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The Skin We're In

Paperback Book
Doubleday Canada
August, 2022
$19.95 CAD
Publisher’s Description: 
In the tradition of Ta-Nehisi Coates, a bracing, provocative and perspective-shifting book from one of Canada’s most celebrated and uncompromising writers, Desmond Cole.

In May 2015, the cover story of Toronto Life magazine shook Canada’s largest city to its core. Desmond Cole’s “The Skin I’m In” exposed the racist practices of the Toronto police force, detailing the dozens of times Cole had been stopped and interrogated under the controversial practice of carding. The story came to national prominence, won a number of National Magazine Awards and catapulted Cole into the public sphere. Cole used his newfound profile to draw insistent, unyielding attention to the injustices faced by Black Canadians on a daily basis.

Both Cole’s activism and journalism find vibrant expression in this book. Puncturing the bubble of Canadian smugness and naïve assumptions of a post-racial nation, Cole chronicles just one year in the struggle against racism in Canada. A year of Cole’s unwavering determination to combat injustice and the profound personal and professional ramifications of doing so.

In a month-by-month chronicle, Cole locates the deep cultural, historical and political roots of each event throughout the year. What emerges is a personal, painful and comprehensive picture of an entrenched, systemic inequality. Urgent, controversial and unsparingly honest, The Skin We’re In is destined to become a vital text for anti-racist and social justice movements in Canada, as well as a potent antidote to the all-too-present complacency of many white Canadians.

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