Library Learning Commons > Research > Pathfinders > Black History Month

Black History Month

 Consult your school’s Library Catalogue to check availability of these books:
BlackHistoryEasyCovers2 Black History Month

Picture Books

  • Almost to Freedom by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
  • Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringgold
  • Barefoot: Escape on the Underground Railroad by Pamela Duncan Edwards
  • Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter
  • Friend on Freedom River by Gloria Whelan
  • Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
  • Journey to Freedom: A Story of the Underground Railroad by Courtni C. Wright
  • Under the Quilt of Night by Deborah Hopkinson
BlackHistoryEasyCovers11 Black History Month

transp1 Black History Month


BlackHistoryFictionCovers1 Black History Month

  • A Desperate Road to Freedom: The Underground Railroad Diary of Julia May Jackson by Karleen Bradford
  • Dear Austin: Letters from the Underground Railroad by Elvira Woodruff
  • Freedom Crossing by Margaret Goff Clark
  • Hurry, Freedom by Frieda Wishinsky
  • If I just Had Two Wings by Virginia Freances Schwartz
  • North By Night: A Story of the Underground Railroad by Katherine Ayres
BlackHistoryFictionCovers2 Black History Month
  • Stealing Freedom by Elisa Carbone
  • Stealing South: A Story of the Underground Railroad by Katherine Ayres
  • The Drinking Gourd: A Story of the Underground Railroad by F. N. Monjo
  • True North: A Story of the Underground Railroad by Katherine Lasky
  • Underground to Canada by Barbara Smucker


BlackHistoryNonFictionCovers Black History Month
  • Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad by Ann Petry
  • The Last Safe House: A Story of the Underground Railroad by Barbara Greenwood
  • The Road that Led to Somewhere by Bryan E. Wells
  • Road to Freedom by Lee Roddy


Resources in the Virtual Library

VirtualLibButton Black History Month

Using the Virtual Library:
Go to the Library Learning Commons –> Virtual Library –> Elementary Resources
or Library Learning Commons –> Virtual Library –> Secondary One-Stop or Secondary By Subject
transp1 Black History Month
Reference: The Canadian Encyclopedia
TheCanEn2 Black History Month
Search term -> Black Loyalists
  • allows you to search for articles on the Black Loyalists in Canada
  • numerous articles, links and portals related to the history, migration, settlement patterns, economic life, community and culture of Black Loyalists
Search Historica Dominion–>Click the Historica Icon e1326307346100 Black History Month icon at the top left. Then select Black History Canada portal (

  • extensive source of biographies, historical accounts, events and reference on the Underground Railroad, prominent black individuals and important dates and places in Black History in Canada.


One stop information source: Canada in Context
(Link may be found on Elementary Resources and Secondary One-Stop pages)
canada in context sm1 Black History Month
Search term -> Canada + Black history month
                   -> Canadian + Black history month
                   -> Black loyalists in Canada
  • allows you to narrow your search for materials in the following formats: Articles, Images, Magazines, Academic Journals, Primary Sources, Reference, Critical Essays, Websites and Audio
  • provides speech function that will read text aloud
  • numerous articles and links related to Black History in Canada
Full-text Reference: History Reference Center hrc200 Black History Month
(Find this resource by clicking on the Secondary By Subject link on the Virtual Library home page.)

Search term-> slavery “african americans”

  • then narrow your search for materials in the following formats: Periodicals, Newspapers, Reference Books, Biographies and Primary Source Documents
  • provides speech function that will read text aloud
  • numerous articles and works related to Black History and Slavery in the U.S.

Note that results have reading levels listed and lexile values up to 1100 are generally considered to be at the Grade 8 reading level and lexile values of 500 are around the Grade 3 reading level.

Student Link:

Student Link Black History Month
Grade 7 History – British North America:
  • Remembering  Black Loyalists (Museum of Nova Scotia)
    - Provides an excellent timeline of the history of Black Loyalists and their history in Canada
    - Links to publications, web sites, videos and research data
  • National Geographic: The Underground Railway
    - Interactive web site that provides information on the following:

    • The Journey
    • Routes to Freedom
    • Time Line
    • For Kids
    • Classroom Ideas
    • Faces of Freedom
    • Resources and Links
  • On the Road North: Black Canada and the Journey to Freedom (Parks Canada)
    - Interactive web site that provides materials in French and English on the following:

    • Milestones: International Context of Abolition
    • Port in the Storm: Martimes 1783- 1863
    • Planning the Journey: Canada’s Abolitionists
    • Travellers:  Heroes on the Underground Railroad
    • To Canada by Another Road: North to British Columbia
    • Through a Crack in the Gate: Land of Hope in Canada’s West
    • Travelling On: The 20th Century
    • The Journey Continues: Onward to Tomorrow
Grade 7 History – Conflict and Change:
  • The Anti-Slavery Movement in Canada (Library and Archives Canada)
    - Web site organized along the following headings:

    • Early settlements
    • Black communities in Canada
    • The American Civil War
    • Refugees
    • The Anti-Slavery Society of Canada



Centralized Instructional Resources (CIR):

snap200 Black History Month
Search CIR for titles related to Black History. Try a variety of search terms, such as “black”, “slavery”, “underground railroad” and“civil rights”. 

