University of Alberta
Black Canadians: History, Presence, and Anti-Racist Futures
University of Alberta

Black Canadians: History, Presence, and Anti-Racist Futures

Taught in English


Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals

Dr. W. Andy Knight

Instructor: Dr. W. Andy Knight


(24 reviews)

Beginner level
No prior experience required
8 hours to complete
3 weeks at 2 hours a week
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace

What you'll learn

  • To recognize the scope of anti-Black violence and erasure in Canada's past and present.

  • To clarify the struggles for liberation undertaken by Black Canadians and celebrate their contributions to human rights and anti-racist practices.

  • To meaningfully heed Black-led calls in imagining anti-racist futures.

Details to know

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February 2024


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There are 4 modules in this course

In this module, we will explore the relationship between race, colonialism, and the institution of slavery, as practiced in France, Britain, and their colonies, including Canada, during the 18th and 19th centuries. By looking at some of the ways racism in general — and anti-Black racism in particular — was fundamental to the economic and colonial ambitions of Britain and France, we will see how racist legislation set the scene for slavery to be practiced throughout the Americas and the Caribbean. By the end of the module, we will be prepared to reflect upon how the practices of colonialism in the European colonies depended upon racism and slavery for their success, and how this racism was not only present but pervasive in the land that would become known as Canada.

What's included

10 readings1 quiz

In this module, we will examine nearly 200 years of Black migration into Canada. By detailing the successes, struggles and motivations of The Black Loyalists, the Maroons, and some of the earliest Black settlements in Canada, we learn how racism and government policy were combined to limit the growth of Black communities. Then we take a brief look at the ways shifting Canadian immigration policies made room for the era of multiculturalism, which still meaningfully guides life in Canada today. Finally, we’ll be prompted to reflect on the value and richness of Canadian multiculturalism while thinking critically about its limitations. Knowledge is power! It can spur us on to action, activism and transformation.

What's included

8 readings1 quiz

In this module we will remember, celebrate and learn from important moments of civil resistance within Black Canadian history. We will explore a few of the strategies Black people in Canada have used to push back against mistreatment, and how these actions have set precedents which have changed the shape of Canada, socially and legally.

What's included

10 readings1 quiz

In this module we look at some of the ways the creativity and artistry of Black Canadians has helped document Black Canadian life, and clarify the paths toward liberation. Through a close and joyful look at jazz, hip-hop, folk and poetry, we will come to terms with some of the ways Black Canadians have learned to freedom-dream through artistry.

What's included

9 readings1 quiz


Instructor ratings
4.9 (14 ratings)
Dr. W. Andy Knight
University of Alberta
1 Course1,475 learners

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