Sunday, April 21, 2024

Black Olympian & Activist Valerie Jerome Coming to the Owen Sound Library

The Owen Sound Memoir Series ( has announced its second monthly event weekend at the Owen Sound Public Library featuring Vancouver author Valerie Jerome, a former Canadian Olympian, and currently active as an activist and speaker, particularly during Black History Month each February.

On Friday, March 1, at 7 p.m., Jerome will read from her memoir, Races: The Trials & Triumphs of Canada’s Fastest Family, and discuss how she wrote this emotional and poignant book. Attendees can look forward to an evening filled with insight into the experiences of Black Canadians and personal anecdotes from her family history. At the end of the evening, Jerome will participate in a Q&A with the audience, moderated by Lauren Best, a former Owen Sound Poet Laureate.

On Saturday, March 2, at 1 p.m., Jerome will lead a memoir-writing workshop for local writers who are working on their own memoirs and anyone who is interested in the memoir-writing process.

Valerie Jerome is a former Canadian track and field star and she represented Canada at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Her grandfather, John, was Canada’s first Black Olympian and her brother Harry set seven world records.

Her memoir is an emotional story of racism inside and outside her mixed-race family, societal pressure to win at the Olympics as a Black Canadian athlete, and devastating experiences in her family home.

Tickets are currently on sale at and at the Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library.

Both events will be held at the Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library, 824 1st Ave W. in Owen Sound.

The mission of the Owen Sound Memoir Series is to celebrate the lived experience of diverse Canadians, curate important conversations, and teach memoir-writing skills to local writers. Each month, a nationally-recognized Canadian author will come to the Owen Sound library to read from their recently published memoir and lead a memoir-writing workshop.

Popular this week

Latest news