A Narrative of Race in Canadian History Focus of Talk at Cape Breton University

In recognition of African Heritage Month, Cape Breton University’s Viola Desmond Chair in Social Justice, Dr. Graham Reynolds is holding a public talk entitled A Narrative of Race in Canadian History.  The talk is being held on Monday, February 11 at 11 a.m. in the Sydney Credit Union Boardroom (CE 265) and will focus on key aspects of the narrative of race, especially in the context of the history of racial segregation and the struggle for human rights in twentieth century Canada.

“The issue of race has not traditionally been acknowledged as an important aspect of Canadian history. Very few Canadians are aware of the fact that slavery existed in Canada until the early nineteenth century and that the practice of racial segregation was widespread in Canada throughout most of the twentieth century,” says Dr. Reynolds.

The presentation will discuss the African Canadian experience to racially restrictive immigration policies of the early twentieth century. “The African Canadian experience forms a single narrative of race that has a continuous presence in Canada since the beginning of the European settlement during the seventieth century. Canadian history chronicles the ongoing tension between racial prejudice and discrimination and the ideals of freedom, equality and human rights,” he says.

The Chair is focused on various areas but a particularly important one is educational outreach, as it is key to overcoming issues of social injustice. In the past, the Chair has presented at various high schools and will visit Riverview Rural High School again this year. The Chair is available to deliver presentations should there be interest.

For more information on the Viola Desmond Chair in Social Justice visit www.cbu.ca/desmond.