Cadogan, G. (2016). Walking While Black: Garnette Cadogan on the Realities of Being Black in America. In Freeman, J. Freeman’s Arrival. Retrieved from https://lithub.com/walking-while-black/?fbclid=IwAR00nbDnPcoE7BJOUZgQL8nxFckVR0vsDWdC9hUXtERwmxmhuRw7HVSDwTI
Garnette Cadogan’s article is a powerful firsthand account of a black man moving from Jamaica to New Orleans, U.S., only to discover that the color of his skin deemed him a threat in this systematically racist, oppressive society. Cadogan describes how his own perception of himself completely shifted as soon as he arrived in New Orleans, as his skin color now deemed him a visible threat to others, especially the police. Cadogan explores the meaning of place and home, and how the act of walking allowed him to develop this sense of home and connection to place. However while he valued and enjoyed his time walking, Cadogan emphasizes how the simple act of walking outside with ease was a privilege that black men like himself did not always have in America. This powerful article can be used in various classes, specifically in a Composition or Literary Studies 10-12, Social Studies 10, Social Justice, Law, Human Geography, or Urban Studies class. This text can be incorporated into lessons on systemic racism, current events, place-based geography, anti-racism, racial profiling and other topics with a similar focus. Students should be encouraged to reflect on the message Cadogan expresses, how Cadogan’s experiences reflect a greater social issue in our world, and how this text can be related to students’ own lives, experiences, or perspectives. This text can be assigned to students as an independent reading analysis, as a text for a synthesis essay or written assignment, or as an in-class text that could elicit discussions on the issues of racism and discrimination.
Subramaniam, V. (2020). Before You Declare Canada is Not a Racist Country, Do Your Homework. National Post. Retrieved from https://nationalpost.com/opinion/vanmala-subramaniam-before-you-declare-canada-is-not-a-racist-country-do-your-homework
Subramaniam writes this article for the National Post as a direct response to a conservative CBC radio host who claimed that “racism does not exist in this country” of Canada (Subramaniam, 2020). Subramaniam argues that this kind of statement completely erases centuries of racist, exploitative, discriminatory, and violent history that allowed Canada to become the nation it is today. This article is a powerful rebuttal to the far too common narrative that presents Canada as an inclusive, multicultural society void of racism unlike our neighbors to the South. Subramaniam does an excellent job of not only highlighting the existence of systemic racism and oppression across Canada, but further emphasizing that those who promote this narrative that racism simply ‘does not exist’ in Canada, have a certain privilege that racial minorities do not have. This article is an excellent resource for students to recognize how one can recognize privilege, speak out against privilege or ignorance, and ensure that Canada’s past and present issues with systemic racism are not ignored. This article is written in relatively simple language, thus teachers can incorporate this resource into any grade 8-12 social studies classroom. Teachers should ensure that they provide students with sufficient context on this subject matter, in order to elicit extensive discussion or enable students to form reflections, make connections, and recognize the significance of this in our communities. Teachers may wish to include a concrete example of systemic racism in Canada today, whether this be a news headline, a TED talk, an interview, a controversial government policy or other similar examples, in order for Subramaniam’s words to resonate greater with students.