Robyn Maynard is a writer, scholar and activist whose works are described as “urgent and essential reading.” Her latest book, “Policing Black Lives,” takes readers through the racial injustices that are largely missing from Canadian history textbooks.
The writer stopped by The Social for a nuanced discussion about how those layers of systemic oppression — from slavery to present day — have affected our schools, prisons and beyond.
She also shares her ultimate reading list from amazing Black Canadian authors whose works highlight those important stories about black culture and history in Canada that everyone should know.
Ten books by Black Canadian writers you need to add to your reading list
Policing Black LivesThis novel explores how the systemic oppression of Black Canadians — from slavery to present day — has affected our schools, prisons and beyond. Available here.By Robyn Maynard
The Hanging Of Angelique: The Untold Story of Canadian Slavery and the Burning of Old MontrealAuthor Afua Cooper tells the story of Marie-Joseph Angelique, a slave woman convicted of starting a fire that destroyed a large part of Montreal in April 1734. She builds on 15 years of research to shed new light on the rebellious Portuguese-born black woman who refused to accept her servitude. Available here.By Afua Cooper
Blank: Essays and InterviewsM. NourbeSe Philip is a major Canadian writer and thinker. This book is a compilation of her out-of-print essays and more recent works that examine race, art, politics and "the so-called multicultural society." Available here.By M. NourbeSe Philip
Demonic Grounds: Black Women and the Cartographies of StruggleThe novel moves between past and present, archives and fiction, theory and everyday, while McKittrick reveals how our human geographies are a result of racialized connections. Available here.By Katherine McKittrick
Silenced: Talks with working class West Indian women about their lives and struggles as domestic workers in CanadaAn assortment of stories illustrating the hardships of West Indian domestic workers during the 1950s. Available here. By Makeda Silvera
Black Like Who? Writing Black CanadaThis is a second-revised edition of Rinaldo Walcott’s well-known revolutionary study of black culture in Canada. This book analyzes how black Canadians have defined Canada through readings of film, hip-hop, literature, sports, and more. Available here.By Rinaldo Walcott
No Burden to Carry: Narratives of Black Working Women in Ontario 1920sDionne Brand documents the lives of black women in Ontario from the 1920s – 1950s. Available here.By Dionne Brand
We're Rooted Here and They Can’t Pull Us Up: Essays in African Canadian Women’s HistoryA collection of essays exploring the role black women have played in Canada’s history over the past three hundred years. Available here.By Peggy Bristow, Dionne Brand, Linda Carty, Afua P. Cooper, Sylvia Hamilton, and Adrienne Shadd
Live from the Afrikan Resistance!A poetry book about challenges and community, written by EI Jones, Halifax’s fifth Poet Laureate. Available here.By El Jones
Canadian Fugitive Slave Advertisements: An Untapped Archive of ResistanceThis piece of writing depicts the four categories of advertisements that were used to buy and sell African Canadian slaves, and displays how these categorizes were used to hinder their road to freedom. Read here.By Charmaine A. Nelson