This book group started out as a Lenten challenge to multiple congegations in North Toronto to read at least one book about anti-Black racism. The group evolved to include members of six churches who read and discussed six books over Lent in 2021. However, as racism did not go away in that time, we decided to keep reading together. All are invited to join us, even if you are new to the group. The full list of books we have covered are provided here for reference, the newest at the top. 

What Goes on When the Police Report to the City?
July 7, 2021, 7:30 PM

For our next meeting on anti-Black racism, we are holding a virtual field trip. We ask that you watch and read a few portions of the latest Toronto Police Services Board meeting, which was held in late June. The TPSB is the civilian oversight committee of the Toronto Police. This is where issues pertaining to how the Police deal with race are discussed, among many other items. 

Here are the excerpts from the meeting we will discuss. Please try to watch at least one of the first two:

* New pilot project for diverting calls from 911 to a mental health organization: (from 11:43  to 48:46. )
* New tasers purchase ( features some saucy comments from former Mayor John Sewell): from 55:32 to 1:21:26.
This is just for interest: 
* Mayor Tory comments on police conduct during clearing of encampments at Trinity Bellwoods Park:from 1:53:42 to 1:59:00
The video of the meeting can be found here on YouTube:

The meeting chose not to talk about several cases where Toronto Police officers have been under investigation for using force against civilians. One of those cases features a very public arrest and beating of two Black men in August of 2020, which was captured on camera by  civilians, during a peaceful protest on Eglinton West in Little Jamaica. The case is described from the police's perspective on page 384 in the agenda for the meeting, which can be found here:  
This makes for very interesting reading, and is not long. 

Video of these arrests can be found in these short news articles:

Background on the danger posed to Little Jamaica by condo development:

Please try to watch or read some of this material. Ideally, watch all of it, but if not, one selection from the Toronto Police Services Board meeting, and some or all of the Little Jamaica case. 

The Zoom link for our meeting here, we meet at 7:30 p.m. on July 7th, 2021.

Meeting ID: 821 4500 1268

One tap mobile

+15873281099,,82145001268# Canada

+16473744685,,82145001268# Canada

Trial Discussion of Derek Chauvin in George Floyd Killing
Tuesday, May 25th at 7 p.m. Moderated by Rev. Stephen Milton

Click here to access the Zoom link for Trial Discussion - May 25th -

Meeting ID: 862 6135 0739

If you are having trouble with the link on your computer, you can call in at 647 374 4685
meeting ID 86261350739# 

On May 25, the Antti-Black Racism reading group will be meeting to discuss the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer who killed George Floyd on May 25th 2020. Since no book exists on the case yet, we have collected a series of articles about the trial from Black writers, most of them taken from Black newspapers in the United States.

None of the articles are long, so try to read at least five. See you at 7 pm on May 25th.

Reconstructing what happened on May 25th, the day George Floyd was killed.

Includes video footage:    

The Trial of Derek Chauvin in chronological order:  

Jury selection:

Black Lives Matter Movement influence on trial:

How Black people can protect their wellbeing while hearing about the trial:

Analysis of defense Attorney’s strategy:  

Black people can’t feel safe going into stores anymore:

Retired Black NYPD Detective: Derek Chauvin Trial Highlights “Race-Based” Police Brutality Problem

Black op-ed piece on how the trial is propaganda: 

Black prison guards prevented from overseeing Chauvin in jail: 

Interview with ex-black chief from California about what has gone wrong with policing: 

The “qualified immunity” defense for police officers:

Minnesota’s court house has been made into a fort, to guard against external attacks: 

The Guilty Verdict: 

Derek Chauvin found guilty: 

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour speaks with BLM co-founder after Chauvin verdict 


Six Young Americans reflect on influence of George Floyd case, one year on:



Policing Black Lives, Robyn Maynard
Tuesday, May 4th at 7 p.m. Moderated by Rev. Stephen Milton

Maynard is a Black Canadian whose book provides a richly detailed, scholarly account of how anti-Black racism permeates Canadian society, and has done so since the first Europeans arrived here and imported enslaved Blacks to New France. Excellent book for anyone who thinks that anti-Black racism is an American problem only.

