How Canada Cancels Blackness
In Whiteout: How Canada Cancels Blackness, his new and essential collection of essays, George Elliott Clarke exposes the various ways in which the Canadian imagination demonizes, excludes, and oppresses Blackness. Clarke's range is extraordinary: he canvasses African-Canadian writers who have tracked Black invisibility, highlights the racist bias of our true crime writing, reveals the whitewashing of African-Canadian perspectives in universities, and excoriates the political failure to reckon with the tragedy of Africville, the once-thriving, "Africadian" community whose last home was razed in 1970. For Clarke, Canada's relentless celebration of itself as a site of "multicultural humanitarianism" has blinded White leaders and citizens to the country's many crimes, at home and abroad, thus blacking out the historical record. These essays yield an alternate history of Canada, a corrective revision that Clarke describes as "inking words on snow, evanescent and ephemeral."
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