What does it mean in the era of Black Lives Matter to continue to ignore and deny the violence that is the foundation of the Canadian nation state? BlackLife discloses the ongoing destruction of Black people as enacted not simply by state structures, but beneath them in the foundational modernist ideology that underlies thinking around migration and movement, as Black erasure and death are unveiled as horrifically acceptable throughout western culture. With exactitude and celerity, Idil Abdillahi and Rinaldo Walcott pull from local history, literature, theory, music, and public policy around everything from arts funding, to crime and mental health––presenting a convincing call to challenge pervasive thought on dominant culture's conception of Black personhood. They argue that artists, theorists, activists, and scholars offer us the opportunity to rethink and expose flawed thought, providing us new avenues into potential new lives and a more livable reality of BlackLife.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The Canadian Black Lives Matter movement isn’t just a fight for ideals—it’s a call to action to correct a long history of injustices. That’s why activists and writers Rinaldo Walcott and Idil Abdillahi authored this fiery and informative book addressing how the nation’s racist biases must be corrected on a federal, provincial, and municipal level. Drawing on specific events like the 1969 occupation of Sir George Williams University, as well as larger trends in Canadian culture and identity, the authors show us how Black Canadians have suffered under systemically racist policies. With a level of academic research that blew us away and a bold and assertive approach that never explains away acts of aggression, the book discusses the erasure of Canada’s history of slavery from school textbooks and even calls out “progressive” political leaders who fail marginalized communities—by name. For anyone looking for a path forward, BlackLife may just hold the answers.