In Conversation with Desmond Cole

As the days get shorter and colder what better way to spend an evening than checking out the Lethbridge Public Library’s The Word On The Street Fall Reading Series? Our first speaker in November was Jeff Rubin, former Chief Economist and Chief Strategist at CIBC World Markets. Our next author interview, planned for November 26, is Desmond Cole who will be speaking about his book, “The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power”.

Cole is an award-winning journalist, radio host, and activist in Toronto. His writing has appeared in the “Toronto Star”, “Toronto Life”, “The Walrus”, “NOW Magazine”, “The Ethnic Aisle”, Torontoist, BuzzFeed, and the “Ottawa Citizen”. “The Skin We’re In” is Cole’s first book.

In his 2015 “Toronto Life” cover story, 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 gained national recognition, 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.

Both Cole’s activism and journalism find vibrant expression in “The Skin We’re In”. Puncturing the bubble of Canadian smugness and naive assumptions of a post-racial nation, Cole chronicles just one year – 2017 – in the struggle against racism in this country. It was a year that saw calls for tighter borders when African refugees braved frigid temperatures to cross into Manitoba from the States, Indigenous land and water protectors resisted the celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, police across the country rallied around an officer accused of murder, and more. Month by month, Cole creates a comprehensive picture of entrenched, systemic inequality. Urgent, controversial, and unsparingly honest, “The Skin We’re In” is destined to become a vital text for anti-racist and social justice movements in Canada, as well as a potent antidote to the all-too-present complacency of many white Canadians.

Join the Lethbridge Public Library via Zoom on November 26 at 7 p.m. as we host Desmond Cole in an online interview. An audience question and answer period will follow. Register for the event on our website at www.lethlib.ca. If you have missed any of our previous speakers – Richard Van Camp, Janie Chang, and Jeff Rubin – catch up on our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/lethlib.