Former Toronto decolonization manager, instrumental in Dundas renaming, exits city position

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Toronto “decolonization” manager who led Dundas renaming no longer working for city



“Toronto’s Efforts to ‘Decolonize’ and the Departure of Cheryl Blackman”

Introduction:
In recent years, Toronto has been undergoing a significant transformation to distance itself from historical figures deemed problematic by city officials. One of the key figures behind this movement, Cheryl Blackman, who served as the general manager of economic development and culture, is no longer working for the city. Her departure has raised questions about the city’s approach to decolonization and the impact it has on historical landmarks.

Efforts to “Decolonize” Toronto:
Cheryl Blackman was at the forefront of initiatives to redefine Toronto’s heritage and culture. She oversaw the defunding of a historic reenactment at Fort York, citing concerns about colonial values. Additionally, Blackman led efforts to rename Yonge-Dundas Square in the name of diversity, equity, and inclusion. These actions were met with mixed reactions from the public and raised debates about the city’s approach to addressing historical injustices.

Controversy Surrounding Henry Dundas:
One of the most contentious issues Blackman dealt with was the renaming of Yonge-Dundas Square, which was tied to allegations against Henry Dundas. The city claimed that Dundas was responsible for prolonging the transatlantic slave trade, a claim disputed by his descendants and historians. Despite evidence refuting these claims, the city proceeded to rename the square to Sankofa Square, sparking further controversy.

Concluding Thoughts:
Cheryl Blackman’s departure from the City of Toronto highlights the complexities of decolonization efforts and the challenges of navigating historical narratives. As the city continues to grapple with its past and strive for inclusivity, it is essential to consider diverse perspectives and engage in nuanced discussions about the ways in which history is remembered and commemorated. The legacy of figures like Henry Dundas serves as a reminder of the importance of thorough research, dialogue, and empathy in addressing the complexities of history.



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