Digital Museums, Videos, Documentaries

Here is a wide-ranging collection of digital museums, videos and 1 full length documentary. All are family-friendly.

Enjoy!

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BCBHAS-DMC Banner Image collage of pioneers
British Columbia's Black Pioneers: Their Industry and Character influenced the Vision of Canada   
This exhibit, designed and developed by the BC Black History Awareness Society with investment from  Digital Museums Canada, tells the story of the Black Pioneers who came to British Columbia starting around 1858. It is unlike any other story about Black migration to Canada in the 1800’s.
This digital exhibit includes 20 stories, nine videos and 86 images.
video splash page for secret victoria rush to freedom
Secret Victoria: Rush to Freedom.
In the 1850s, in what is now Victoria, Governor James Douglas fought against American expansionism by bringing over hundreds of Black Americans from San Francisco. The legacy of this population is still felt today.  Filmed in 2019 by B.C. filmmaker Anthony Brown.
b&w studio portrait charles and nancy alexander
Charles and Nancy Alexander.
Both Charles and Nancy were born in St. Louis Missouri as free blacks; they married in Springfield, Illinois on December 25, 1849.  On July 1, 1858, Charles and Nancy boarded the ship “Oregon” to Fort Victoria.   

137 years later, in July 1995 the Alexander family gathered for a reunion in Victoria. “Over 200 descendants of one of Victoria’s oldest and most successful pioneer families are coming from all across Canada and the United States.” (Richard Watts “Victoria’s Alexanders: Pioneering Black family back for reunion” Times Colonist 1995-July 15 Page C8). Today more than 100 descendants of the Alexander family still live in the area today.

“The Story of Charles and Nancy Alexander”, narrated by great-grandson Doug Hudlin was recorded in February 2011 by Dale Hitchcox, a member of the BC Black History Awareness Society.

You can also read the Alexander’s story and Doug’s story on our website.

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The Royal BC Museum and Archives “This Week in History” series aired the story of fugitive Slave Charles Mitchell.
In Victoria “as many as 700 gathered dockside September 25, 1860 calling for his release…”
Black Inventor Online Museum logo image
The Black Inventor Online Museum
is “the #1 resource on the web” focusing on the ingenuity and accomplishments of the top Black inventors over the last 300 years. Their contributions are chronicled and the inventors are profiled, providing information for students and others interested in these pioneers of Black History.
Meet George Alcorn a pioneer in the field of plasma semiconductor devices and Patricia Bath a pioneer in laser eye surgery; and just as eclectic, find out who invented the potato chip, “Super Soakers” and improved the golf tee.
permanent memorial to the victims of the transatlantic slave trade
Making The Ark of Return - The Permanent Memorial to the Victims of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.   
Hear Haitian born architect Rodney Leon tell the story of his journey in designing, constructing and installing the memorial. “…the Ark of Return is a design which allows people, if they are not physically able to return, at least they can acknowledge the fact that people had suffered great tragic losses and experiences in order to make it possible for our lives to be where we are today.” Rodney Leon, Architect.
Image of the Atlantic Slave Trade Memorial,  ©United Nations  
Viola Desmond commemorative stamp
Long Road to Justice: The Viola Desmond Story 
Viola Desmond was a businesswoman, civil rights activist; she built a career and business as a beautician and was a mentor to young Black women in Nova Scotia.
On Nov. 8, 1946, Viola Desmond stood up against a racially segregated movie theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Her courageous stand, nine years before Rosa Parks' action, was a seminal event in Canada's civil rights movement.
This is the full documentary.  
business woman seated
"HERstory in Black."
In this documentary, these women, representing a cross-section of careers, professions and business; challenges and triumphs; individually and collectively relate their inspiring and powerful stories. (February 2020)
video splash page We Are The Roots
We Are The Roots: Untangling Alberta’s Complex Black History
“Between 1905 and 1912, more than 1,000 African-Americans crossed the border to settle in small communities around Edmonton. Most came from Oklahoma, fleeing the Jim Crow laws which stripped them of their rights when Oklahoma became a state in 1907.
It’s a story that tends to be told and retold every year during Black History Month. But what happened to the settlers afterwards? What happened when the Depression hit and they left their isolated farms, and moved to Edmonton? That’s the crux of this intriguing and moving documentary” Paula Simons, Edmonton Journal, February 2018.  
victoria street scene 1907
Victoria on May 4, 1907, with a hand-cranked camera mounted on the front of a B.C. Electric Railway streetcar Seattle-based filmmaker William Harbeck gives us a window into Victoria’s past.

The street scenes show a criss-cross of horse-drawn wagons, bicycles, automobiles and pedestrians. There is a view of the Empress Hotel (still under construction) and the Legislative Buildings.
In addition to the street scenes, there is also a segment shot from the front of a boat travelling up the Gorge Waterway. On the return trip, the boat passes under the Johnson Street Bridge ….