Colour Coded: A Legal History of Racism in Canada, 1900-1950 by Constance Backhouse

Colour Coded is a book by Constance Backhouse. Backhouse is a Canadian legal scholar and historian with interest in race and gender discrimination in Canada. Colour Coded, looks at the history of Canadian legal system and its domination by white majority as well as how this has influenced inequality and racial discrimination in our current legal system. Colour Coded gives examples of six court cases focusing on Aboriginal, Inuit, Chinese and African Canadians. Backhouse raises questions about “isolated” events related to racial discrimination to imply racism as being rooted in the legal system from early on and the events not actually isolated. Colour Coded looks to eliminate the fictitious notion of Canada being raceless and to bring awareness to the fact racial discrimination does exist and affect how racialized individuals are treated by Canadian legal system. . Information on the author and Colour Coded can be found on


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