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New and Notable

Our New and Notable Resource List for February features works by Black Canadian authors in acknowledgement and celebration of Black History Month.

Until We Are Free book cover

Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada (2020)

Editors: Rodney Diverlus, Sandy Hudson, and Syrus Marcus Ware

Influenced by the Black Lives Matter movement in America, Black advocates in Canada share stories of prejudice and the liberating works of previous generations. The editors have collected the finest African-Canadian writings tackling the pressing concerns of this Canadian community. Readers will learn about the roots of Blacks long ago who spoke out and fought injustices and the current happenings of activism including Black-Indigenous ties. This is a must read for anyone interested in the movement’s message and who wants to affect the needed change. 

The Black Prairie Archives book cover

The Black Prairie Archives: An Anthology (2020)

Author: Karina Vernon

The Black Prairie Archives: An Anthology is a collection of varied and unique works by nineteenth-century black fur traders and pioneers, who were both conscious and unconscious of themselves as black writers or as "prairie" people. Their letters, recipes, oral literature, autobiographies, rap, and poetry provide vivid glimpses of their extraordinary experiences. This archive enhances our appreciation of black Canada by bringing to light the Prairies' black histories and their cultures.

They Call Me George book cover

They Call Me George: The Untold Story of Black Train Porters and the Birth of Modern Canada (2019)

Author: Cecil Foster

This non-fiction book exposes the injustices of black railway porters in Canada and the second-class mentalities and views of the passengers and railway companies. Pullmen, as they were called, were deemed non-residents to the regular commuters and endured demanding and precarious working conditions. Readers will be inspired by the emotional and mental muscle of Blacks and other minority groups as they fought for fairness in Canadian society.

Black Writers Matter book cover

Black Writers Matter (2019)

Author: Afua Cooper and

Black Writers Matter is another impressive Canadian anthology filled with personal essays, beautiful stories, memoirs, interviews, and other creative non-fiction pieces from a diverse group of Black Canadian writers, both young and old, who confront the contemporary and political issues of our time. Each writer documents their own unique, personal perspectives about their heritage and the positive and often very difficult experiences they encountered.

Angry Queer Somali Boy book cover

Angry Queer Somali Boy: A Complicated Memoir (2019)

Author: Mohamed Abdulkarim Ali

This raw and often disturbing memoir chronicles how Mohamed “Mo” Ali ends up in a homeless shelter in downtown Toronto and chronicles the exile, child abuse, addiction, mental health issues, and racism he faced. Kidnapped by his father on the eve of Somalia’s Civil War, Ali was taken first to the Netherlands by his stepmother, and then on to Canada.  He experiences multiple hardships as an LGBTQ+ youth struggling to adapt and adjust to his new life in a traditional Somali family in Canada.

Dear Current Occupant book cover

Dear Current Occupant: A Memoir (2018)

Author: Chelene Knight

Dear Current Occupant is a compelling biography of a mixed East Indian/Black Chelene Knight who reveals her life and inclusion while in Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. As she comes to term with her upbringing, she writes letters addressed to recent inhabitants residing in twenty different houses that she along with her mother and brother shuffled back and forth. Readers will be mesmerized by her recount of her life as she grapples with history and makes peace to create a home in her heart.

The Alchemists of Kush book cover

The Alchemists of Kush (2011)

Author: Minister Faust

The Alchemists of Kush explores the lives of Somali and Sudanese youth in North America. This is an internationally and critically acclaimed novel about two Sudanese “Lost Boys” whose fathers have been murdered during the civil war, and whose mothers were forced into exile during extremely violent and lawless times. To survive, the boys become ruthless loners and child soldiers, until they discover mystic mentors who help transform them into their true callings. It is a visionary novel that will anger, shock, profoundly move, and even transform its readers.

Here is a list of additional titles that we highly recommend and a link other related resources in our collection:

Here is a short list of other general interest resources that you might be interested in as well:

Spenditude book cover

Spenditude: A Life-Changing Attitude to Money (2020)

Author: Paul Gordon and Janine Robertson

One’s spending habits and attitude towards money will dictate how well one handles their finances. Supported with factual information and thorough personal stories, this guide will empower to identify habits that need changing, create monetary goals and follow a blueprint that is meaningful and effective.  Readers regardless of age or income will learn that their behaviour is the primary tool that will create sound financial results and lead to a financially secured life.

Academic Advising in the Community College book cover

Academic Advising in the Community College (2020)

Editor: Terry O’Banion

The importance of academic advising in colleges is deemed the body of a car as instruction is the wheels. Non-functional academic advising will not move instruction to accomplish its goal to serve the students academically to succeed in their studies and graduate.  If it’s deemed important and primary service in the management of education, then, why is no understanding how it should act and which department manages it. The authors in this ground-breaking book share the main issues and obstacles of academic advising as well as four advising programs that are pioneering and thriving.

Teaching STEM to First Generation College Students book cover

Teaching STEM to First Generation College Students: A Guide for Faculty and Future Faculty (2019)

Author: Gail Horowitz

This book is “how to” book for STEM instructors, faculty and academic heads to recognize and guide first-generation college students on the elements of productive studying and steps to be successful personally and professionally. Studies reveal that these “first in their family” students are unaware of the merits in effective studying and how this will lead to academic and personal success. Readers will see the benefits of implementing self-regulated learning into the classroom and mentoring and forming student relationships.

Career Rookie book cover

Career Rookie: A Get-It Together Guide for Grads, Students and Career Newbies (2019)

Author: Sarah Vermunt

This inviting, entertaining handbook for students and newcomers seeking a job offers direct answers to questions and addresses concerns that they are grappling with. Readers will value this resource and learn how to deal with doubt, destructive & defeating thoughts and how to dodge the after-graduation numbness.  Being aware of one’s thoughts and feelings that are setting us back is the first step.  Learn from an outspoken, delightful coach who will get students revved up to grab the present and get their desired career.

Suggestions from students, faculty, and staff for the purchase of new materials are always welcome too.

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