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Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present

Robyn Maynard

Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present


Delving behind Canada’s veneer of multiculturalism and tolerance, Policing Black Lives traces the violent realities of anti-blackness from the slave ships to prisons, classrooms and beyond. Robyn Maynard provides readers with the first comprehensive account of over four hundred years of state-sanctioned surveillance, criminalization and punishment of Black lives in Canada.

While highlighting the ubiquity of Black resistance, Policing Black Lives traces the still-living legacy of slavery across multiple institutions, shedding light on the state’s role in perpetuating contemporary Black poverty and unemployment, racial profiling, law enforcement violence, incarceration, immigration detention, deportation, exploitative migrant labour practices, disproportionate child removal and low graduation rates.

Emerging from a critical race feminist framework that insists that all Black lives matter, Maynard’s intersectional approach to anti-Black racism addresses the unique and understudied impacts of state violence as it is experienced by Black women, Black people with disabilities, as well as queer, trans, and undocumented Black communities.

A call-to-action, Policing Black Lives urges readers to work toward dismantling structures of racial domination and re-imagining a more just society.


• Introduction
• Devaluing Black Life, Demonizing Black Bodies: Anti-Blackness from Slavery to Segregation
• The Dark Side of Multiculturalism: (Re)producing Black Economic Subjugations
• Arrested (In)justice: From the Streets to the Prison
• From Containment to Banishment: Black Bodies and Border Regulation
• Misogynoir in Canada: Articulations of State Violence Against Black Women
• Black Women’s Stories: Racial Profiling and Law Enforcement Violence
• The (Mis)education of Black Youth
• Black Youth in Care: State Neglect, “Protection” and Punishment
• Conclusion: From “Woke” to Free: Imagining Black Futures
• References
• Index

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