Truth spoken plainly and powerfully is difficult to dismiss and impossible to ignore. Edited with purpose by Greg Frankson, AfriCANthology: Perspectives of Black Canadian Poets brings together some of Canada”s most influential dub, page, and spoken word poetic voices and gives them space to speak freely about their personal journeys in piercing verse and unapologetic prose. Just as individual experiences of Blackness are diverse across Canada, each contributor recounts aspects of navigating their unique personal, professional, and artistic paths in Black skin with fearless candour and audacious forthrightness. Unforgettable in its charged emotional potency and stirring in its unrelenting urgency, AfriCANthology: Perspectives of Black Canadian Poets is a stunning tour de force by a celebrated gathering of truthtellers that demands we comprehensively reassess the present and reimagine the future of Blackness in Canada.
WITH CONTRIBUTIONS BY
Jamaal Amir Akbari, Cicely Belle Blain, Bertrand Bickersteth, George Elliot Clarke, Wayde Compton, Afua Cooper, Asante Haughton, Truth Is…, Reed “iZrEAL” Jones, Valerie Mason-John, Thandiwe McCarthy, Dwayne Morgan, Aly Ndiaye|Webster, Chloé Savoie-Bernard, Rodney Saint-Éloi, Olive Senior, Andrea Thompson, Evelyn C. White
ISBN 9781990086090 – Paperback – 6×9 – 304 pages
Get your copy now from one of these Black-owned Canadian bookstores:
TORONTO – A Different Booklist
MONTREAL – Librairie Racines
WINNIPEG – Tusome Books
NOT IN CANADA? You can get it on Amazon (US | UK | AUS | GER | India | JAP | UAE ) and Barnes & Noble, bookshop.org, bookdepository.com, or order it from your favourite bookshop using the ISBN: 9781990086090
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“AfriCANthology is extremely engaging and lively because of the range of voices included in the book, and especially because of the variety of styles at play. I enjoyed moving from the rhythm and intricate wordplay of poetry to the personal stories detailed in the essays… This collection provides a great introduction to contemporary Black Canadian authors and their experiences in this country.”
– Rachel Fernandes, The Miramichi Reader
“AfriCANthology does a tremendous job of raising, exploring and engaging the reader with the diversity that is the population of people of African descent in this country, Canada – whether they are artists or not. Through the introduction, we are invited to see the book as a means to respond to the realities of ‘us’. Further we are warned that this book is both a celebration and a warning. And, it is.
It is a celebration of our diversity, our beauty ‘the beauty and diversity of our souls’ (Morgan), our experience. It is a warning about our own knowledge denied to each of us due to our own journey – from the history and terror of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade to the absence in our public education, as well as “la sauvagesse décoloniale’ (Saint-Eloi), our questioning ’when we know we’ve made it’ (Compton) to the reality that in our being, we are denied being “why they have never seen it before” (McCarthy). Questioning if we have “been ground down into building blocks of oppressive freedom” (Frankson) and the awareness that “we will constantly be in the position of creating our world anew (Cooper). But Black people want the word alive (Clarke). We are vital, and smart and resilient!
This is an incredible book with thoughtful questions and ideas in every offering spanning, time, geography, race, sex, culture, sexual orientation, class and age. It is a reflection of Blackness, of being unapologetically Black in Canada. It is a tangible offering of our lives in a solid publication. You will be left thinking about the offerings long after the book is closed.”
– Rosemary Sadlier, Member of Order of Ontario
“An incredible collection detailing the many experiences of navigating the perils of Blackness in Canada. From coast to coast, these words touch on the distinct truth that Blackness is strength and each individual story is powerful, useful, and worthy to be told. From navigating being the only child of colour in class to self-reflecting on anger, each writer in the collection shares their experience but also highlights the feelings so many others feel.”
– Lalaa Comrie, This Black Girl Reads
“AfriCANthology is an insightful collection of poets and their personal stories being Black creatives in Canada. What I love about this collection is its refusal to bifurcate the two official languages into separate sections, instead you experience these contributions in French, then immediately in English. Similarly, the moments of prose are interspersed with short poems that frame the collection’s themes of strength, identity, transformation, self-reflection, resistance, and collective consciousness. AfriCANthology reflects the dynamism of contemporary Black Canada with its geographic nuances, linguistic specificities, and the personal but simultaneously interconnected experience of being Black in Canada. This book is a must read!”
– Cheryl Thompson, Assistant Professor, The Creative School, Ryerson University
We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.