YWCA Hamilton marks Black History Month with a reading challenge

Quick escape link leading to Weather Network websiteQuick Escape banner featuring illustrations of Black women and gender-diverse people, with the text "Celebrating Black History Month" and YWCA Hamilton logo

As Black History Month comes to a close, we at YWCA Hamilton are proud to share an exciting project we’ve embarked on as a staff team to engage with some remarkable stories.


During the month of February, YWCA Hamilton staff have been encouraged reflected on the incredible accomplishments and achievements of Black trailblazers in our community, our country, and the world at large. To that end, our YWCA Hamilton staff, as well as service users and community partners, have been invited to read a showcase of children’s books focusing on Black excellence.


covers of children's books featuring Black protagonists and stories


Each one is freely available on YouTube:


“Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut” by Derrick Barnes, Read by Caleb McLaughlin

“Sulwe” by Lupita Nyong’o and Vashti Harrison, Read by Lupita Nyong’o

“The Day You Begin” by Jacqueline Woodson, Read by Jacqueline Woodson

“I Am Enough” by Grace Byers, Read by Grace Byers

“Abc’s for Girls Like Me – The Coloring Book” by Melanie Goolsby, Read by Marsai Martin

“Firebird” by Misty Copeland, Read by Misty Copeland

“Pretty Brown Face” by Andrea Davis Pinkney, Read by Jill Scott

“I love my hair!” by Natasha Tarpley, Read by Tiffany Haddish

“Let’s talk about race” by Julius Lester, Read by Common

“Antiracist Baby” by Ibram X. Kendi, Read by Kendrick Sampson


Once our staff have read the books, we’ve asked them to let us know which one resonated the most by casting their vote for their favourite – or favourites! At the end of the month, we’ll be purchasing the book with the most votes and donating it to various programs within YWCA Hamilton and our community partners.  All staff who vote are also entered to win a prize from BLK OWNED HAMONT.

These stories remind us that Black Canadians have been a part of shaping our national heritage and identity since the early 1600s. However, the role of Black people in shaping our communities and history has largely been ignored. Black History Month is a time to learn more about the legacy of Black Canadians, reflect on their achievements, and recommit to our fight for inclusion in all arenas. career. As we mark Black History Month, we once again commit to amplifying Black voices and advancing Black leadership at YWCA Hamilton – this month, and always.

Our team has been proud to come together to celebrate the richness of Black History through these powerful narratives – and we invite everyone in the community to join us in reading them. We hope that you’ll enjoy them as much as we have!


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