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OPINION: Canadian media must make room for black voices

Phillip Dwight Morgan says that as a black writer, he often feels an internal pressure to make his writing palatable to white readers. And he says since there is limited space for black writers in Canada, the pressure is even more intense.
Phillip Dwight Morgan (Phillip Dwight Morgan )

Media in Canada is pretty white.

A 2011 study looking at the diversity of newsmedia found that just 3.5% of opinion columns in Toronto-area and national newspapers were written by visible minorities.

Phillip Dwight Morgan, a writer in Toronto, says that mainstream media doesn't make space for more than one or two black writers, because that's all it takes to give white readers what they want: the "black" viewpoint.

Morgan says Black writers in journalism are so rare, he's often mistaken for Toronto Star columnist Desmond Cole.

White consumers want things to be made easy. They want a go-to source for all things Black they can quote ad nauseam, a how-to guide for evading critique and feigning allyship.  The result is a literary landscape with just enough space for one Black journalist, one Black poet, and maybe a couple of Black newscasters.- Phillip Dwight Morgan

In this audio essay, Morgan explains what the lack of space for Black writers says about race in Canada today, and what it will take to make people stop confusing him for Desmond Cole.


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