The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole

In his 2015 cover story for Toronto Life magazine, Desmond Cole exposed the racist actions of the Toronto police force, detailing the dozens of times he had been stopped and interrogated under the controversial practice of carding. The story quickly came to national prominence, shaking the country to its core and catapulting its author 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. 

His book, The Skin We’re In further expands a month-by-month, comprehensive picture of entrenched, systemic inequality. Urgent, controversial, and unsparingly honest, The Skin We’re In is a vital text for anti-racist and social justice movements and highlights how prevelant racism is outside of the USA.  

A few notable quotes:

  • “it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy—white settlers deny Black communities the necessities of life, then blame us for the social dysfunction that follows.” ― Desmond Cole
  • “White supremacy encourages the people it benefits to create their own parallel universe, their own set of facts and explanations about the existence of and prevalence of racism. Even as white people insist that “no one really knows what happened”, they can immediately share an explanation that eases their anxiety and shame.” ― Desmond Cole

The act of being an Ally to BIPOC requires an active, consistent, and arduous practice of unlearning and re-evaluating to work to end oppressions in solidarity with BIPOC who are systemically disempowered. Never stop learning.