(Remember to check CIR video descriptions for grade level, length, and publication details.)
Selected Videos:

  • Escaping Slavery on the Underground Railroad (DVD 991103 or view on  Learn 360): Stirring dramatizations, photographs and colorful maps help tell the story of the Underground Railroad. Students will understand that the Underground Railroad was a series of safe houses maintained by volunteers which were used by enslaved people to escape to freedom. The program focuses on the importance of the Underground Railroad to the abolition movement.
  • Harriet Tubman and Her Escape to Freedom (DVD 991102):  Millions of enslaved African-American men, women and children lived in the United States less than 200 years ago. During that period of American history, many brave men and women attempted an escape to freedom. Harriet Tubman overcame incredible odds and succeeded not only in gaining freedom for herself, but for over 300 other enslaved people. Through reenactments and animated maps, this program chronicles her life and demonstrates her courage as a conductor on the Underground Railroad.
  • Follow the Drinking Gourd (View on Learn 360): An exploration of an infamous chapter in America’s history, based on a book by Jeanette Winter. As he celebrates the road to freedom to Canada, paved by the Underground Railroad, LeVar introduces viewers to the history, heroes, stories and music of the African- American culture which emerged from slavery.
  • The Story of Ruby Bridges (DVD 990851): For months an angry crowd confronts Ruby when she enters the empty school that no white parents would allow their children to attend. Federal marshals protect her, and her teacher marvels at her confidence and composure. After many months, the white children gradually return to school, and integration is achieved. The story ends with the prayer Ruby recited each day before and after school. Based on the book by Robert Coles.
  • Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights Movement (DVD 990546): The story of Rosa Parks, whose single act of defiance was the catalyst for the Montgomery bus boycott in December, 1955.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. DVD 990910: Preacher and activist Dr. Martin Luther King (1929-1968) led the pivotal protests of the Civil Rights Movement, including the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, the 1963 March on Washington, and the 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery. The youngest person to ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize (at age 35), Dr. King is a human rights icon and one of the greatest speakers in U.S. history.
 transp1 Black History Month

Learn 360:

Learn360 Black History Month
Remember…you can access Learn360 directly from the Library Learning Commons. Select eVideo and click on Learn360.
transp1 Black History Month
You can type various search terms (e.g. Black History Month, slavery, civil rights, African Americans, underground railroad)  into the search field and create your own personalized Black History playlist. Further refine your search by selecting grade levels and subject areas and related search terms such as “Canada”.
transp1 Black History Month
Some recommended videos and video clips:
  • Escaping Slavery on the Underground Railroad: Travel to Colonial America and explore the rise and fall of slavery. This video uncovers the cruel conditions of the enslaved and discusses those who helped them escape through the Underground Railroad. Witness how slavery was ended during the Civil War. (grades 3-5)
Escaping Slavery Black History Month
  • Sing Out Freedom Train: Climb aboard the Underground Railroad in this musical drama. You’ll hear the songs and stories of a small group of slaves as they follow Harriet Tubman north to Canada. Witness the strength they draw from spirituality. Please preview this video (grades 6-12)
Sing Out Freedom Train Black History Month
  • Life of Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I A Woman?: Born a slave, Sojourner Truth rose to become one of the most highly influential women of her time. This dramatization, told through her orations and the voices of those who knew her and were changed by her, chronicles Sojourner Truth’s life and legacy.
Life of Sojourner Truth Black History Month
  • Stay Off the Bus: After being found guilty, Rosa Parks appealed, challenging the legality of racial segregation. The Black community united in a mass movement and carried on the Montgomery bus boycott much longer than the NAACP intended. (grades 3-12)
Stay Off the Bus Black History Month
  • March on Washington: A clip focusing on the March on Washington, from the video 1963. (grades 6-12)
MLK March Black History Month
  • I Have a Dream: Highlights from the famous speech of Dr. Martin Luther King. (grades 3-12)
I Have a Dream Black History Month
  • Famous African Americans: Over the past two hundred years, names such as Frederick Douglass, Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X, permeate our national consciousness. They along with other African-Americans, fought for American independence, the abolition of slavery, civil and equal rights. (grades 3-12)
Famous African Americans Black History Month
  • Stand Up for Freedom: the Civil Rights Movement in America: This video explores the Civil Rights Movement in America and highlights the events and people who impacted it. Learn about Rosa Parks, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the March for Freedom, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the laws enacted for equality. (grades 3-5)
Stand Up for Freedom Black History Month


Online Resources

transp1 Black History Month MaryAnnShadd 207x300 Black History Month Image Credit:
Library and Archives Canada / C-029977
Black History – General Web Sites

Black History Canada from the Historica Dominion Institute.
A rich guide to online resources about the people and events.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada
This government site has links to a video centre, a pdf version of the Black History month poster and the Canadian Black History Virtual Museum and Treasure Hunt. Alslo includes information on the contributions of Black soldiers in the fight for Canada in the the War of 1812.

Prominent Black Canadians (Citizenship and Immigration Canada)

The Kids’ Site of Canadian Settlement – Africans. From Library and Archives Canada (archived on-line for historical purposes)

Underground Railroad Sites

National Geographic’s Underground Railroad Interactive Site

Underground Railroad: Niagara’s Freedom Trail

Underground Railroad – Historica Minute (with links to other resources)

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (U.S.) (good for looking at human rights in the present day)

Civil Rights in the United States 

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Timeline Channel (Search for articles on prominent African-Americans.)

Montgomery Bus Boycott (Montgomery Advertiser)

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

transp1 Black History Month