Reflecting on Black history, racism and slavery in Canada

A collection of anti-racism resource lists

Fri, 19 Jun 2020

Chloe Sjuberg
Assistant Communications Coordinator, SFU Public Square

The views and opinions expressed in SFU Public Square's blogs are those of the authors, and they do not necessarily reflect the official position of Simon Fraser University or SFU Public Square, or any other affiliated institutions in any way.

Today, June 19, is also known as Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. It’s also an important opportunity for us to reflect on the history and ongoing presence of anti-Black racism in Canada and how slavery is remembered (and not remembered) in this country.

Last weekend, Black Lives Matter protestors shut down the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts, on what was the site of Hogan's Alley, the hub of the Black community in Vancouver that was displaced when the viaducts were constructed in the 1970s. And this afternoon, people will gather in downtown Vancouver for a demonstration against anti-Black racism that is also the city’s first large-scale event in honour of Juneteenth. 

Learn more about today’s demonstration and what Juneteenth means in both Canada and the United States.

In recognition of Juneteenth and the ongoing and necessary action taking place around racial justice and racial violence, we’re sharing resources we have found powerful in our own anti-racist learning. We are highlighting curated resource lists created by people and organizations in Vancouver who are deeply engaged in this work, and we acknowledge and thank them for their labour.

Resources and Calls to Action Against Anti-Black Racism and Violence – SFU Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

This list is intended as a starting point for anyone looking to begin incorporating anti-racist activism into their daily life. It was compiled with help from members of the SFU EDI Advisory Council, the SFU African Students’ AssociationSFU Students of Caribbean and African Ancestry, and the Canadian Association for the Prevention of Discrimination and Harassment in Higher Education listserv.

Anti-Racist Resources – Hogan’s Alley Society

In addition to this ongoing collection of ways to participate in the fight against anti-Black racism, learn about the history of Hogan’s Alley and how the Hogan’s Alley Society is advocating for community development in Vancouver that honours the legacy and contributions of Black community members.

Support Local Black-Led Organizations – Pivot Legal Society

This resource highlights Black-led organizations doing racial justice work in Vancouver, as well as readings about the relationship between anti-Black racism and systemic harms.

Effective Solidarity Towards Black Communities – Global Shapers Vancouver Hub

This document houses curated content from Black organizers around anti-Black racism and anti-oppression. It is primarily directed at white people and non-Black people of colour wondering how to show solidarity towards Black communities in Vancouver, and it is updated daily.

Resistance and Resurgence: Confronting Anti-Black Racism in Canada – Feminists Deliver

Members of our team attended this event hosted by Feminists Deliver on June 8. Here you can watch the recording of this important conversation, engage with the panelists’ work through their books, articles and interviews, and find additional resources.

There have been so many valuable resources and recommendations circulating online over the past few weeks, to the point that many of us may be feeling some level of resource and reading list fatigue. To that end, here’s a helpful guide created by Vanessa Newman (@fiveboi on Instagram) with strategies for overcoming this sense of overwhelm and making an actionable plan for engaging with these resources.

We encourage you to choose a resource from this list to engage with this weekend. Let us know what other resources you have found the most impactful in your own anti-racism work and we’ll amplify them in future social media, newsletters or blog posts.