Anti-Racism Resources – Books
Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present – by Robyn Maynard
Delving behind Canada’s veneer of multiculturalism and tolerance, Policing Black Lives traces the violent realities of anti-blackness from the slave ships to prisons, classrooms and beyond. Robyn Maynard provides readers with the first comprehensive account of over four hundred years of state-sanctioned surveillance, criminalization and punishment of Black lives in Canada.
The Skin We’re In – by Desmond Cole
A bracing, provocative, and perspective-shifting book from one of Canada’s most celebrated and uncompromising writers, Desmond Cole. The Skin We’re In will spark a national conversation, influence policy, and inspire activists
How to be an Antiracist – by Ibram X. Kendi
Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.
So You Want to Talk About Race – by Ijeoma Oluo
In So You Want to Talk About Race, Editor at Large of The Establishment, Ijeoma Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the “N” word.
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism – by Robin Diangelo
In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’
Writer, historian and poet Afua Cooper tells the astonishing story of Marie-Joseph Angélique, a slave woman convicted of starting a fire that destroyed a large part of Montréal in April 1734 and condemned to die a brutal death. In a powerful retelling of Angélique’s story — now supported by archival illustrations — Cooper builds on 15 years of research to shed new light on a rebellious Portuguese-born black woman who refused to accept her indentured servitude. At the same time, Cooper completely demolishes the myth of a benign, slave-free Canada, revealing a damning 200-year-old record of legally and culturally endorsed slavery.
Until we are free : Reflections on Black Lives Matter Canada – by Rodney Diverlus, Sandy Hudson, and Syrus Marcos Ware
The killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012 by a white assailant inspired the Black Lives Matter movement, which quickly spread outside the borders of the United States. The movement’s message found fertile ground in Canada, where Black activists speak of generations of injustice and continue the work of the Black liberators who have come before them. Until We Are Free contains some of the very best writing on the hottest issues facing the Black community in Canada. It describes the latest developments in Canadian Black activism, organizing efforts through the use of social media, Black-Indigenous alliances, and more. “Until We Are Free busts myths of Canadian politeness and niceness, myths that prevent Canadians from properly fulfilling its dream of multiculturalism and from challenging systemic racism, including the everyday assaults on black and brown bodies.
Since its publication in 2012, The Inconvenient Indian has become a Canadian classic. At once a history and a subversion of history, this book has launched a national conversation about what it means to be “Indian” in North America, and the relationship between Natives and non-Natives in the centuries since the two first encountered each other.
21 Things You May Not Know About The Indian Act – by Robert Joseph
Based on a viral article, 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act is the essential guide to understanding the legal document and its repercussion on generations of Indigenous peoples, written by a leading cultural sensitivity trainer. The Indian Act, after 141 years, continues to shape, control, and constrain the lives and opportunities of Indigenous peoples, and is at the root of many lasting stereotypes.
Ohpikiihaakan-ohpihmeh: A 60s Scoop Adoptee’s Story of Coming Home – by Colleen Cardinal
During the 60s Scoop, over 20,000 Indigenous children in Canada were removed from their biological families, lands and culture and trafficked across provinces, borders and overseas to be raised in non-Indigenous households. Ohpikiihaakan-ohpihmeh–Raised Somewhere Else delves into the personal and provocative narrative of Colleen Cardinal’s journey growing up in a non-Indigenous household as a 60s Scoop adoptee.
A Mind Spread Out on the Ground – by Alicia Elliott
A Mind Spread Out on the Ground is a personal and critical meditation on trauma, legacy, oppression and racism in North America. In an urgent and visceral work that asks essential questions about Native people in North America while drawing on intimate details of her own life and experience with intergenerational trauma, Alicia Elliott offers indispensable insight and understanding to the ongoing legacy of colonialism.
Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in A Northern City – by Tanya Talaga
The shocking true story covered by the Guardian and the New York Times of the seven young Indigenous students who were found dead in a northern Ontario city. In 1966, twelve-year-old Chanie Wenjack froze to death on the railway tracks after running away from residential school. An inquest was called and four recommendations were made to prevent another tragedy. None of those recommendations were applied.
Children of the Broken Treaty: Canada’s Lost Promise and One Girl’s Dream – by Charlie Angus
Children of the Broken Treaty exposes a system of apartheid in Canada that led to the largest youth-driven human rights movement in the country’s history. Based on extensive documentation assembled from Freedom of Information requests, Angus establishes a dark, unbroken line that extends from the policies of John A. Macdonald to the government of today. He provides chilling insight into how Canada–through breaches of treaties, broken promises, and callous neglect–deliberately denied First Nations children their basic human rights.
Towards an African Canadian art history : art, memory, and resistance – by Charmaine A. Nelson
The first book to consolidate the field of African Canadian Art History. Charmaine A. Nelson and a group of established and up-and-coming artists, scholars, and cultural critics argue for an African Canadian Art History which can simultaneously examine the artistic contributions of black Canadian artists within their unique historical contexts, critique the colonial representation of black subjects by white artists, and contest the customary racial homogeneity of Canadian Art History.
Migrating the margins: circumlocating the future of Toronto art – by Emily Chhangur
While on the surface this book appears as a catalogue of the exhibition Migrating the Margins held at the Art Gallery of York University (15 September to 3 December 2017), it is rather a stand-alone monograph that uses the exhibition as a springboard for a larger consideration of recent developments in the re-orientation of the Toronto art scene, from one dominated by the centre/downtown where, at best, the margins (the suburbs and underrepresented communities), are addressed in terms of their relationship to that centre.