Reimagining the Urban: A Canadian Perspective by Beverly-Jean Daniel

Daniel’s article offers a re-examination of the term “urban” as one that is conjoined with the “suburban.” She argues that the misconceptions of the “urban” are partially derived from American media and that of presenting Canada as a “multicultural mosaic” without referencing its colonial history. Daniel also points out that urban problems such as “poverty, unemployment, and ethnic and racial diversity” are not confined to urban spaces, but rather also experienced in the suburban under “the illusion of financial stability.” Finally, she introduces the idea that the inevitable restructuring nature of society resulting from the globalization movement should also be represented in leadership figures.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this article as it allowed me to take a mindful look as to how my thoughts or preconceived judgements about the term urban came to be. I immediately became aware of the fact that I never allowed myself the opportunity to come to my own understanding of what “urban” actually means, and it was even more disturbing to realize the ease at which my thoughts became habitual based on the images portrayed in the media.

While I was in agreement with most of the ideas represented in the reading, I found myself on an opposite end with regard to further anchoring Canada’s history of racial injustices into current curriculums. From my perspective, I think the negative spillover effects resulting from this idea will far outweigh the positive-inclusive attitude originally desired. I believe it is vital to display an honest and accurate representation of history into current curriculums but in doing so­, one has to considerably take into account the psychological aspect in the process. Rehearsing negative mental images of racial injustices into a young developing mind that may or may not have access to additional resources may lead one to interpret the text through a narrow lense.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Mena, Interesting response. You are right Canada has many inclusive attitudes and the ability for Canadians to discuss issues such as the difficult parts of our past is part of being inclusive. We are an open society that can have dialogue. I think your point though about a narrow lense is important and we need to cut out wide spaces in our curriculum for such dialogues. It isn’t easy work but needs to be done less we repeat our history.

    Liked by 1 person

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