“Where Are You From?”: Growing Up African-Canadian in Vancouver
Metro Vancouver is a diverse city where half the residents identify as people of colour, but only one percent of the population is racialized as Black. In this context, African-Canadians are both hyper-visible as Black, and invisible as distinct communities. Informed by feminist and critical race theories, and based on interviews with women and men who grew up in Vancouver, "Where Are You From?" recounts the unique experience of growing up in a place where the second generation seldom sees other people who look like them, and yet are inundated with popular representations of Blackness from the United States.
This study explores how the second generation in Vancouver redefine their African identities to distinguish themselves from African-Americans, while continuing to experience considerable everyday racism that challenges belonging as Canadians. As a result, some members of the second generation reject, and others strongly assert, a Canadian identity.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 216 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.6in x 9.0in
"In Where are you From? Gillian Creese discovered that some second generation African-Canadians reject Canadian identity, while others strongly assert being Canadian. She also found that boys had it easier than girls growing up in Vancouver. Frequently, teenage boys experienced popularity as ‘the cool Black guy,’ while girls in contrast found much less popular Black female imagery, making it harder for them to fit in."
"'Where Are You From?' raises questions about how we read resistance and how we may re-theorize resilience, resistance, and schooling."
George Dei, Department of Social Justice Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
"A major contribution to research, 'Where Are You From?' sheds light on the changes in the adaptation and integration of Africans in Canada."
Michael Kariwo, Department of Educational Policy Studies, University of Alberta
"Providing a concise history of Black communities in Vancouver, 'Where Are You From?' delivers an accessible discussion of how Black identity is significant, not only for second-generation African-Canadians, but for those of varied backgrounds, and gender identities."
John Sorenson, Department of Sociology, Brock University
Author InformationGillian Creese is the associate dean of Arts, Faculty & Equity, and professor in the Department of Sociology and the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia.
Table of contents
2. Imagined Communities, Discourses of Blackness, and the New African Diaspora in Vancouver
3. “No one looked like me”: Remembering Migration and Early Childhood
4. “Cool Black guys” and Girls “trying to feel good in your own skin”: Navigating Adolescence
5. “More of my friends are Black”: Adult Friendships and Romantic Relationships
6. “I have so much more opportunities”: Education and Career Goals
7. Living "under a microscope": Navigating Public Spaces
8. “People still ask me where I’m from”: Belonging and Identity
9. Growing Up African-Canadian in Vancouver: Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Place
Subjects and Courses