URGENT MESSAGE: Thomas King’s The Inconvenient Indian shed light on systemic racism against Indigenous peoples in Canada, starting a national conversation and spurring a movement—Desmond Cole’s The Skin We’re In will do the same for Black lives. This book is desperately needed and long overdue, a critically important exposé and a call-to-arms to all Canadians.
VITAL VOICE: Cole is an extraordinary writer whose razor-sharp intellect is matched by fierce passion and deep empathy.
MAJOR PROFILE: Cole has played a crucial role in the movement to protect Black lives and rights in Canada. He and his writing have a devoted public following, and he is widely admired by community leaders and fellow activists.
WINNER OF THE 2020 TORONTO BOOK AWARD
FINALIST FOR THE 2021 FOREST OF READING EVERGREEN AWARD
A BEST BOOK OF 2020
The Globe and Mail, NOW, CBC, Quill & Quire, Indigo
#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER
A PENGUIN BOOK CLUB PICK
"A masterpiece." —PopMatters
"Cole's unflinching, courageous and confrontational book addresses systemic racism in Canada directly, refusing to allow its readers to look away or remain complacent." —Quill & Quire
"Cole's book stands out as a powerful call to action. A superb synthesizer, the unstoppable Cole addresses racisms of all kinds across the country, but it’s his terrific takedown of Toronto policing that stands out." —NOW
"The sheer strength of this book arises from its insistent linking of policing, prisons, public education, migrant labour, impoverished neighbourhoods and the fates of refugees. The Skin We're In is about the interlocking forces besieging Black life in Canada; and it is also about organizing resistance and imagining futures in bravely intimate terms. Desmond Cole is an urgent and essential voice from a generation that will be heard." —David Chariandy, author of Brother and I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You: A Letter to My Daughter
"In The Skin We're In, Desmond Cole offers us not only analysis of one year of anti-blackness in the lands we currently call Canada: he also recovers disappeared histories of Black resistance, gives richly deserved credit to Black LGBTQ+ activists, shows solidarity with disabled and Indigenous folks, and, most importantly, reminds us of the power of Black genius and Black joy. This smart, powerful, essential book is an act of radical generosity—one we should all be grateful to receive, hold, share and revisit.” —Alicia Elliott, author of A Mind Spread Out on the Ground
"Desmond Cole systematically dismantles any lingering illusions of Canada as a beacon of racial benevolence by exposing the multiple forms of state violence facing Black peoples of all ages and genders. His text, further, compellingly highlights the ongoing refusal of Canada's Black diaspora to submit to conditions of subjugation, bringing to light both historical and contemporary legacies of rebellion. A powerful read." —Robyn Maynard, author of Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present
"It is not an exaggeration to say that Desmond Cole's book should be taught in classrooms, roiling in the minds of the next generation, lauded in social justice movements. It's a striking, searing, perspective-shifting book that draws attention to the injustices faced by Black Canadians on a daily basis. . . . His prose contains the grace, clarity, caution and cadence of someone familiar with speaking up and standing tall. He seamlessly integrates historical and theoretical material with analyses of recent events, making the text informative and incisive without sacrificing emotional resonance. . . . The book represents a solid introduction to themes of white supremacy, imperialism and power, anti-Black racism, and Cole's own life and values . . . [and] as Cole powerfully illustrates, Black pain—and the fight against it—does not always have a tidy, smooth, palatable ending." —Quill and Quire, starred review
"Part biography, part journal, part guide to anti-racism activism, The Skin We’re In might be Desmond Cole's first book but its story is one that people of colour will immediately find familiar. . . . If you are a human being or socially aware robot, read this book." —This Magazine
"A skillful blend of history and reportage, The Skin We're In punctures any illusions Torontonians may harbor about race relations in their City, and provides a local front-line perspective on Black Lives Matter. Desmond Cole describes his progression from journalist to activist on behalf of Toronto’s black residents fed up with mistreatment at the hands of the police, lip service from politicians and media, and indifference from the community at large. Accomplished, timely and powerful, The Skin We're In is a potent and urgent reminder that there is no place for complacency in the battle against racism." —2020 Toronto Book Awards jury
An email has been sent out with instructions for resetting your password.