Tag Archives: racism

Epidemics and Racism: Honolulu’s Bubonic Plague and the Big Fire, 1899-1900

Yukari Takai More than a century before the global outbreak of Covid-19, another deadly disease struck Honolulu, one that ignited the tragic unfolding of many stories about public health, urban fires and social inequalities, particularly racism. The bubonic plague, also known as the Black Death, hit Honolulu’s crowded and throbbing Chinatown in December 1899 when it took the life of… Read more »

12 Black Scholars on the Black Lives Matter Movement and Canada

As millions around the world take to the streets to defend Black lives, decry racist police violence and structural racism, and articulate visions for a radically different future, a number of Black scholars in Canada have engaged with public audiences to help contextualize this moment and lay out how racism is very much a Canadian problem as well. The below… Read more »

Congress 2020, Interrupted: Racism and Commemoration in Western University’s Department of History

Will Langford At the cancelled Congress 2020, Olivette Otele was scheduled to deliver the Canadian Historical Association’s keynote address. Otele was recently appointed the first History of Slavery professor at Bristol University. Her immediate research will examine Bristol University’s historical ties to the transatlantic slave trade. A growing number of universities are detailing institutional links to slavery and showing why… Read more »

Congress 2020, Interrupted: Racism, Academic Freedom, and the Far Right, 1970s-1990s

Will Langford In 1989, psychology professor Philippe Rushton inflamed debates over discrimination at Western University (then known as the University of Western Ontario (UWO)) by outlining his racist theories at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. For some, Rushton’s academic racism made him unfit to teach at UWO. For others, protecting academic freedom was… Read more »

Revisiting “Was Laurier Canada’s Obama?”

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Of course, the real interest in the piece, as in the book manuscript I had just completed, wasn’t what happened in 1911 but what happened at the next election in 1917, namely, the most racially polarizing campaign in Canadian history.

Congress 2020, Interrupted: A Brief History of University Codes of Conduct

Will Langford Congress 2020 is cancelled. But before the conference is forgotten, let’s ponder the anti-racism Congress that never was. At last year’s gathering, in a brazen act of racial profiling, a participant harassed political scientist Shelby McPhee and falsely accused the Black graduate student of theft. Following an investigation, the perpetrator was issued a ban for violating the Congress… Read more »

Won Alexander Cumyow and the Fight for Democratic Rights

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Editor’s Note: This post is the second in our special election series.  Timothy J. Stanley  The photograph of Won Alexander Cumyow voting in the 1949 federal election marks an important landmark in the struggle for democratic rights in Canada. Although born in Canada before the country existed, Cumyow had to wait 88 years to have the unfettered right to vote…. Read more »

Why Blackface Persists and What Historians Can Do to Change It

Cheryl Thompson  Years ago, my former Banting-postdoctoral supervisor Stephen Johnson, Professor Emeritus at the Centre for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto was to appear on a radio talk show to explore the question, “Why has there been a resurgence in the use of blackface in contemporary society?” The interview never took place because seemingly more… Read more »

Reflections on the Far Right, Intellectuals, and Hope in Toronto and Beyond

By Edward Dunsworth It’s been quite a month for the far right in Toronto. Two weeks ago, proto-fascist hype man Steve Bannon – unable just days prior to attract more than twenty-five people to an event in Kansas – drew a sold-out (and well-heeled) crowd to downtown Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall, where he squared off against former George W. Bush… Read more »

“Rooting for Everybody Black” and the Subversive Politics of Black History Month in Canada

Funke Aladejebi  At the 69th Annual Emmy awards held on September 17, 2017, Issa Rae, creator and star of HBO’s widely popular television show “Insecure,” responded to a red-carpet question by proclaiming she was “rooting for everybody Black!”  Rae’s comments, which went viral, articulated a sense of collective excitement about the growing recognition and achievements of African American Emmy nominees… Read more »