For a time when he was young, Stephen Dorsey never thought of himself as “the black kid”.
“I was just Stephen Dorsey,” he said. “But as I got older I realized that I was actually a black man and that’s how most people see me, and because of that there were headwinds and I experienced the individual and systemic racism.
Dorsey spoke to CTV’s Your Morning on Tuesday about his new book“Black and White: An Intimate, Cross-Cultural Perspective on White Advantage and Pathways to Change.”
It comes as Canada marks the start of black history monththis year’s theme being “February and Forever: Celebrating Black History Today and Everyday”.
Coming in some sort of wake-up call after the murder of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer in 2020, sparking protests around the world, Dorsey says he wanted to know what his place was in everything. that and what it might bring to the table.
The end result was his book, which explores his own upbringing and the duality of being a biracial child, born in Montreal to a white French-Canadian mother and a black American father and later growing up with a stepfather. racist.
In addition to examining the white “advantage” as well as systemic racism and the Black Lives Matter movement in her book, Dorsey says there is a mythology in Canada that “all bad things” happen in the United States. .
“Slavery was real here in Canada and so many other things,” he said, adding that people need to educate themselves and take action to deliberately move toward change, and that starts in the community.
“We see small signs of progress here and there, but we need a lot more and we need a lot of reform to get rid of systemic racism and inequality in this country.”
Appearing on CTV News Channel on Tuesday, Roxanne Francis of Francis Psychotherapy in Ajax, Ontario, says that when it comes to teaching diversity at home, parents can focus on the contributions to society of different Canadians.
This can include reading books and watching TV shows and movies with various characters, buying toys representative of different communities, and attending festivals celebrating different traditions.
This exposure will help children develop a level of empathy, Francis says, and prevent children from being shunned or called names in the classroom or on school playgrounds.
“We need to talk about different cultures, different lifestyles, different food, festivities, and just let our kids know that everyone is important and everyone can contribute, and it’s important to having different people in our circles,” Francis said.