Black Lives Matter Herstory in Canada

Black Lives Matter – Toronto is the first iteration of the Black Lives Matter Movement outside the United States and the first occurrence of Black Lives Matter becoming a global movement.

The movement began with a discussion between Sandy Hudson and her brother in the fall of 2014. Both were distraught about the slaying of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, and the local slaying of Jermaine Carby by Ryan Reid in Brampton, Ontario. Both were feeling isolated and powerless. Desiring a way to express their frustration and grief, Sandy’s brother encouraged her to use her organizing skills to organize a demonstration.

Sandy contacted dozens of Black organizers across the country, mostly women, mostly queer, and asked if there was interest in organizing a demo. The response was overwhelmingly positive. On November 25, 2014, the first actions of Black Lives Matter in Canada took place in Toronto, Edmonton, Ottawa and other cities across the country.

From its inception, Black Lives Matter in Canada has expressly challenged Canada’s perception of itself as free of anti-Black racism, shifted the ways in which anti-Blackness is considered and discussed culturally, and forced significant policy change.

For more information about Black Lives Matter in Canada, see www.blacklivesmatter.ca.