In October 1971, when Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau proclaimed in Parliament that Canada would adopt a policy of “official multiculturalism” and that the state would recognize cultural diversity as a national value, the idea was that such a proclamation would help to inspire confidence in what it meant to be Canadian. One of the consequences of this act was that histories of racial oppression such as anti-black immigration policies, discrimination in housing and employment, and racist advertising imagery were simultaneously erased from the public memory. In its stead was a new version of Canada—an inclusive, diverse, multicultural nation. Trudeau’s statement, along with a policy that followed in 1988, became a symbolic form of erasure for black communities. – Beauty in a Box (2019: 19). The gap in historical knowledge about Black Canadians between World War I and 1967 is staggering. BREC is one attempt to recuperate this history through the lens of community.

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