In 1926 Negro History week was established. An idea conceived by African-American Carter G. Woodson, to set aside a time devoted to African-Americans and African-American history. He chose a week in February because that month contained the birthdates of two people credited with bringing an end to American slavery:  black abolitionist,  Frederick Douglass and American President, Abraham Lincoln. Over time the celebration expanded and became known as Black History Month.

The vast contributions of African-Canadians to Canadian society have been acknowledged, informally, since the early 1950s. It was the Ontario Black History Society that petitioned the city of Toronto to have February proclaimed Black History Month in 1979. They then successfully lobbied the federal government to have February declared as Black History Month. In 1995, after a motion by the Honourable Jean Augustine, the first Black Canadian woman elected to the House of Commons, Canada officially recognized February as Black History Month. In 2008, a motion by Nova Scotia Senator Donald Oliver was unanimously approved .  This final parliamentary procedure was needed for Canada’s permanent recognition of Black History Month.

The province of Nova Scotia has over 50 historic African Nova Scotian communities, dating back over 200 years. We celebrate the history, heritage and contributions of African Nova Scotians during the month of February and beyond.The theme for African Heritage Month 2017 is: “Passing the Torch…African Nova Scotians and the Next 150”.

The 2017 theme also aligns with the global observance of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent from 2015-2024 which focuses on three pillars: Recognition, Justice, and Development.

Here is a list of resources and links, provided by the Nova Scotia Provincial Library.

A selected list of adult fiction and nonfiction from the AVRL catalogue.

And here is a list of kid’s books available at AVRL.