1. Racial Capitalism and Colonialism
There are many great scholars, activists, and leaders who are researching, exploring, discussing, and teaching about these topics. Below we have included a small list of resources that you can explore further. It is up to you to determine where your learning will go and to use your own sense of discernment, alongside your critical thinking and intellectual generosity.
Need a refresher on colonialism across the globe? Check out student Roqué Marcelo’s short video on the topic below (5 minutes).
Eve Tuck, Associate Professor of Critical Race and Indigenous Studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto, is a leading scholar whose work addresses settler colonialism. Tuck’s article co-written with K. Wayne Yang Decolonization is not a metaphor is an important contribution in relation to settler colonialism and conversations surrounding decolonization. To learn more from Tuck, check out the short video below focused on Indigenous Feminist Theories (12 minutes).
Acclaimed filmmaker Raoul Peck has created a four-part documentary series called “Exterminate All the Brutes”. It explores the legacy of European colonialism from the Americas to Africa. To learn more about the series and Peck’s work, check out the interview from May 2021 with Democracy Now below (35 minutes). We recommend that you watch the complete four-part documentary series, especially if colonialism is a topic that you have not had the opportunity to explore in depth previously.
Recommended Further Reading
While our introductory video offers a brief overview of racial capitalism, we recommend that you explore the work of key scholars working on this topic today.
Check out Angela Davis (political activist, philosopher, scholar, author and abolitionist) in an interview with Democracy Now “We can’t eradicate racism without eradicating racial capitalism” (2 minutes).
We also recommend that you explore the work of Sylvia Wynter, writer, philosopher and cultural theorist, whose contributions to anti-colonial thought and analysis of European colonialism and the construction of race are essential to the field and what it means to be human.
Watch a short lecture (18 minutes) by Kelsey Chatlosh, Fulbright scholar and Doctoral candidate in cultural anthropology and the CUNY Graduate Center, exploring Wynter’s concept of “genres of being human”.
Recommended Further Reading
- David R. Roediger, “Historical Foundations of Race,” The National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian, Washington, DC.
- Kathryn Yusoff, “White Utopia/Black Inferno: Life on a Geologic Spike,” e-flux Journal, Issue #97, February 2019
- Andrea Macdonald, “Intersectionality: What it means, how to use it, and why to care in 2020,” Toronto Star, March 8th, 2020.
The Canadian Context
While this module and resource as a whole focuses on the global systems that shape our contemporary reality, we are situated on Turtle Island in the territories now known as Canada. This section focuses on the experience of Racial Capitalism and Colonialism in the Canadian context. You will find reference to Canada throughout this pressbook in efforts to demonstrate how these global systems and crises shape our local context.
For Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation the Onaman Collective created the video below with Poem and Narration by Christi Belcourt (2 minutes).
El Jones, poet, journalist, scholar and activist, recites an original spoken word poem Canada is So Polite (5 minutes).
CBC News feature “What systemic racism in Canada looks like” (10 minutes).
WION Channel’s feature on “Canada’s cultural genocide unearthed” (5 minutes).
CBC Doc on residential schools, Sarain Fox gathers stories from her auntie and matriarch, Mary Bell (44 minutes).
Historica’s feature on “Africville: The Black Community bulldozed by the city of Halifax,” (2 minutes).
CBC docs POV “The Skin We’re In: Pulling back the curtain on racism in Canada,” featuring Desmond Cole (44 minutes).
Recommend further reading
- Liam Midzain-Gobin, Heather Smith, “Not in the past: Colonialism is rooted in the present,” The Conversation, March 28, 2021
- Kyle G. Brown, “Canada’s slavery secret: The whitewashing of 200 years of enslavement,” CBC Radio Ideas, February 18, 2019
- Vince Wong and Kennes Lin, “The racist history of Chinese labour in Canada shows not much has changed. Deemed essential, but still invisible,” Toronto Star, September 1, 2021
- Neil Price, “It’s time to re-think what it means to be Black in Canada,” Now Toronto, July 15 2019 (focus on book BlackLife by authors Rinaldo Walcott and Idil Abdillahi)
- Yellowhead Institute, Land Back (October 2019) and Cash Back (May 2021)
- Chapter “Multiculturalism and Myth-Making in Canada” from the pressbook Canadian Settlement in Action: History and Future by Alexandru Caldararu, Julie Clements, Rennais Gayle, Christina Hamer, and Maria MacMinn Varvos