Here is access to the Zoom Link

Meeting ID 824 5074 7656

If you are having trouble with the link on your computer, you can call in at 647 374 4685
meeting ID 82450747656# 


How to be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi
Wednesday, February 24th at 7 p.m.
Amanda McFarlan from LPCC Affirming Committee will moderate the discussion
Ibram X. Kendi is a best selling author and historian, and a regular contributor to the Atlantic Magazine. In his latest book he argues that to end racism we can’t just be against racism, but we have to be actively anti-racist. Being against racism without doing anything about it is the same as condoning it. All are welcome.
Please read the book; or watch the attached interview with Professor Kendi.
Click here to watch Ted Talk "The difference between being "not racist" and antiracist"
Me and White Supremacy, Layla F. Saad
Wednesday, March 3rd at 7 p.m.

Anne Simmonds of Rosedale United will moderate the discussion

Please bring paper and pen to this discussion.

Me and White Supremacy: A 28-Day Challenge to Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor leads readers through a journey of understanding their white privilege and participation in white supremacy, so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on black, indigenous and people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too. The book goes beyond the original workbook by adding more historical and cultural contexts, sharing moving stories and anecdotes, and includes expanded definitions, examples, and further resources.

Here is the Zoom link to access the Me and White Supremacy -
Passcode: i02Hbx

Zoom Meeting ID: 876 1105 9830 

If you are having trouble with the link on your computer, you can call in at 647 374 4685
meeting ID 876 1105 9830#.


The Skin We're In, Desmond Cole
Tuesday, March 16th at 7 p.m.

Maggie Wilkinson from ESG will moderate the discussion

Cole is a Black Canadian, briefly a journalist for the Toronto Star before being unjustly dismissed for being too much of an activist. His book is an excellent chronicle of the acts of racism which made news ( or were kept quiet) in 2017, mostly in Toronto. Cole does a very good job of providing insight into how anti-Black racism works on the personal and systemic level in Toronto.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 825 8919 2514
Passcode: 669341

If you are having trouble with the link on your computer, you can call in at 647 374 4685
meeting ID 825 8919 2514# Passcode: 669341

White Fragility, Robin D’Angelo
Wednesday, March 24th at 7 p.m.

Moderators will be Cathy Smith, Liz Cain and Wendy Dryden from Rosedale United Church.

D'Angelo is a white American woman who runs racism awareness workshops in the corporate sector. This book explores the ways in which whites see Blacks through racist stereotypes, and at the same time deny that they are doing so, at work and in society generally.

Click here to access the Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 871 3424 3297
Passcode: 849545

If you are having trouble with the link on your computer, you can call in at 647 374 4685
meeting ID 87134243297# Passcode: 849545

Crosshairs, Catherine Hernandez
Wednesday, March 31st at 8:15 p.m. ( new time)

Rev. Stephen Milton from LPCC will moderate discussion

Hernandez is a Toronto-based author who writes fiction from a queer BIPOC perspective. Her first novel was Scarborough, which looked at the lives of racialized poor people in that part of the city. Crosshairs is the tale of a racist takeover of Toronto by the Ontario government, set in the very near future. Black, brown and queer people are rounded up or on the run. Hernandez deftly extrapolates from the present to a racist future that looks all the more plausible after the January 6th insurrection in the US.  

Here is the Zoom link to access Crosshairs

Zoom Meeting ID: 891 2676 7854 

If you are having trouble with the link on your computer, you can call in at 647 374 4685
meeting ID 891 2676 7854#.
Between the World and Me, Ta Nahesi Coates
Tuesday, April 6th at 7:00 p.m.
Moderator will be Laura Schlee from Fairlawn Avenue United Church.

Between the World and Me is a letter from Coates to his son, sharing the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world as a Black man through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
Zoom Link for April 6th

Meeting ID: 838 6645 8444

Passcode: 246700
So you want to talk about Race, Ijeoma Oluo
Date to be announced

Oluo is an African American woman. In So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to "model minorities" in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.

No discussion night has been planned for this book but it is on our recommendation list.
Please take a read.