Connect. Learn. Grow. #ChangeStartsNow

The Businesses

To access our Viola Desmond BIPOC Business Directory, follow the link below:

The Books

  • I Color Myself Different by Colin Kaepernick
  • Every Leaf a Hallelujah by Ben Okri
  • Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman
  • Black Woman Under State: Surveillance, Poverty & the Violence of Social Assistance by Idil Abdillahi
  • A Small Homecoming by Furqan Mohamed
  • #BlackinSchool by Habiba Cooper Diallo
  • Schooling the System: A History of Black Women Teachers by Funké Aladejebi
  • A Kid’s Guide To Being A Mermaid by Denise Lopes
  • Standing In The Shadows: Understanding And Overcoming Depression In Black Males by John Head
  • Conversations On Black: On Power, Politics And Leadership By Ed Gordon
  • Black Girl In Love With Herself by Trey Anthony
  • This Will Be My Undoing: Living At the Intersection Of Black, Female And Feminist In (White) America by Morgan Jerkins
  • The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole
  • Days by Moonlight by Andre Alexis
  • Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
  • The Rise of Jim Crow by Henry LoUis Gates
  • Memories Have Tongue by Afua Cooper
  • The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
  • Home to Harlem by Claude McKay
  • They Call Me George by Cecil Foster
  • Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Africville by Jeffrey Colvin
  • Frying Plaintain by Zalika Reid-Benta
  • Conjure Women by Afia Atakora
  • How Long ‘til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin
  • Crossing the River by Caryl Phillips
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Black Boy by Richard Wright
  • I, Too by Langston Huges
  • Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
  • What We All Long For by Dionne Brand
  • Familiar Stranger: A Life Between Two Islands by Stuart Hall
  • Fruit of the Lemon by Andrea Levy
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney
  • Hitting a Straight Lick With a Crooked Stick by Zora Neale Hurston

The Authors

  • Anything by W.E.B. DuBois for a historical perspective
  • C.L.R James; The Black Jacobins, Beyond a Boundary
  • George Elliott Clarke; George and Rue, The Motorcyclist
  • Irenosen Okojie; Butterfly Fish, Speak Gigantuar
  • James Baldwin; All of his writing
  • Charles Mills; Black Rights/White Wrongs, The Racial Contract
  • Angela Davis; Women, Race and Class, Freedom is Constant Struggle
  • Countee Cullen; Copper Sun
  • Zora Neale Hurston; Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • Maya Angelou; Mules and Men; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, And Still I Rise
  • Ann Folwell Stanford; Bodies in a Broken World: Women Novelists of Colour and the Politics of Medicine
  • Mary Seacole; Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands
  • Austin Clarke; Growing Up Stupid Under the Union Jack, The Polished Hoe
  • Andrea Levy; Small Island
  • Nalo Hopkinson; Brown Girl in the Ring, The Salt Roads
  • Makeda Silvera; The Heart Does Not Bend
  • Malinda S. Smith; The Equity Myth: Racialization and Indigeneity at Canadian Universities

The Social Follows

    • Sustainbility expert Aja Barber writes and speaks on ethics, intersectional feminism, racism, and the ways in which systems of power effect our buying habits.
    • Twitter: @AjaSaysHello, Instagram @ajabarber
    • Writer and editor Mireille Cassandra Harper has 10-step guide to “Non-optical Allyship”
    • Instagram/Twitter: @mireillecharper
    • Author of So You Want to Talk About Race
    • Instagram/Twitter: @ijeomaoluo
    • Author of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race. Her writing focuses on feminism and racism.
    • Twitter: @renireni, Instagram @renieddolodge
    • A lawyer and political and women’s rights activist
    • Instagram: @sholamos1
    • Structural Writer, speaker and podcast host on the topics of race, identity, leadership, personal transformation and social change – is the author of New York Times Bestseller Me And White Supremacy.
    • Instagram: @Laylafsaad
    • A trans model and activist
    • Instagram/Twitter: @MunroeBergdorf
    • Writer, lecturer and activist who specialises in the intersection of race and womanhood.
    • Instagram: @Rachel.cargle
    • Twitter: @RachelCargle
    • Instagram: @guelphblackheritage
    • Twitter: @guelphbhs
    • Youtube: Guelph Black Heritage Society
    • Facebook: Guelph Black Captured at the BLM protest (Guelph, ON. 2020). Heritage Society

The Shows and Movies

  • Akeelah and the Bee
  • What Happened, Miss Simone?
  • The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975
  • When They See Us
  • John Ware Reclaimed
  • The 13th
  • Dear White People
  • Blackish
  • If Beale St. Could Talk
  • Twelve Years a Slave*
  • I am Not Your Negro
  • Green Book – GBHS is aware of the controversy regarding a possible white saviour narrative in this film and ask you to watch it with a critical lens
  • Black Panther
  • The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross *
  • The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson
  • Soundtrack for a revolution *
  • More than a month *
  • Slavery by Another name *
  • Soul On Ice *
  • Lionheart
  • Moonlight *
  • Do the right thing
  • The Hate U Give
  • Selma
  • Malcolm X (Spike Lee) *

* — Not available on Canadian subscription streaming platforms

The Podcasts

  • 1619 -The history of slavery
  • Code Switch – An NPR podcast, hosts talk candidly about Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Uncivil
  • 74 seconds (about Philando Castile)
  • The Stoop
  • Following Harriet
  • The United States of Anxiety
  • Good Ancestor Podcast by Layla F. Saad
  • Justice In America
  • Hoodrat to Headwrap
  • Momentum: A race forward podcast
  • Higher Learning with Van Lathan and Rachel
  • Lindsay
  • Hella Black podcast
  • The Diversity Gap
  • Identity politics
  • Still Processing
  • The Nod
  • Intersectionality Matters!
  • Groundings
  • Yo, is this racist?
  • Mixed Company


