Changing The Narrative
A panel discussion with Black activists and scholars from both Canada and the United States. The discussion will focus on how anti-Black racism is experienced differently by Black people in both countries, but will also focus on how they are similar.
Between Canada and the United States, anti-Black racism impacts the livelihood of people of African descent. Access to social opportunities that would otherwise improve Black people’s social capital (such as education and employment) is limited. This makes it significantly more difficult for members of the Black community to lead positive lives when compared to white North Americans. The years of this type of systemic anti-Black racism received by Black people in North America does create barriers, but it also impedes their mental health, which can, at times, have long-lasting impacts on their bodies.
Although anti-Black racism, based on the colonial white settler ideology, negatively impacts African descent people in both Canada and the U.S., there are glaring differences that cannot be denied. At times, Black Canadians perceive African Americans’ encounters with anti-Black racism as more severe than their run-ins with this type of racial discrimination. For instance, Black Canadians do not experience the unnecessary surge of police killing Black people in America. Regardless of how many Black Canadians are killed by Canadian police in comparison to those in America, it does not negate the fact that African descent people are being gunned down at an alarming rate in both countries, which is problematic.
The killing of Black people by the state in both countries demonstrates that Black lives do not matter, regardless of the chants to convince the world that their lives do, in fact, matter like anyone else’s. Do Black people in both countries consider how anti-Black racism is the same regardless of the violence’s extremities? Do Black North American’s realize that the severity of anti-Black racism is a signal to show Black people in this continent that white supremacy will not accept Blackness regardless of which country you live in?
April GuestsAmerican Engineer
Aquilas K. DapaahCanadian Trial Lawyer
Dr. Anthony BriggsCanadian and American / scholar
Rhonesha BlachéAmerican / Ph.D. scholar
Richard SharpeExecutive, Department of Justice Canada