black Canadian authors

10 books by Black authors in Toronto you should read right now

As people across the country fight for change in support of the Black community, allies are searching for ways to properly educate themselves through books on Black Lives Matter and anti-racism.

Here are some notable Toronto-based Black authors whose books explore race and other important issues to help you stay informed right now.

Desmond Cole - The Skin We’re in

Desmond Cole exposes racist actions of the Toronto police force as he explores the ideas of racism in Canada and systemic inequality, in his national bestseller, The Skin We’re in.

Dionne Brand - Bread Out of Stone

Dionne Brand is a Canadian poet who covers topics such as sexism, politics, whiteness in Canadian culture, violence and stereotypes in her essay collection, Bread Out of Stone.

David Chariandy - Brother

Award-winning Canadian writer, David Chariandy is the author of Brother, a novel that is set in Scarborough and explores topics of family, identity and race.

Zalika Reid-Benta - Frying Plantain

Frying Plantain follows a young girl as she navigates mother/daughter relations, second-generation immigrants, and Black identity in a predominantly white society. The short story collection was on the Scotiabank Giller Prize 2019 long list and was Zalika Reid-Benta’s writing debut.

Tessa McWatt - Shame on me: An Anatomy of Race and Belonging

Toronto-raised Tessa McWatt is the author of Shame on me: An Anatomy of Race and Belonging which challenges ideas of race through the author’s own multi-racial identity.

Jael Ealey Richardson - The Stone Thrower

The Stone Thrower is a story about race written by a daughter seeking answers about her black history. Richardson goes on a journey to understand more about her famous father’s past and discovers what it means to be black in Canada.

Lawrence Hill - Any Known Blood

Any Known Blood tells the story of five generations of a black Canadian family, by Canadian writer Lawrence Hill, author of award-winning novel, The Book of Negroes.

Eternity Martis - They said this would be fun

Senior editor at Xtra and Toronto-native, Eternity Martis, explores what it’s like to be a student of colour on a mainly white campus in her memoir, They said this would be fun. Martis connects her own experiences to the systemic issues students of colour are facing today.

Althea Prince - Being Black

Being Black will appeal to those who have an interest in Black Canadian culture. Althea Prince, who has won an award for excellence in teaching, explores white society’s attitude toward Black culture in life and in her writing.

Djamila Ibrahim - Things Are Good Now

Things Are Good Now by Canadian author, Djamila Ibrahim, examines the reality of “labels” and the dangers some people face based on their names or the colour of their skin.

Lead photo by

Librarie D&Q

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