The Black Canadian Experience

The Black Canadian Experience


This assignment has 2-steps:

Step 1: Watch the short video: Ice Breakers

Step 2: Carefully read the assignment question.


Black Canadians have lived in Canada for 400 years and 20 generations — from the arrival of Mathieu Da Costa in the early 17th century and Black Empire Loyalists through the Underground Railroad, to the modern immigration waves from the global south.

But in a Canada where racial disparities, anti-Black racism and systemic discrimination are so entrenched, what does it mean to be Black in Canada today? What is the Black Canadian experience?

Canada is embarking on the first national research initiative on Blackness in Canada. At Canada’s third largest racialized group, Black people have made tremendous contributions to the growth, development and profess of this country.

The Blackness in Canada project will pioneer a research approach that centers Black voices by combining traditional survey techniques with new digital and social media tools. The survey will be driven by contributions from respondents. This approach positions Black community narratives at the Centre of public sector discussions to gain a better understanding of their unique experiences and ensure supports and services are relevant.

The project is also co-sponsored by the Multicultural History Society of Ontario (MHSO), Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and York’s faculty of liberal arts and professional studies.

Step 1: Watch 15 minute video: Ice Breakers

Josh Crooks is a promising teen hockey star in a sport where Black Canadian players like him are chronically underrepresented. Ice Breakers (2020) reveals the buried history of a pioneering Black hockey league in Atlantic Canada, as Crooks discovers that his unshakable passion is tied to a rich and remarkable heritage.

Ice Breakers from National Film Board of Canada on Vimeo;https://vimeo.com/thenfb/icebreakers

Step 2: Online Activity #2 Question:

Make use of the sociological imagination and describe how 1 of the 4 major sociological perspectives view Josh Crooks’ experience as a Black Canadian hockey player in Canada.

Terms of Reference:

Wright Mills defined sociological imagination as “the awareness of the relationship between personal experience and the wider society”.
The functionalist perspective sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability. This approach looks at society through a macro-level orientation and broadly focuses on the social structures that shape society as a whole.
The conflict perspective sees social life as a competition, and focuses on the distribution of resources, power, and inequality. Unlike functionalist theory, conflict theory is better at explaining social change, and weaker at explaining social stability.
Symbolic interactionism is a micro-level theory that focuses on the relationships among individuals within a society. Communication—the exchange of meaning through language and symbols—is believed to be the way in which people make sense of their social world.
Feminism, by definition, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the social, political and economic equality of the sexes. After observing the gender stereotypes that infiltrate our society.

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