September 21, 2022

In the Matter of Black Lives: Inclusion, Belonging, and Anti-Black Racism. The Case of Canada

Dr. Afua Cooper, Dalhousie University

Why are Black People always complaining? Why don't they just get with it and move on? We often hear these responses when Black community members express their pain caused by various forms of anti-black racism. Why is there so little empathy for Black pain? The diminishment of Black pain, and the unwillingness to hear and emphasize  with Black people both have roots in the historical experience of Blacks in Canada. This presentation examines the roots of anti-Black racism, and reveals  the barriers Blacks faced over the centuries in their quest to achieve equality and inclusion within diverse institutions in Canada, including the academy, and in the society as a whole.


Dr. Afua Cooper is a multidisciplinary scholar, author, and artist. Her indomitable research on slavery, and Black history has made her one of the leading figures in African Canadian studies, and the authority on Canadian slavery. Her book on Canadian slavery, The Hanging of Angelique: The Untold Story of Slavery in Canada, and The Burning of Old Montreal broke new ground in the study of Canadian and Atlantic slavery.

Dr. Afua Cooper currently teaches in the Faculty of Arts and Science at Dalhousie University where she holds a Killam Research Chair.