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Black History Month at the Toronto Public Library

The Toronto Public Library (TPL) is a great place to start your Black History Month Celebration. TIPL's month-long "Voices" Programming will kick on February 3rd with a talk by Karolyn Smardz Frost about Ontario historian Fred Landon. Born in London, Ontario in 1880, Landon graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1906, and went on to become the chief librarian at London Public Library in 1916. Among the other "voices" to be heard at a variety of TPL locations are Austin Clarke, Dalton Higgins, Sandra Whiting, trey anthony, Njacko Backo, and Muhtadi, just to name a few participants. Click here for TPL's Black History Month line up. 

On January 30th I had the pleasure of speaking with TPL staffer, Rachelle Gooden on TmTm. Gooden is in charge of purchasing material for the Rita Cox Black and Caribbean Heritage Collection. The extensive collection of 16, 000 items is housed at four main locations: Malvern, Parkdale, York Woods, and Gooden's home base, Maria A. Shchuka. The best way to be introduced to the collections is to see them in person. Bits and pieces of Black History are so scattered that it's nice to have tangible evidence of Black contributions. 

Calling TPL's Answerline (416-393-7131) as well as chatting on line is also a way to begin your explorations before heading out to the branches or ordering your material on-line. Click here for the various ways you can contact the TPL.

Below are the books that Rachelle and I discussed during the show. I hope you check them out and suggest them to family and friends of all cultures.


Lola at the Library
By: Anna McQuinn & Rosalind Beardshaw

Mathieu Da Costa: First to Arrive
By: Itah Sadu

A Safe place
By: Lucy Markovitch


Ontario's African-Canadian Heritage: Collected writings by Fred Landon, 1918-1967
Edited by: Karolyn Smardz Frost, Bryan Walls, Hilary Bates Neary & Frederick H. Armstrong
**TRIVIA: Landon Library in London, Ontario is named after Fred Landon.

"Go to school, you're a little black boy" : the honourable Lincoln M. Alexander : a memoir
By: Lincoln M. Alexander

The Hanging of Angelique
By Afua Cooper

In her footsteps: 101 Remarkable Black Women from the Queen of Sheba to Queen Latifah
By: Annette Madden

My Jamaica: The paintings of Judy Ann MacMillan
By Judy Ann MacMillan

Early Art and Architecture of Africa
By: Peter Garlake

Wounded Bird No More
By: Joszann St. John

Caught in Action: 20 Years of West Indies Cricket Photography
By: Gordon Brooks


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