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Dr. Lisa Tomlinson

Cultural Critic and Language Specialist

Dr. Lisa Tomlinson is a cultural Critic. She is currently a professor in humanities and community research.
Literature Has Long Been Radicalized By

Literature Has Long Been Radicalized By Music

Bob Dylan's recent win of the Nobel Prize in Literature has raised eyebrows and has come with mixed feelings within the literati community. There are persons who see the academy's decision to award Dylan this coveted prize as "misguided and questioned whether songwriting, however brilliant," deserves to be ranked at the same standard as literature.
10/25/2016 11:24 EDT
Ellen And Her Defenders Should Learn The Context Of

Ellen And Her Defenders Should Learn The Context Of Racism

Considering the fact that America is built on white supremacist ideologies, it is very difficult for those who are fully aware of the history of the exploitation of Black labour in the Americas to simply take this new meme with a smile. While Ellen herself might not be racist, her response demonstrates a lack of understanding and sensitivity for the pain and anger her meme holds.
08/22/2016 12:45 EDT
The Ongoing Economic Exploitation of Black

The Ongoing Economic Exploitation of Black Music

In a system where Joss Stone wins an award for best Reggae artist, it's worth examining the long and storied history of white performers profiting off of historically Black musical genres, and how versions of this inequality exist to this day.
01/08/2016 09:32 EST
Why We Need the Black Experience

Why We Need the Black Experience Project

Although the black community have flourished in large numbers and has made a considerable mark on the GTA's cultural landscape and have contributed largely to the city's development, they continue to struggle with many social problems such as high unemployment rates, alarming high school dropout rates, racial profiling and a disturbing trend of youth incarceration.
10/22/2015 05:29 EDT
Caribana Has Been Stripped of Cultural

Caribana Has Been Stripped of Cultural Meaning

Carnival, a cultural expression in the Americas is not just confined exclusively to lavishing costumes, dancing and street performances, which has been etched into our social consciousness. Carnival has its roots in the struggle of marginalized Africans to shape their cultural identity.
08/05/2015 06:13 EDT
Why We Should Care About Dominican Expulsion of

Why We Should Care About Dominican Expulsion of Haitians

The immediate response to the unjust treatment of Haitian-Dominicans by the government of the Dominican Republic should be a collective one. The opposition to the slated deportation or expulsion of over 200,000 Haitian-Dominicans is a cause that needs to be taken up not only by Caribbean leaders, but also by the people living in the region and its diaspora.hile circulating awareness of the treatment of Haitian-Dominicans via social media outlets has served its purpose, let's also include proactive measures such as lobbying governments and pressuring foreign companies to stop investing in the Dominican Republic.
07/02/2015 05:31 EDT
Black Artists Should Create

Black Artists Should Create Dangerously

There are some black cultural artists who have been taking advantage of their popular mainstream status to gloss over the existence of institutionalized racism and structural violence meted out against racialized peoples. Of equal concern is the way these narratives help to shape North America's false notion of a post-racist society and are gradually being relied on to replace and distort genuine conversation around race and class privilege.
05/12/2015 05:47 EDT
Mainstream Music Isn't Political Like it Used to

Mainstream Music Isn't Political Like it Used to Be

Instead of expecting socially relevant music or artistic works from mainstream artists, it is high time for us to give our support to cultural workers or artists whose songs and other productions are the voice of the voiceless.
01/23/2015 12:42 EST
Don't Forget Police Violence Happens Outside of America

Don't Forget Police Violence Happens Outside of America Too

I stand in solidarity with the people of Ferguson, New York and all over the world who are experiencing police violence. I encourage those of us who are committed to dismantling structural violence against black people that as we chant the slogan "Black Lives Matter", we must also remember "Black Lives Matter Everywhere". Let us not limit our desire for structural changes to only the United States.
12/09/2014 05:22 EST
Canada Lost its Innocence Long Ago and Tried to Cover it

Canada Lost its Innocence Long Ago and Tried to Cover it Up

After the shooting incident on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 22, many Canadians across the county wasted no time in expressing their "shock" and bewilderment at the alleged terrorist attack against Canada. What is more puzzling to me is not the attack itself, but people's naivete about Canada's supposed "innocence" and "civility."
10/27/2014 12:09 EDT
An International Cry For Help Will Lead to the Exploitation of More

An International Cry For Help Will Lead to the Exploitation of More Africans

It has been over four weeks since the abduction of the Nigerian schoolgirls and the world's attention on Nigeria has gradually faded. The placards have disappeared, government heads have played their role in once again pledging their "assistance" to Africa and mainstream media have done their part in disseminating selective pieces to a much bigger picture.
06/11/2014 08:54 EDT
Please Stop Fetishizing Lupita

Please Stop Fetishizing Lupita Nyong'o

Through the usual media gaze, even Lupita's traumatic true story of the self-hate she had for her dark skin has been rebranded as a Third World dark skin black girl narrative, overcoming the adversity of the mythical beauty norms of whiteness. While many black women share Lupita's story of struggling with colourism, it is important that we do not get trapped into universalizing it. Primarily, we should acknowledge and appreciate that there are actually many black women who have been raised to embrace their dark skin without the social anxieties of being affirmed by mainstream gendered standards.
03/18/2014 05:41 EDT
Black History Month is Not a Feel-Good Mass Therapy

Black History Month is Not a Feel-Good Mass Therapy Session

Until we find concrete and genuine ways to take into account cultural differences and the institutional power relations that inform that reality in Canada, Black History Month, like multiculturalism, will continue to be sidelined and watered down to satisfy Canada's mythical narrative of togetherness, racial justice and equality.
02/23/2014 01:27 EST
Don't Call Racist Art

Don't Call Racist Art "Provocative"

I am not certain about the extent to which Dasha Zhukova is aware of the offensiveness of the objectification of Black women's bodies as represented in this demeaning photograph. If the intention of art is to engage in political and social issues, shouldn't the artist(s) at least gain some insight of the subject he/she has chosen to represent or interrogate?
01/29/2014 12:33 EST
I'm Jamaican, But It's Not Ford's Patois That Offended

I'm Jamaican, But It's Not Ford's Patois That Offended Me

Let us not fall prey to the media's manipulation and become too offended by Rob Ford's rambling in Jamaican. As a language educator and native speaker, Ford's appropriation of Jamaican was not offensive. I have seen worst (mis)appropriation of the language loaded with stereotypes and they have gone unchallenged by these same institutions. What is offensive and should be of concern to our community is Rob Ford's white male privilege that allows him to stay in office despite his repeated misconduct in public and his tireless apologies/deceptions to the people of Toronto. Over the years we have seen what has happened to prominent black public figures who have committed less "offense" and how speedily they were removed from offices or forced out of positions of power.
01/23/2014 05:28 EST