Racialized Reading List

The following list was developed by the BSW Racialized Caucus 2021-22, to be utilized by faculty, administrators and students to educate themselves on complex topics of racialization that extend beyond white-centric concepts such as white supremacy and whiteness. Included are academic journal articles, books, local resources, and videos.

On Intersectionality:

Kimberle Crenshaw, Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics, 1989 U. CHI. LEGAL F. 139 (1989).

● The original writing on intersectionality. Introduces the concept of intersectionality in the context of Black women and the protection of their legal rights. Illustrates how gender (identity) and race are often treated as mutually exclusive identities in legal and social policy frameworks.

Moore, K. (2016). Living liminal: Reflexive epistemological positioning at the intersection of marginalized identities. Qualitative Social Work, 15(5–6), 715–726. https://doi.org/10.1177/1473325016652681

● Explores the author’s experience as a biracial woman in social work and how her experience living in the margins has helped her to understand a variety of marginalized identities.

African-Canadian History:

Page 9-11 of Hogarth, K., & Fletcher, W. L. (2018). A space for race: Decoding racism, multiculturalism, and post-colonialism in the quest for belonging in Canada and beyond. Oxford University Press, Incorporated.

● Presents the case for an allyship between Indigenous folks and Black Canadians, two communities who have been disproportionately affected by colonial structures. Defines what it means to settle in Canada for Black folks, many of
whom have ancestors that did not come here by choice.

Black Strathcona website. http://blackstrathcona.com/

● Details the historical Black figures and spaces in the Strathcona neighbourhood of Vancouver which was once a hub of the community prior to its collapse in the 1970s

Este, D., Sato, C., & McKenna, D. (2017). THE COLOURED WOMEN’S CLUB OF MONTREAL, 1902-1940: African-Canadian women confronting anti-black racism. Canadian Social Work Review, 34(1), 81-99. Retrieved from

● Details the under acknowledged contributions of Afro-Canadians, specifically Black women, to the establishment of social welfare in Canada. The authors focus on the work of the Coloured Women’s Club of Montreal during the first half of the 20th Century.

Black lives matter, Vancouver calls on the city to dismantle systems of violence and oppression. (2020). BC Studies, (207), 7-10. https://blacklivesmattervancouver.com/vancouver-dismantle-systems-of-violence/

● Black Lives Matter Vancouver’s press release following the murder of George Floyd. Asserts that the Vancouver Police Department and City of Vancouver are complicit in anti-Black racism and furthering harm against marginalized
communities. Criticizes the belief that anti-Blackness is an American issue and contains calls to action for the city to repair harms to Black residents.

Leslie Sanders (2019) “‘Maybe this wide country’: African Canadian Writing and the Poetics of Space”, Women’s Studies, 48:6, 610-625, DOI: 10.1080/00497878.2019.1671123

● Discusses the difficulty of African-Canadian identity through examination of poetry by Black Canadian authors. Dominant themes include the invisibility and historical erasure of Black Canadians. Discusses Black diasporas in Canada’s history, including BC, and notes why Black communities left Vancouver after the destruction of Hogan’s Alley.

Social Work Education:

Canadian Association for Social Work Education. (2020). ADDRESSING ANTI-BLACK RACISM IN SOCIAL WORK.

● Acknowledges the legitimate threat of anti-Black racism in social work education and practice. Details a motion to counter anti-black racism in Canadian social work schools, which includes the development of curriculum regarding Black experiences and anti-Black racism as well as hiring Black professors.

Ladhani, S., & Sitter, K. C. (2020). The Revival of Anti-Racism : Considerations for Social Work Education. Critical Social Work, 21(1), 54–65. https://doi.org/10.22329/csw.v21i1.6227

● Ladhani & Sitter offer a critique of the shift from anti-racist to anti-oppressive social work practice, citing that race is a fundamental axis of oppression that should be prioritized in social work education.

Social Work Practice:

Badwall, H. (2014). Colonial Encounters: Racialized Social Workers Negotiating Professional Scripts of Whiteness. Intersectionalities: A Global Journal Of Social Work Analysis, Research, Polity, And Practice, 3(1), 1–23. Retrieved from

● Badwell explores how racialized social workers grapple with conflict between their values and the white, westernized field of social work. She also focuses on the experiences of racism and othering that racialized social workers face in a role that has been historically white.

Bernard, W. T. & Smith, H. (2018). INJUSTICE, JUSTICE, AND AFRICENTRIC PRACTICE IN CANADA. Canadian Social Work Review / Revue canadienne de service social, 35(1), 149–157. https://doi.org/10.7202/1051108ar

● Acknowledges the historical and current systemic oppression of Black Canadians while critiquing Canada’s “colourblind” approach to Black issues. Discusses the overrepresentation of Black Canadians in the criminal justice system, and the school-to-prison pipeline. Makes recommendations for policy and practice that are in line with Africentric views (importance of community, collective and spirituality).

Beverly-Jean, D., & Jean-Pierre, J. (2020). RE-IMAGINING CHILD AND YOUTH CARE PRACTICE WITH AFRICAN CANADIAN YOUTH. International Journal of Child, Youth & Family Studies, 11(2), 25-39.  http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/10.18357/ijcyfs112202019517

● Addresses the overrepresentation of Black children and families in Canadian foster care and social services as well as the presence of racial stereotypes and systemic racism within these institutions. The authors assert that racism is a form of trauma and there is a need for trauma-informed spaces for Black children and youth.

