In honour of Black History Month, Halton Hills Public Library offers programs, events, stories, and library collections that celebrate Black heritage, encourage diverse and unique voices, and demonstrate the historical significance and contemporary contributions of Black activists and people, locally and from around the world.

2022 special events and programs

The complete calendar of Library and Town of Halton Hills events will be available at VisitHaltonHills.ca.

Events and programs

Local Lens: The Black Experience in Halton

The Halton Black History Awareness Society (HBHAS) is encouraging high school students across Halton to explore their local Black History and share their research in an essay narrative contest. The contest launches in February and submissions will be accepted from February 22nd to April 15th. The first place essay will be presented the HBHAS’s Gala and will be awarded a $500 prize. The 2nd place essay will win $250 and the 3rd place essay will win $100. The top 3 entries will be published in an annual journal which will be added to the Library’s collection.

Fill out the form on the HBHAS website to submit your essay!

Project criteria
  1. Essay is a maximum of 3 pages = 2000 words or 15,000 characters.
  2. Essay must acknowledge resources in footnotes and/or bibliography. 
  3. No plagiarism.
  4. Thesis statement must acknowledge essay overview and/or theme. 
  5. Thesis must align to Halton’s Black history and/or contributors. 
  6. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and diction will be appreciated in the evaluation.
  7. Each narrative should include one paragraph on the student’s reflection of what they’ve learned from the research experience. This can be separate from the 3-page narrative or inclusive. 
Project evaluation

Submissions will be evaluated by three judges based on five components (10 marks per component) for a total out of 50 marks. 

Winners will be announced Wednesday June 1st. 

  • Research (the writer should cite their sources of information). 
  • Comprehensiveness for quality of writing (thoughts and points in the essay clear, comprehensive, and coherent).
  • Relevance of information provided in the essay (Halton Black History). 
  • Presentation (what impression/impact does the essay leave with the reader?) 
  • Originality-uniqueness, novelty, and authenticity of ideas.

Resources for researching Black History in Halton

Online resources
  • Archives of Ontario Online Exhibits: Browse several virtual exhibits that celebrate and detail Black history. Some of the archival records that were used to create the exhibits have also been digitized and made available online. 
  • Black Histories in Ontario Photo Album: This Flickr album contains digitized photos from Archives of Ontario relating to Black history. If you click on an image and scroll down, you will be able to see a description of the photo that may contain important information or leads for your research.
  • Henry Thomas Shepherd Exhibit: This virtual exhibit celebrates the life and accomplishments of Henry Thomas Shepherd, a veteran of both WWI and WWII, a previous Halton Hills fire chief and a well-respected member of the Georgetown community.
  • Oakville’s Black History: The Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton provides many great resources and events surrounding Black history and more, including a virtual exhibit on Oakville’s Black history. 
  • “Legacy Voices” Documentary: The Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton created a documentary to provide insight into the organization’s history, as well as history of the Black experience in Halton.
  • Halton Freedom Celebration Virtual Festival: The Halton Black History Awareness Society held a virtual festival in 2021 to celebrate the region’s Black history. The recording is available on their YouTube page and contains many great speakers.
  • Newspaper Articles: Several articles have been published in recent years that highlight some key points in Black history in Halton. They contain great information that may be used as a starting point for deciding on what you would like to research further. 
  • Halton Hills Newspapers: This database contains historical and current newspapers in Halton Hills. You can use the search bar at the top of the page to search for people, events or key terms. Once you have done your initial search, you can use the filters on the right side of the page to narrow down your results to specific years, newspapers and more.
  • Halton News: This database contains historical and current newspapers from all of Halton Region (Oakville, Milton, Burlington, Halton Hills). You can use the search bar at the top of the page to search for people, events or key terms. Once you have done your initial search, you can use the filters on the right side of the page to narrow down your results to specific years, newspapers and more.
  • Black History Organizations and Educational Resources: The Canadian Government has compiled a list of many more resources and organizations with information on Black history in Canada, which you can also view by province. 
  • Ancestry Library Edition: If you come across an individual or family name that you would like to know more about, Ancestry Library Edition is a great way to look up records that can tell you more about a person or family. It can only be accessed online for free within the Georgetown or Acton library branches.
Halton Hills Public Library resources

For further help with research, the Halton Hills Public Library offers free 30-minute help sessions with a librarian. These appointments are perfect if you need more assistance than can be provided over the phone or if you just walk in. These sessions are personalized to meet your specific research needs. To schedule an appointment, please fill out the Book a Librarian form.

Recommended reading

Discover more from Black voices and perspectives:

Explore our local history

Read about the life and legacy of Henry Thomas Shepherd.

Past programs

 2021 Events and programs

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