  • Beginning in the early 20th centurywhen musicians from Ghana combined West African regional music with Western jazz and calypso.
  • Influential Figures: Fela Kuti, Tony Allen
  • Developed in the southern United States in the 1860s after the Civil War, Blues gets its name from its association with melancholy subjects and sounds. It evolved from the African American work songs and spirituals.
  • Influential Figures: Bessie Smith, Big Bill Broonzy, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charley Patton, Son House
  • Country music has origins in Jazz and Blues from the south. Influences started with the Banjo, which is a descendant of West African lutes brought to America by slaves.
  • Influential Figures: Charley Pride, Cleve Francis, Mickey Guyton, Carolina Chocolate Drops
  • A major contributer to dance music culture, disco became very popular party music for marginalized communities, especially black, Latino, and LGBTQ2S+ communities ih the 1960s.
  • Influential Figures: Earth, Wind, & Fire, Gloria Gaynor, Thelma Houston, and the Trammps.
  • Originated in the mid-1960s, Funk incorporated styles of music such as soul, jazz, rhythm, and blues. Funk created a new rhythmic, danceable form of music.
  • Influential Figures: James Brown, George Clinton (Parliament and Funkadelic), Rick James, William “Bootsy” Collins.
  • Originating in the late 19th century and eary 20th century, Gospel music was largely influenced by Spirituals, the songs of enslaved people. Each song sang in church is to invite and worship the Holy Spirit.
  • Influential Figures: Sister Roseta Tharpe, Mahalia Jackson, Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers
  • Hip-hop music was first developed in the 1970s, in some of the poorest districts in New York City. Most artists were unemployed, but found work through DJ’ing free block parties. DJ’s would often have MC’s to introduce them, and some MC’s would entertain by talking in time with the beat and using rhymes.
  • Influential Figures: The Sugarhill Gang, Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
  • The genre emerged as a new genre in Chicago and New York in the late 1970s in undergound clubs in both cities. Curated by black DJs who integrated disco and hiphop, and added in synthesizer technology.
  • Influential Figures: Jesse Saunders, Phuture, Mr. Fingers
  • Developed by African Americans and influenced by both European harmonic structure and African Rhythms. Began in the early 1900s and is constantly evolving, and is often an improvisational form of music.
  • Influntial Figures: George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Nat ‘King’ Cole
  • “Pop music” originates from the meaning of a song having “popular appeal”.Forming in the 1950s and 1960s, pop pusic emcompassed styles such as jazz, rock and roll and swing music.
  • Influential figures: Fats Domino, The Supremes, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson
  • Orginated in the 1940s in African-American communities, with roots in earlier styles like jazz, blues, and gospel music.
  • Influential Figures: Cab Calloway, Etta James, DAngelou, Ray Charles, and Ruth Brown
  • Coming from similar origins of Hip-hop music, Rap began at block parties in New York City during the 1970s.
  • Influential Figures: DJ Kool Herc, Gil Scott-Heron, Notorious B.I.G., N.W.A
  • Started out in Jamaica in the 1960s, coming from the term “rege-rege” which means “rags” or “ragged clothes”. It was a collaboration of Jamaican Ska, American jazz and rhythm and blues.
  • Inluential Figure: Toots Hibbert, Dessmond Dekker, Bob Marley
  • Coming to rise in the 1950s, Rock music developed in America, was influenced by black artists such as chuck berry and Little Richard who built off of jazz and blues music.
  • Influential Figures: Sister Rosette Tharpe, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Fats Domino
  • Also known as Soul of Calypso, developed in Trinidad in the 1970s, which represents a fusion of African and Caribbean Kaison and Calypso and South Asian rhythms.
  • Influential Figure: Ras Shorty I (Lord Shorty)
  • Emerged in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Became a cultural soundtrack to the civil rights movement.
  • Influential Figures: Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Sam & Dave, and many more.
  • A type of religious folksong that is most closely associated with the enslavement of African people in the American South. It has roots in the informal gatherings of African slaves in “praise houses” and outdoor meetings in the eighteenth century.
  • Examples: “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and “Deep Down in my Heart”.
  • Originating in Detroit, Michigan in the early 1980s, techno music was influenced by Chicago House music.
  • Influential Figures: Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May

The Books

  • I Color Myself Different by Colin Kaepernick
  • Every Leaf a Hallelujah by Ben Okri
  • Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman
  • A Kid’s Guide To Being A Mermaid by Denise Lopes
  • Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
  • The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
  • Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
  • We March by Shane Evans Antiracist Baby by Ibram x. Kendi
  • Let’s Talk about Race by Julius Lester
  • Hidden Figures by Margo Lee
  • Shetterly Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed

The Authors

  • Grace Byers – I am Enough
  • Karamo Brown – I am Perfectly Designed
  • Lupita Nyong’o – Sulwe
  • Natasha Anastasia Tarpley – I love my Hair!
  • Derrick Barnes – Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
  • Andrea Pinkney – Pretty Brown Face, The Red Pencil, Martin Rising: Requiem For a King, Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra
  • Thomishia Booker – Brown Boy Joy
  • Valene Campbell – The Amazing Zoe: A Queen Like Me
  • Lawrence Hill – Beatrice and Croc Harry

The Shows & Movies

  • Akeelah and the Bee (2006)
  • Shaka Zulu: The Citadel (2001)
  • Remember the Titans (2000)
  • Soul (2020)
  • Self Made (2020)
  • Harriet (2019)
  • Hidden Figures (2016)
  • A Ballerina’s Tale (2015)
  • Dancing in the Light: The Janet Collins Story (2015)
  • Selma (2014)
  • Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013)
  • Pride (2007)
  • The Great Debaters (2007)