Black Professors Talking About Teaching, Researching and Learning While Black in Canadian Academy

May 2022

A book launch for the recently published book Nuances of Blackness in the Canadian Academy: Teaching, Learning, and Researching while Black (University of Toronto Press, 2022). The event was hosted by the Equitable Leadership Network of the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa.


Book Description

The essays in Nuances of Blackness in the Canadian Academy make visible the submerged stories of Black life in academia. They offer fresh historical, social, and cultural insights into what it means to teach, learn, research, and work while Black.

In daring to shift from margin to centre, the book’s contributors confront two overlapping themes. First, they resist a singular construction of Blackness that masks the nuances and multiplicity of what it means to be and experience the academy as Black people. Second, they challenge the stubborn durability of anti-Black tropes, the dehumanization of Blackness, persistent deficit ideologies, and the tyranny of low expectations that permeate the dominant idea of Blackness in the white colonial imagination.

Operating at the intersections of discourse and experience, contributors reflect on how Blackness shapes academic pathways, ignites complicated and often difficult conversations, and reimagines Black pasts, presents, and futures. This unique collection contributes to the articulation of more nuanced understandings of the ways in which Blackness is made, unmade, and remade in the academy and the implications for interrelated dynamics across and within post-secondary education, Black communities in Canada, and global Black diasporas.


Awad Ibrahim is a professor and curriculum theorist in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa.

Tamari Kitossa is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Brock University.

Malinda S. Smith is the inaugural vice-provost of equity, diversity, and inclusion and a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary.

Handel K. Wright is the inaugural senior advisor to the president on anti-racism and inclusive excellence; the director of the Centre for Culture, Identity, and Education; and a professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia.

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