Roots, Routes, and Reckonings

Logo with red maple leaf and blue star to represent Canadian-American studies

Wednesday, February 1, 2023
10:00-11:20 a.m. (Pacific Time)




Check out this video to watch the On Blackness and Belonging in North America - Why Canada Matters.

On Blackness and Belonging in North America

Why Canada Matters
Speakers Series

Co-sponsored by the Center for Canadian-American Studies, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the department of History, and in partnership with the WWU Alumni Association

Through an intimate exploration of the roots of Black identities in North America and the routes taken by those who have crisscrossed the world’s longest undefended border in search of freedom and belonging, this lecture journeys back and forth across the Canada/US border, and from coast to coast, combining memoir and analysis to highlight the tensions, contradictions, translations, and complications that anchor our understandings of race. Across time and space, this research asks: where is home for those of African descent, and is belonging within the confines of the nation-state either possible or desirable?

Portrait of Debra Thompson


Dr. Debra Thompson

Dr. Debra Thompson is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Canada Research Chair in Racial Inequality in Democratic Societies at McGill University. She is a leading scholar of the comparative politics of race, with teaching and research interests that focus on the relationships among race, the state, and inequality in Canada and other democratic societies. She is the author of the award-winning book, The Schematic State: Race, Transnationalism, and the Politics of the Census (2016) and The Long Road Home: On Blackness and Belonging in North America (Simon & Schuster, 2022), one of Indigo and CBC’s top 100 books of 2022 and a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

Questions and Accommodations

Contact the WWU Alumni Association for this event. Feel free to call at (360) 650-3353 or email at if you have any questions or comments.

There will be auto-captions available for this event.