Vancouver’s new library focused on Black history opens – BC

A new library opened to the public in Vancouver on Friday.

It’s called the “Vancouver Black Library,” and the UBC student behind the project says it’s more than just books.

She hopes the space will open a new chapter for Vancouver’s black community.

“It definitely happened sooner than I could have imagined,” said Maya Preshyon, founder of the Vancouver Black Library.

Read more:

New Road Map Reveals More About Black History in Ontario’s Wellington County

Rewind in the middle of winter, Preshyon told Global News about his vision for a library that would tell the story of Vancouver’s black community.

At the time, she had no location or funding, but she looked like a university student who wanted to do something.

The story continues under the ad

“In the 1970s, there was a neighborhood that was a community for black people in Vancouver called Hogan’s Alley. It was dismantled to make way for the city’s infrastructure,” Preshyon said.

Read more:

Music legend Oscar Peterson becomes the first black Canadian to appear on a circulation coin

Forgotten and unknown to many, Hogan’s Alley in east Vancouver has its roots in the black men who worked as stewards on trains traveling to nearby Pacific Central Station.

Jimi Hendrix’s grandmother lived there, and musicians like Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong ate at its restaurants as they passed through town.

The city’s role in demolishing it for the Georgia overpass is now a lesson in what not to do, a councilman believes.

Read more:

Prominent Calgarians Commemorated During Black History Month: ‘Understanding Contributions’

“It was kind of the tenor of the time about how things were seen in city centers as a plague. They saw ethnic enclaves as something to get rid of, not embrace,” said Pete Fry, a Vancouver city councilman.

Hogan’s Alley is just one of the stories you can discover at the new Vancouver Black Library, which operates in a building filled with art spaces in Chinatown.

The story continues under the ad

Everyone is welcome and readers can find books by black authors, all available thanks to Preshyon and its volunteers.

“It’s (was) just crowdfunding and community knowledge and contributions,” Preshyon said.

Click to play the video: “50 years since British Columbia elected the first black MPs”

50 years since British Columbia elected the first black MPs

50 years since British Columbia elected the first black MPs

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


Back to top button