"Killing us softly with questions" in The Nuances of Blackness
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.
Annette Henry is a Professor in the University of British Columbia’s Department of Language and Literacy Education. Her teaching and research include antiracist and anti-colonial pedagogies; Black feminist pedagogies; Teaching Caribbean students; teacher education; and critical oral histories.
Other publications from this author include:
- "What folks don't get: How race, class and gender matter" in Colour Matters (2020)
- "'We especially welcome applications from visible minorities': Reflections on race, gender and life at three universities" in Race, Ethnicity and Education, 18 (5), 589–610 (2019)
- "Standing firm on uneven ground: A letter to Black women on academic leadership" in African Canadian Leadership. Continuity, Transition and Transformation (2019)
- "Diasporic reasoning, affect, memory and cultural politics: An interview with Avtar Brah" in Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 36 (2), 243–263. (2015)
- "Reflection: Groundings – A framework for educational inquiry" in Afrocentric practice and education for human freedom: The through the years I keep on toiling: The selected works of Joyce E. King, 19–21 (2015)
- Critical Youth Studies Reader (2014)
- Taking Back Control: African Canadian Women Teachers' Lives and Practice (1998)