AP/HIST3535 6.0 A: African-Canadian History

Offered by: HIST


Fall 2024






Calendar Description / Prerequisite / Co-Requisite

Examines the history of African-Canadians from colonial contact in the 17th century through to the post-Second World War migrations from Africa and the Caribbean.

Course Start Up

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    Additional Course Instructor/Contact Details


    Expanded Course Description

The course begins in the seventeenth century with an examination of the presence of enslaved and free Africans in New France and the British colonies. We explore the experiences of enslaved and free persons of African descent in British North America, Black Loyalists, Black Refugees, and the ‘passengers’ of the Underground Railroad and assess the structures of African Canadian communities, institutions and freedom movements. Twentieth century themes include African Canadians’ contributions to the emerging Canadian nation, the impact of Black Power, as well as the concerns of the ‘new newcomers’ from the Caribbean and Africa. The course ends in the twenty-first century with discussion of Black Lives Matter and situates it in the broader movement for Black lives. The course brings into sharp focus the historical production of racial categories and racist thought and practices in Canada and examines the experiences of this minoritized group within the context of ‘multiculturalism’.

    Required Course Text / Readings


Students will read a range of book chapters and articles and watch assigned short videos.

    Weighting of Course

*TENTATIVE Grade Breakdown*

Class Participation                                                              15%

Reading Presentation (one each term)                           15%

Reading Responses      (one each term)                          10%

Primary Source Analysis                                                    10%

Public History Assignment                                                15%

Mid-Term Exam                                                                   15%

Research Assignment                                                          20%

    Organization of the Course

The course involves weekly meetings. These sessions will combine lectures and discussions of required readings, supplementary texts, and viewing films which serve to introduce, enrich, clarify, and illustrate course topics and themes. There will also be activities to apply skills and concepts taught. Students are expected to read the assigned materials before each class, to attend class regularly and to contribute to the discussions as fully as possible. Students are expected to complete the assignments in the course to fulfill assessment requirements.

    Course Learning Objectives

This course allows students to examine the experiences of African Canadians from the seventeenth century to the late twentieth century; it will allow students to:

  • interrogate the interrelationship between race and racism, difference and power;
  • analyse the roles of race, class, gender and culture in the African Canadian experience;
  • examine the role of Black enslavement in New France and British North America;
  • analyse the reasons for and results of the several different migrations of Africans and their descendants into Canada;
  • discuss the hurdles faced by the various African Canadian communities and the individual and collective strategies used to tackle them;
  • evaluate the characteristics and complexities of Blackness in Canada;
  • assess many key features of Black Canadian history in written and oral form;
  • identify, access, and analyze/interpret a variety of primary and secondary source materials;
  • acquire basic historical research skills, including (as appropriate) the effective use of libraries, archives, and databases;
  • apply a historical lens to contemporary issues (e.g. Black Lives Matter Movement);
  • Undertake independent research;
  • Participate in critical conversations.
    Relevant Links / Resources