Francis, J., & Yan, M. (2016). Bridging the gaps: Access to formal support services among young African immigrants and refugees in Metro Vancouver. Canadian Ethnic Studies, 48(1), 77-100. http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/10.1353/ces.2016.0010

● Explores the population of African newcomer youth in Vancouver and their unique needs which remain unaddressed by the community’s social services.

Huber, L. P., & Solorzano, D. G. (2018). Teaching racial microaggressions: implications of critical race hypos for social work praxis, Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 27:1, 54-71, DOI: 10.1080/15313204.2017.1417944

● Explores the presence and impact of racial microaggressions in the everyday lives of racialized people. Utilizes an example of a social work course engaging in critical discussion surrounding racial microaggressions and how to approach teaching about them in the social work context.

Miehls, D. The Interface of Racial Identity Development with Identity Complexity in Clinical Social Work Student Practitioners. Clinical Social Work Journal 29, 229–244 (2001). https://doi-org.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/10.1023/A:1010455611776

● This article discusses the racial identities of social work students – white and racialized – and their impact upon the development of social workers’ identities. I personally find this reading important as it emphasizes the identities and experiences of racialized social work students as a means of inviting open dialogue about race and allowing all students to learn. This is in contrast to the common standard of courses focusing on white supremacy or discrediting whiteness, which in many racialized students’ experiences, seems to only benefit white students.

Santiago, A. M., & Ivery J. (2020). Removing the knees from their necks: Mobilizing community practice and social action for racial justice, Journal of Community Practice, 28(3), 195-207, DOI: 10.1080/10705422.2020.1823672

● Explores the systemic racism that Black, brown, and Indigenous folks face and examines the role of social work, asking: is social work inherently racist? As social workers often operate alongside systems of oppression such as law enforcement, medical, child protection and more, social workers are agents of control with power over marginalized folks. This article illustrates how one can adopt an anti-racist framework in social work.

Smith, L. H. (2021). Frantz Fanon’s revolutionary contribution: An attitude of Decoloniality as critical pedagogy for social work. In The Routledge Handbook of Critical Pedagogies for Social Work (1st ed., pp. 399–411). essay, Routledge. Retrieved from

● Discusses the importance of Frantz Fanon’s work and its impact on social work pedagogy, as it examined the oppressive, colonial power dynamics that structure society. This reading is very relevant to the UBC Social Work program as it expands the impact of colonialism beyond the lens of Indigeneity to Blackness as well. Not only do we need to decolonize our society and our practice with regard to Indigenous folks, but also Black folks as well.

Racialization and Systems of Oppression:

Davis, A. Y. (2003). Are prisons obsolete? Seven Stories Press. https://www.feministes-radicales.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Angela-Davis-Are_Prisons_Obsolete.pdf

● A relatively short book on the harms of prison in the modern context, including the prison industrial complex, the link between racism and criminal justice, and gendered experiences of incarceration. Davis, a Black woman and pioneer of prison abolitionist theory, offers means to radically reconstruct our society so we may no longer depend on incarceration.

Chapter 3 of W. E. B. DuBois’ The Souls of Black Folk. (1903) https://www.gutenberg.org/files/408/408-h/408-h.htm

● Extremely relevant despite its release date, The Souls of Black Folk is the first true sociological publication on the experience of African Americans. Critiques the incremental approach to social justice/black liberation led by Booker T. Washington. Asserts that oppressors are unwilling to surrender power, so incremental change will never result in the absolute liberation of black people in America; they will always be treated as second-class citizens unless power is seized.

Stovall, D. (2018). Are We Ready for ‘School’ Abolition?: Thoughts and Practices of Radical Imaginary in Education. Taboo: The Journal of Culture and Education, 17 (1). https://doi.org/10.31390/taboo.17.1.06

Chapter VII (page 101) of Kwame Ture (formerly Stokely Carmichael) & Charles V. Hamilton’s Black Power: Politics of Liberation in America. (1967). https://mygaryislike.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/black-power-kwame-ture-and-charles-hamilton.pdf

● Chapter 7, “Dynamite in the Ghetto,” illustrates the way inner city America has been constructed to keep Black people economically oppressed. Applicable to urbanized settings in Canada as well.

Palestinian Rights:

Akesson, Bree. (2014). Contradictions in place: Everyday geographies of Palestinian children and families living under occupation.

● Akesson presents a social work dissertation analyzing the geographies of the intimate spaces of Palestinian life and their contradictory nature; for example, home as both a castle and a cage. She presents recommendations for social work
practice with Palestinians based on her findings.

Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (UBC Club)

● Shaimaa Hourani

https://fb.watch/8T61fJ0CLw/ A UBC student shares her experience as a Palestinian who has lived under Israeli occupation for much of her life, which greatly affects everyday life – even going for a walk. She discusses the hardships Palestinians face, the rights they are denied, and the importance of preserving their culture.

● Omar Khader

https://www.facebook.com/ubcsphr/videos/247648496126552 A UBC student shares his family’s experience as refugees from Palestine and their struggles to return to their homeland due to passport and visa restrictions.

● Hanan Dudin

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2457610394479195 A UBC student shares the symbolism of the key in Palestinian culture as an emblem of sovereignty over their homeland and the hope they will be able to return.


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