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We Are the Roots: Black Settlers and their Experiences of Discrimination on the Canadian Prairies. Film viewing with Dr. David Este

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We Are the Roots: Black Settlers and their Experiences of Discrimination on the Canadian Prairies. Dr. Jenna Bailey and Dr. David Este with Jeff Allen Productions

Many people have conceptualized Canada as the idyllic escape from racial discrimination in the United States. We Are the Roots: Black Settlers and their Experiences of Discrimination on the Canadian Prairies builds on the effort to dismantle the misconceptions about African Americans reaching utopian societies as they moved farther north. The film confronts this myth about Canada with the lived experiences of blacks who settles here from the early 1900’s to the present. As a film rather than a book, this project forces its audience to connect with its narrators and makes black Canadians inescapably visible. It visually asserts that these communities’ stories are part of Canada’s history and that these people are Canadian, nor foreigners. We Are the Roots uses oral histories to make it clear that Canada cannot move forward without acknowledging and understanding all of its past.

Anna F. Kaplan

American University

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