New book examines centuries of anti-black racism in Canada
'Policing Black Lives' takes hard look at nearly 4 centuries of state-sanctioned racism against black people
A new book is looking to set the record straight on Canada's long but largely unknown history of anti-black racism.
Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present traces nearly 400 years of state-sanctioned anti-black violence, starting from slavery down to more modern iterations of that racism, like police brutality and carding.
"A lot of the issues that we're seeing today actually [grew] out of Canada's history of slavery which was practiced for over 200 years," author Robyn Maynard told The Morning Edition's Craig Norris.
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According to Maynard, issues such as police brutality and the criminalization of black communities are often looked at as purely contemporary Canadian problems.
Linking past and present
Maynard says people simply don't know there's a long history of discrimination, and therefore may not recognize the long-standing injustices behind many issues facing black communities today.
"The danger is that we're really perpetuating this ongoing dehumanization," she said.
For her, knowledge of our national history is essential to understanding racial issues today.
"What I'm really trying to do is create a historical continuity [so] that hopefully my audience [can] have a better understanding of why we're looking at the crisis facing black populations today," Maynard said.
She will be making a stop on her book tour Oct. 19 at Renison University College.