On Account of Darkness by Ian Kennedy



Shining Light on Race and Sport

Author: Ian Kennedy

For marginalized athletes past and present, achievement can bring celebrity without equality and recognition without opportunity

In many ways, Ontario’s Chatham-Kent region is a microcosm of Canadian multiculturalism. As a terminus of the Underground Railroad, it has long been home to a large Black community, Walpole Island and Delaware First Nations are nearby, and many interned Japanese Canadians worked on local farms during World War II. The history of sport in the region is emblematic of the challenges that have confronted generations of non-white athletes nationwide. Each chapter uses the story of a local athlete—some famous, others more obscure—to illuminate one aspect of the evolving relationship between race and sport in North America. Combining tales of personal triumph with sports history and social commentary, On Account of Darkness examines systemic racism and ambivalent attitudes that persist to this day.

  • Non-fiction, 256pp
  • ISBN 978-1-990160-10-3 (paperback)
  • ISBN 978-1-990160-11-0 (ebook)
  • 5.5″ x 8.5″
  • Published May 2022
  • Paperback: CA $21.95 / US $17.95
  • Ebook: CA $13.95 / US $9.95

Kennedy has collected more than 100 years of stories about athletes who excelled amid systemic racism. This movement helped him realize that in addition to celebrating athletes who fought for inclusion, we need to also recognize how sport acted (and still acts) as a vehicle for exclusion.

Shawna Butler, The Miramichi Reader

A well-researched and often uncomfortable trip through Canadian sports history. Ian Kennedy’s reporting about teams like the Chatham Coloured All-Stars will rekindle discussions about athletes from our country’s past who deserve a more prominent place in history, and ought to also spark a debate about whether some of Canada’s most prominent sporting legends deserve the pedestal they have been put upon.

Rick Westhead, TSN Senior Correspondent

Voraciously researched, Ian Kennedy does an astonishing job of compiling and recounting incredible stories and achievements in sport that may have otherwise been forgotten. This book should live on every Canadian’s bookshelf.

Tara Slone, Co-host, Rogers Hometown Hockey