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Shelburne Library recommends local books for Black History Month

February 22, 2024   ·   0 Comments

Written By Paula Brown

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The month of February marks the celebration of Black History Month and the Shelburne Public Library has shared a few books written by local Black authors for residents to borrow and read this month. 

“If you’re looking for some great reads by Black authors, we have plenty of recommendations. Many readers will be familiar with authors like Esi Edugyan, Lawerence Hill and Austin Clarke, who works have told Black stories,” said Jade Wyse, technical services librarian for the Shelburne Public Library. “That said, we would be remiss if we didn’t highlight some of the outstanding contributions of the Black authors in our own community. Shelburne is full of talent, and we welcome you to drop by and check out any of these titles and more.”

For younger readers, the Shelburne Library recommends the newest published book from local author and educator Suzette Daley, The Lucie and Thornton Blackburn Story. 

The Lucie and Thornton Blackburn Story by Suzzette Daly is based on the story of Lucie and Thorton Blackburn; two freedom seekers who escaped enslavement in Kentucky and later founded Toronto’s first taxi company, “The City”. After their deaths, they left a legacy of entrepreneurship, community and anti-slavery activism. In 1999 the Canadian Government designated Thornton and Lucie Blackburn as “persons of national historic significance”. 

“While the Blackburn’s story is presented in picture book format, and is thus a great resource for children, adults will also learn from this lesser-known story,” said Wyse. “Suzette said it best: ‘Lucie and Thornton did so much with so little, so what can we do’.”

For adults readers the Shelburne Library recommends Bird Words by Andrew C. James, Driven to Succeed by Steven D. Anderson and Welcome to Greatness by Alex Ihama. 

Bird Words by Andrew C. James explores the impact of social media and how it has changed the way people community. Inspired by a self-imposed challenge to “chirp” strictly positive and uplifting messages in 140 characters or less, James provides readers with wisdom from real-life experiences. 

Driven to Succeed is an autobiography from former Shelburne Deputy Mayor Steven D. Anderson. The debut novel explores Anderson’s experiences and struggles growing up in the Jane and Finch community during the mid-80s, and continues through his life becoming a young father, the first black lawyer at the TTC, and a member of Shelburne Town Council. 

Welcome to Greatness is a self-help book from inspirational speaker and life coach, Alex Ihama. The book encourages readers to examine their own lives through the real-life experiences detailed in the book and utilize the strategies provided to obtain personal success. 

“Each of these works will leave you wanting to do better, and will leave you with a sense of connection with, and admiration for, true leaders,” said Wyse.

Black History Month will be recognized this year until Feb. 29, but Wyse reminds residents of their opportunity to read books by Black authors year-round. 

“While Black History is formally recognized in the month of February, the learning can’t stop at the end of the month – we have recommendations all year long,” concluded Wyse. 



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