What These Canadians Are Doing Is Actually Accepted

March 12, 2019

Many believe Canada, a country that welcomed enslaved people to enjoy freedom within its borders, has never struggled with racist foolishness.

In reality, when minstrel troupes in blackface came to town, Canadians not only let it slide, they enthusiastically sat front row.

Schools, charities and even the police would use touring blackface minstrel shows - dating back to the 1850s on into the 1960s - as prime entertainment for their celebrations and fundraisers.

In modern times, McGill University researchers grew so sick of people popping up on college campuses and in the media, costumed in shameful blackface, that they decided something different had to be done.

McGill created the Arts Against PostRacialism (AAPR) program to help young people “raise the level of critical dialogue about blackface” on their campuses and to support “those negatively impacted by blackface.”

The program prioritizes research and safe spaces for dialogue that reminds a population - who embraces the dehumanization and stereotyping of Black people as “harmless fun” - that these caricatures of real people do hurt.

The project’s goal is to keep apathy low and awareness high amongst the general population.

Ultimately, their documentation and outspoken platform create strong resistance to the practice of Canadian blackface and erase any notion that we’ve moved into a “postracial” era where racist behavior doesn’t exist nor need to be frequently denounced.

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