Policing Black Lives

State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present

By Robyn Maynard  

Paperback $25.00

This book will ship by September 18th, 2017.

Delving behind Canada’s veneer of multiculturalism and tolerance, Policing Black Lives traces the violent realities of anti-blackness from the slave ships to prisons, classrooms and beyond. Robyn Maynard provides readers with the first comprehensive account of over four hundred years of state-sanctioned surveillance, criminalization and punishment of Black lives in Canada.

While highlighting the ubiquity of Black resistance, Policing Black Lives traces the still-living legacy of slavery across multiple institutions, shedding light on the state’s role in perpetuating contemporary Black poverty and unemployment, racial profiling, law enforcement violence, incarceration, immigration detention, deportation, exploitative migrant labour practices, disproportionate child removal and low graduation rates.

Emerging from a critical race feminist framework that insists that all Black lives matter, Maynard’s intersectional approach to anti-Black racism addresses the unique and understudied impacts of state violence as it is experienced by Black women, Black people with disabilities, as well as queer, trans, and undocumented Black communities.

A call-to-action, Policing Black Lives urges readers to work toward dismantling structures of racial domination and re-imagining a more just society.

“Grounded in an impressive and expansive treatment of Black Canadian history, Maynard has written a powerful account of state anti-Black violence in Canada. Empirically rich and theoretically nimble, this work is an outstanding contribution to Black Canadian Studies.”

— Barrington Walker, Queen’s University

  • Race & Racism
  • ISBN: 9781552669792
  • $25.00
  • Forthcoming October 2017
  • 244 Pages
  • For sale worldwide

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  • Introduction
  • Devaluing Black Life, Demonizing Black Bodies: Anti-Blackness from Slavery to Segregation
  • The Black side of the Mosaic: Slavery, capitalism and the making of contemporary Black poverty
  • Arrested (In)justice: From the Streets to the Prison
  • Law enforcement violence against Black women: Naming their names, telling their stories
  • Misogynoir in Canada: Articulations of State Violence Against Black Women
  • “Of whom we have too many”: Black life and Border Regulation
  • Destroying Black families: Slavery’s afterlife in the child welfare system
  • The (Mis)education of Black Youth: Anti-Blackness in the school system
  • Conclusion: From “woke” to free: Imagining Black futures
  • References
  • Index


  • Robyn Maynard

    Robyn Maynard is a Black feminist writer, grassroots community organizer and intellectual based in Montréal. Her work has appeared in the Toronto Star, the Montréal Gazette, World Policy Journal and Canadian Women Studies Journal.