Multiculturalism and the De-politicization of Blackness in Canada: the case of FLOW 93.5 FM
Thesis (MA) University of Toronto, 2009
Abstract: This thesis presents a case study of Canada’s first Black owned radio station, FLOW 93.5 FM, to demonstrate how official multiculturalism, in its formulation and implementation, negates Canada’s history of slavery and racial inequality. As a response to diversity, multiculturalism shifts the focus away from racial inequality to cultural difference. Consequently, Black self-determination is unauthorized. By investigating FLOW’s radio license applications, programming and advertisements, this thesis reveals just how the vision of a Black focus radio station dissolved in order to fit the practical and ideological framework of multiculturalism so that Blackness could be easily commodified. This thesis concludes that FLOW is not a Black radio station but instead is a multicultural radio station – one that specifically markets a de-politicized Blackness. As a result, multiculturalism poses serious consequences for imagining and engaging with Blackness as a politics that may address the needs of Black communities in Canada.