Only one book this month. With the kids out of school and home all day I have little free time to read. This book is the first one from my 2021 Reading List - The Skin We're In by Desmond Cole. As I said when I added this book to my reading list, I purchased this book in June of last year when the Black Lives Matter movement heated up. With all of the various topical books being suggested, I thought I would start with a Canadian one.
This book takes us through 2016 and discusses various race related events experienced by the author directly, or indirectly, and Black and Indigenous people he knew personally or from the media who suffered at the hands of police. He writes about a kindergarten student handcuffed by police at a Mississauga school, a mentally unstable man beat to death by Ottawa police, a local Toronto artist arrested and beat up for having an art show without a liquor licence, and a young refugee from Somalia on the road to deportation.
The other topic is about immigration policy in Canada. We are all very familiar with the people being detained at the border of Mexico and the United States, but you know, the very same thing happens here in Canada. We keep people in jails when we are deciding whether to deport them. We send people back to countries where they have no real ties, and could still be in danger. We may think our system is perfect but it isn't. That all being said, there was only one chapter about that in the book, and I'm sure there is a lot more to this story (see above point), but I think it is important to realize that systematic racism is alive and well in Canada, we can't pretend we are much better than the United States.
Also he talks about my hometown Shelburne, Nova Scotia, where many Black Loyalists went during and after the American Resolution.
So if you're looking for topical book on racism, please pick up this one. If you are local to me, I'm happy to lend you my copy, just message me. And you can follow the author on Twitter @DesmondCole.