“As a kid who grew up in Scarborough, and who has had the opportunity to travel to new places and meet a diversity of people the one thing I know to be true is that we all want to be heard,” says Cheryl Thompson. “We all have a story to tell, and we all want to feel good about the things that we do. This is why I do what I do.”
Cheryl Thompson is an Assistant Professor at Ryerson University in the School of Creative Industries. She is author of Beauty in a Box: Detangling the Roots of Canada’s Black Beauty Culture. Her work has appeared in numerous publications includingThe Conversation, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, Spacing, Herizons Magazine, Halifax Coast, and Rabble.ca.
Her latest book, Uncle: Race, Nostalgia, and the Politics of Loyalty, traces the journey of the character of Uncle Tom, the eponymous figure in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s sentimental anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin from literary character to racial trope. Through the lens of literature, politics and pop culture, Cheryl examines and questions what has become an epithet hurled at African American men deemed, by other Black people, to have betrayed their race. “Today, we do not necessarily think of novels as shaping national identity,” Cheryl explains. “However, in 19th century America, Stowe’s vision of Uncle Tom constructed a form of Black manhood that deeply affected the nation.”
She was born and raised in Toronto, where she currently resides.
Cheryl is supported by Author Patron Mary Ann Higgs.