writers. PS8551.L4 A6 2020
Black Matters – Afua Cooper
Halifax’s former Poet Laureate Afua Cooper and photographer Wilfried Raussert collaborate in this book of poems and photographs focused on everyday Black experiences. The result is a jambalaya — a dialogue between image and text. This visual and textual conversation honours the multiple layers of Blackness in the African diaspora around North America and Europe. The result is a work that amplifies black beauty and offers audible resistance. PS8555.O584 B53 2020
Dominoes at the Crossroads: stories – Kaie Kellough
In this collection, acclaimed sound performer and writer Kaie Kellough’s characters navigate race, history, and coming-of-age by way of their confessions and dreams. Through the eyes of jazz musicians, hitchhikers, quiet suburbanites, student radicals, secret agents, historians, and their fugitive slave ancestors, Kellough’s characters allow the force of imagination to tip the balance of time like a line of dominoes. PS8571.E58643 D64 2020
Washington Black: A novel – Esi Edugyan
Eleven-year-old field slave George Washington Black is terrified when he is chosen as a manservant. But soon Wash is initiated into a world where even a boy born in chains may embrace a life of dignity and meaning. This dazzling, original novel of slavery and freedom asks what freedom is. And can a life salvaged from the ashes ever be made whole? PS8609.D59W37 2018
I Am Still Your Negro: An homage to James Baldwin – Valerie Mason-John, & George Elliott Clarke
Spoken-word poet Valerie Mason-John unsettles readers with potent images of ongoing trauma from slavery and colonization. Her narratives range from the beginnings of the African Diaspora to the story of a stowaway on the Windrush, from racism and sexism in Trump’s America to the wide impact of the Me Too movement. I Am Still Your Negro is truth that needs to be told, re-told, and remembered. Ebook
Do Better: Spiritual activism for fighting and healing from white supremacy – Rachel Ricketts
Do Better addresses racial justice from a comprehensive, intersectional, and spirit-based perspective. This guidebook illustrates how to engage in the heart-centered and mindfulness-based practices that will help us all fight white supremacy from the inside out, in our personal lives and communities alike. It is a loving and assertive call to do the deep—and often uncomfortable—inner work that precipitates external and global change. Ebook
– Rinaldo Walcott
In this examination of the relationship between policing and property, Rinaldo Walcott explores the long shadow cast by slavery’s afterlife and shows how present-day abolitionists continue the work of their forebears in service of an imaginative, creative philosophy that ensures freedom and equality for all. Thoughtful, wide-ranging, compassionate, and profound, On Property makes an urgent plea for a new ethics of care. Ebook