Uncovering stories or discovering new angles on the stories you thought you knew can be an empowering and enlightening experience. Here are a few ways you can further your own journey into Black history.
- Explore online archives. Start with the U.S. National Archives of African-American history, a digital hub of records, interviews, documents and more.
- Trace your genealogy. Because of slavery, many African Canadians struggle to trace their genealogy before emancipation came. Even so, a combination of family oral histories, documents and records made more available by online ancestry sites and DNA tests have let some Black people go back further than was once thought possible, revealing a proud, resilient and diverse history covering hundreds of years. Trace your own family’s genealogy or find episodes of Finding Your Roots featuring Black celebrities.
- Read firsthand accounts. While there is much more to Black history than slavery, there is much we can learn from this painful past, which chronicles stories of resistance, defiance, strength, ingenuity and transcendence. You could read the stories of Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs or Robert Smalls, for instance. And you can read firsthand accounts of lesser known and unknown Black people who actually lived through slavery from projects like the Federal Writers’ Project.