This event was very insightful and the open dialogue about the racial repression of black people in the Americas resonated with me deeply. Being a black male who has faced many experiences of racial prejudice from law enforcement and both black and white Canadians, Compton gave me the opportunity to analyze these experiences more critically. His distinction between intellectual anti-racism and embodied anti-racism was very profound. The dialogue of anti-racism opened up in an academic institution demonstrates that very commitment to intellectual anti-racism. I also greatly appreciated Compton’s work in commemorating Canada’s black arts history and monuments. His discussion of significant black communities, such as Hogan’s Alley in Vancouver and Africville in Nova Scotia, was very enlightening for me as a resident of Toronto. Not a lot of people have that wider knowledge about Black Canadian history. Compton also highlighted the many unlawful deaths of black males by police officers in the Americas, which also resonated with me. Racial profiling has created the stigma that has become internalized—not only in white communities but also in black communities—that it is normal to express bias and prejudice against certain racialized groups. As the dialogue continues in other lectures and discussions, I look forward to analyzing these social issues more critically.
By Kareem Bennett, Student in HUMA 1300, Cultures of Resistance in the Americas
Photo credits: Niloofar Abedzadeh, Work Study Student in the Department of Humanities