Articles on critical race

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Detail from Mickalene Thomas’s ‘Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe: Les trois femmes noires’ which is part of a show called ‘Femmes Noires’ currently at the Art Gallery of Ontario. The Rachel and Jean-Pierre Lehmann Collection © Mickalene Thomas

Black Canadian women artists detangle the roots of Black beauty

A recent and powerful exhibit by New York artist Mickalene Thomas at the Art Gallery of Ontario has opened the door for some deep discussions about Black Canadian women and visual representation.
Indigenous women’s activism in Canada has a long history. The organizing work of Isabelle McNab, first president of the Saskatchewan Women’s Indian Association, can be seen as the precursor to later activism like this First Nations Idle No More protest for better treatment of Indigenous peoples at the Douglas-Peace Arch near Surrey, B.C., on Jan. 5, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Hidden from history: Indigenous women’s activism in Saskatchewan

Built on historical research, this article tells the resilient, fascinating and rarely told history of Indigenous women's organizing and resistance in Saskatchewan.
Critics and audiences of the Oscar-nominated film Roma may be missing important Mexican historical and cultural facts.

The Oscars: what you may have missed in ‘Roma’

Director Alfonso Cuarón's 'Roma' has received 10 Oscar nominations. Here, a sociologist explains the hidden historical and cultural context of the film.
In the 19th century, white families in the U.S. could easily acquire real estate. This was never the case for Black Americans. U.S. National Archives

The myth of the American Frontier still shapes U.S. racial divides

Old 19th-century agreements between the U.S. government which expelled Indigenous peoples from their land and gave it cheaply to white settlers continue to impact inequalities in the United States.
This photo from May 2018 shows Cyntoia Brown at her clemency hearing at the Tennessee Prison for Women in Nashville, Tenn. On Jan. 7, 2019, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam granted executive clemency to Brown, serving a life sentence for a murder that happened after she was forced into sex work. (Lacy Atkins /The Tennessean via AP, Pool, File)

Clemency for Cyntoia Brown was long overdue

Cyntoia Brown has been granted clemency for killing a man when she was a teenager and forced into the sex trade. The case showed why the justice system must stop punishing women for defending themselves.
Canadians seem not to want to talk about race and racism, deferring instead to ‘income’ and immigration status when it comes to measuring education success. LeonardoBurgos /Unsplash

Why won’t Canada collect data on race and student success?

News of Canada's successful immigrant students glosses over important stories of racism, for example the 'streaming' of Black males. But without more data beyond Toronto, the story is hard to share.
MP Boissonnault attended World AIDS Day flag raising on Parliament Hill, Dec. 1 2017. Gov't of Canada/LGBTQ2 Secretariat

World AIDS Day: Let’s stop criminalizing HIV status

In Canada, people living with HIV can be charged with not disclosing their HIV status to their sexual partners. There is evidence that Black men suffer the most under this criminalization.
The ‘It’s okay to be white’ poster campaign, seen in the context of reacting to ‘Black Lives Matter,’ cannot be seen as benign. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The trouble with saying ‘it’s okay to be white’

Posters with the phrase "It's okay to be white" were found around the campus of the University of Manitoba. What does it really mean?
Barbados was ground zero for racism and slavery but due to the resilience of the islanders, it is a model country of democracy. Here a sugar cane harvest post card, circa 1927. W. L. Johnson & Co. Ltd., Barbados. No. 15

The resilience of Barbados counters Trump’s ‘sh-thole’ remarks

U.S. President Trump's former attorney revealed some ugly racist things his client has said. One of them - once again - speaks of "shit-hole" countries. We need to counter this false idea.
The fact that parents may be physically absent from schools does not mean they are disinterested in their children’s academic and professional success. Muhammad Rizwan/Unsplash

Too busy for the PTA, but working-class parents care

Working class parents may be too busy to attend high school events, but they take an active role in their children's success.
A YouTube producer trying to create a parody of ‘The Simpsons’ found out that Apu is being phased out of the show. While many will miss Apu, others reflect on what his character represents – a flat stereotype of South Asian immigrants. The Simpsons

Goodbye Apu – here’s what you meant to us

Recent rumours of Apu's demise may be exaggerated but his presence has been slowly written out of 'The Simpsons,' and many feel it is time for the stereotyped Indian-American character to go.
Megyn Kelly appears on the set of her show, ‘Megyn Kelly Today’ at NBC Studios in New York on September 21, 2017. Kelly questioned why dressing up in blackface is wrong. Kelly now says she understands that she needs to be more sensitive. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Invision - Charles Sykes

If you’re thinking of doing blackface for Halloween, just don’t

Many claim the offensive part about blackface is from a long time ago and claim blackface costumes, especially at Halloween, are innocent fun. What could be the harm?
There is a long history of ‘visual apartheid’ in the advertising of the outdoors industry – an absence of Indigenous, Black and other people of colour. (Unsplash/Esther wiegardt)

New ads ask, ‘Do white people dominate the outdoors?’

Canada's iconic retailer of outdoor adventure gear recently decided to change its mostly white image by diversifying the catalogue to better reflect the reality of its customers.
The new cannabis legislation in Canada does not give enough thought to those who were overly punished for cannabis-related activities. Jakob Owens/Unsplash

As cannabis is legalized, let’s remember amnesty

Now that cannabis is almost legal in Canada, many are celebrating. Before we forget, we should remember those that have been arrested for previous crimes and push for amnesty.
First lady Melania Trump looks out over Nairobi National Park in Nairobi, Kenya, Friday, Oct. 5, 2018, during a safari guided by Nelly Palmeris, right. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Melania Trump’s pith helmet is not just a hat

When you are the first lady of the United States, your fashion choices are scrutinized. Why did Melania Trump choose to wear a pith helmet, a classic symbol of colonialism?
Concrete action steps are needed to help reconciliation, says a research team that offers 12 actionable ideas. Here Ben Paul, of the Musqueam First Nation, sings and plays a drum during the Walk for Reconciliation in Vancouver, B.C., on Sept. 24, 2017, held to promote positive relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

New guide kick-starts reconciliation in the justice system

It's been three years since the TRC released its report on the lasting impact of residential schools in Canada but responses to the 94 Calls to Action have been slow. A new framework hopes to change that.
Barbershop Talks creates a place for Black men and boys to meet and discuss ideas about masculinity. Edgar Chaparro/Unsplash

Barbershop Talks: A safe place to discuss Black masculinity

Barbershop Talks use the idea of the "barbershop around the corner" as a place to meet and discuss ideas and create a safe space for Black men and boys to talk openly about masculinity.
Serena Williams looks at her box during the women’s final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament against Naomi Osaka, of Japan on Sept. 8, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

That racist caricature of Serena Williams makes me so angry

Serena Williams challenged decades of stereotypes when she revealed her anger after she disagreed with a U.S. Open umpire. A racist caricature and calls to boycott her playing by umpires followed.

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