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Book Reviews

covers of 6 books which are listed below


Conflict, Crisis and Accountability: Law Enforcement and Racial Profiling in Canada (2007)

Anti-Racism in Education: Missing in Action (2010)

Pluralism in the Arts in Canada: A Change is Gonna Come (2012)

The Dirty War: The Making of the Myth of Black Dangerousness (2014)


Book Chapters

Introduction. Gayle MacDonald, Rachel Osborne and Charles C. Smith, Eds. Feminism, Law, Inclusion: Intersectionality in Action (2005)

Racial Profiling in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. In: Carol Tator and Frances Henry, Eds. Racial Profiling in Canada (2006)

Boarders and Exclusions: Racial Profiling in the New World. Vijay Agnew, Ed. Interrogating Race and Racism (2007)



Reviews for: Conflict, Crisis and Accountability: Law Enforcement and Racial Profiling in Canada (2007) 

The book is a real treasure trove of information – historical and contemporary - of the relationship between the Canadian state and Canadian racialized minorities. The author explores effectively the impact of that convergence and the use of common strategies and tools of the trade, justified by the same logic of broad-brush distinctions and assumptions of proclivity to criminal behaviour based on racial and religious affiliations.
Grace-Edward Galabuzi
Associate Professor, Ryerson University, Department of Politics and Public Administration

Conflict, Crisis and Accountability is essential reading about racial profiling, and is engaging, sensitive, politically astute, and well documented. It focuses on the “hostile interactions between law enforcement/security services and individuals from racialized groups,” and exposes in extensive detail the permanence of a state of crisis in the everyday reality of Aboriginal and racialized persons--a crisis only exacerbated by racial profiling. The author offers a glimmer of hope when he cites the various efforts to change the institutional values and practices of law enforcement institutions, and to influence the behaviours of individual officers.
Ayman Al-Yassini
then Executive Director, Canadian Race Relations Foundation

Racial profiling contributes to mistrust, alienation and a diminished sense of citizenship and, as Ontario Chief Justice Roy McMurtry recently warned, threatens to undermine both the perceived and substantive equality of Canada's Aboriginal and immigrant/ethnic communities. Now, with this comprehensive research into racial profiling, Charles C. Smith adds to the growing call for acknowledgement of the problem, along with policy initiatives to reverse this harmful trend.
Sheema Khan
Globe and Mail Columnist

My congratulations on this comprehensive, compelling account of the socially destructive role that racial bias plays in law enforcement. [This] book is a strong, thoroughly documented statement. I hope [it] gets the notice it deserves.
Herb Jenkins
Emeritus Professor of Psychology
McMaster University


Reviews for: Anti-Racism in Education: Missing in Action (2010) 

[This book] addresses the needs across the educational spectrum, from primary school up to and including university, and addresses the direct link to our workplaces and to ongoing issues of societal and institutional racism. It also looks at the relationship between education and other systems in which racialized and Aboriginal peoples face ongoing challenges, e.g., Children’s Aid societies and law enforcement.
With sections looking at the history of anti-racism in schools and society, with particular focus on Indigenous issues and Afrocentric pedagogies, and providing through- out an examination of intersectional issues of race, class, gender, sexual orientation and disabilities, this book brilliantly navigates the waters we need to cross in order to engage our students and enable them to be engaged in our communities and workplaces as knowledgeable and active agents for change.
George J. Sefa Dei
Professor of Sociology and Equity Studies
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto (OISE/UT)

Timely. Challenging. Long-awaited. Necessary. These are the words that come to mind when I look at this publication. In Ontario, we've been waiting for a publication like this that speaks to the issues and needs of our members, students in our schools, parents and school systems across the province. Like the rest of Canada, our population and student demographics are changing and it is imperative for us to be able to provide learning environments that meet their needs and offer perspectives on Canadian society that are informative and potentially transformative.
Domenic Bellisimo
Staff Liaison to the Provincial Human Rights Committee
Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation


Reviews for: Pluralism in the Arts in Canada: A Change is Gonna Come (2012) 

This is a timely book. There has been so much change in the Canadian cultural landscape, especially in the performing arts. When I first started Red Sky Performance, I looked for dialogue around diversity and artistic expression, form, and performance. It is now exciting to see the increasing activity by Indigenous artists, people of colour, immigrants and new generation peoples who were (and perhaps still are) considered marginal in their communities and in public spaces where performance takes place. This book captures some of the key moments of this exciting growing dialogue. I've participated as a panelist in two CPAMO sessions with presenters and other artists. Such forums have been very helpful to creating understanding between and enhancing the relationship between presenters and artists. Well done! We need to continue this and align ourselves with an exciting future in the performing arts.
Sandra Laronde
Artistic Director Red Sky Performance


As Artistic Director of Sampradaya Dance Creations, I have been active in planning and presenting at CPAMO sessions. I've also had the privilege to have my company perform at the first CPAMO Town Hall. CPAMO is an important project, one which has breathed life into the dialogue between Aboriginal and ethno-racial artists and presenters. It is clearly a sign of the future and an important marker in the rapidly changing world of the performing arts. This book, then, is an important contribution - both because it chronicles a contemporary dialogue and points in the direction the performing arts must go. Yes, as the title of the book suggests, 'a change is gonna come'.
Lata Pada C.M.
Artistic Director, Sampradaya Dance Creations


At long last! For the last five years, the Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement in Ontario (CPAMO) has worked closely with a select group of presenters within the Community Cultural Impresarios (CCI) Ontario Presenting Network. This collaboration created a context in which artists (particularly Aboriginal, people of colour, immigrants and others) have been able to meet with and speak directly to presenters about inclusive community building. At the same time, presenters have been able to speak about the challenges they face, risks they take, and successes they achieve in bringing diverse cultural expression to their stages. The CPAMO process has opened and needs to continue to keep this dialogue alive.
Warren Garrett
Executive Director, Community Cultural Impresarios



Reviews for: The Dirty War: The Making of the Myth of Black Dangerousness (2014) 


The Dirty War is an important book In reviewing 9it0, I was astounded at the comparisons, in the experience of Black peoples in North America, particularly in Canada, over a number of centuries. When looking at how it compares what happened in the 1800s or early 1900s in Canada to that is transpiring today, it is sad and stunning to see the similarities in life outcomes and the regards of social institutions and Whitle communities to the presence of Blackness. As such, this is a difficult book to read... but a must.
Erika Shaker
National Office Director, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives