How Canada’s education system is perpetuating anti-Black racism

As discussions on Black rights continuously find their way to mainstream media, I often find myself hopeful that changes will be made to end racial inequity in Canada’s education system.

As a Black woman pursuing her post-secondary education, I have experienced how Canada’s education system enforces white supremacy by ignoring the history and talent of its Black students. Deep rooted into the nation’s education system, this racial inequity is forcing Black students to drop out at higher rates than their white classmates and deterring them from pursuing a post-secondary education.

Canada supports a Eurocentric curriculum founded on the principles of colonialism that continues to teach our students that Black, Indigenous and minority lives are not worth learning about. Mandatory history classes focus on Western history and students are lucky if their school offers optional Indigenous or Black history studies.

Black students like myself work awfully hard and have great aspirations but are taught that we cannot be successful. Ninety-four per cent of Black youth aged 15-25 want to get a bachelor’s degree or higher but only 60 per cent believe they can. While we cannot ignore economic disparities that the Black community faces, we must recognize that Black students are being pushed into applied classes at significantly higher rates than other students. A 2015 report showed that students taking applied courses in Grade 9 are far less likely to go to university.

Ontario’s anti-racism strategic plan  and the efforts of the Black Lives Matter movement continue to fool me into believing that change will be made and that Black students will be given the same opportunities as their white counterparts. Unless a change is made, white supremacy and anti-Black racism taught in our schools will continue to contribute to our nation’s racism and inequality.

6 thoughts on “How Canada’s education system is perpetuating anti-Black racism

  1. At a very young and therefore impressionable age, I was emphatically told by my mother (who’s of Eastern European heritage) about the exceptionally kind and caring nature of our Black family doctor. She never had anything disdainful to say about people of color; in fact she loves to watch/listen to the Middle Eastern and Indian subcontinental dancers and musicians on the multicultural channels. This had a positive effect upon me. Had she (for whatever reason) told me the opposite about the doctor, however, I could have aged while blindly linking his color with an unjustly cynical view of him and, eventually, all Black people.

    Some people — who may now be in an armed authority capacity — were raised with a distrust or blind dislike of other racial groups.

    The first step towards changing our irrationally biased thinking can be our awareness of it and its origin. But until then, I believe, such biased sentiments should either be kept to oneself or counselled, especially when considering the mentality is easily inflamed by anger.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also believe that introducing children to different cultures is very important. It is unfortunate that more families don’t see the value in such. Under the assumption that not all families will do so, I think it should also be the school board’s responsibility to introduce concepts of race and encourage students to embrace different cultures. Thank you for posting this, I very much agree with you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree with your school-curriculum concept. (I’d go even further: Since so much of our mental health comes from our childhood experiences, I would like to see child-development science curriculum implemented for secondary high school; and, ideally, it would include some psychology and neurodiversity lessons, albeit not overly complicated.)

        Liked by 1 person

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