This page contains definitions and reference materials to begin understanding terms and concepts such as racism, anti-racism, anti-black racism, etc.
Dictionary Definitions of Anti-Black Racism
Anti-Black Racism: While not yet defined in dictionaries, groups and institutions such as the Black Health Alliance and the Canadian Association of Mental Health, building from Dr. Akua Benjamin's pioneering work, have defined Anti-Black Racism as "policies and practices rooted in Canadian institutions such as, education, health care, and justice that mirror and reinforce beliefs, attitudes, prejudice, stereotyping and/or discrimination towards people of Black-African descent."
Anti-Racism: Oxford Reference shows a lack of definitions for this outside of the standard dictionary (ie no subject-specific definition). The Oxford Dictionary of Englishstates that anti-racism is "the policy or practice of opposing racism and promoting racial tolerance. "
Racism: Oxford Reference offers differing definitions depending on the field of study; the Dictionary of the Social Sciences entry begins "A form of prejudice based on the belief that certain racial groups are inherently superior to others." John McWhorter, in The Atlantic, points out the arguments from Ibram X. Kendi and others that reveal the limitations of this kind of definition and the need for expansion.
Discrimination: Like Racism (above), Oxford Reference offers definitions by field/discipline. The Dictionary of the Social Sciences entry begins "Most social-science usage refers to the unequal treatment of groups based on their particular identities—generally, racial and ethnic groups but also extending to nearly any distinguishable identity category, including age (ageism) and gender (sexism)."
There is often a demand for a short definition of racism, for example as captured in the popular formula Power + Prejudice= Racism. But in reality, racism is a complex, multidimensional phenomenon that cannot be captured by such definitions. In our world today there are a variety of racisms at play, and it is necessary to distinguish between issues such as individual prejudice, and systematic racisms which entrench racialiazed inequalities over time. This Very Short Introduction explores the history of racial ideas and a wide range of racisms - biological, cultural, colour-blind, and structural - and illuminates issues that have been the subject of recent debates.
Racism, Eh? examines racism within the broad Canadian context. This anthology brings together some of the visionaries who are seeking to illuminate the topics of race and racism in Canada through the analysis of historical and contemporary issues, which address race and racism as both material and psychic phenomena.
The study of contemporary forms of racism has expanded greatly over the past four decades. Although it has been a focus for scholarship and research for the past three centuries, it is perhaps over this more recent period that we have seen important transformations in the analytical frames and methods to explore the changing patterns of contemporary racisms. The Handbook has a truly global orientation and covers contemporary racisms in both the western and non-western geopolitical environments. The Handbook is framed by a General Introduction and by short introductions to each part that provide an overview of key themes and concerns.