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Welcome to
Black Maple!

Dive in, explore, and learn more about yourself, your community, and your history.

We’re Here for You

We’ll share historical fascinations, pop culture fixations, and cultural inspirations. You’ll also get a front row seat to my latest research agendas. This is a place where Black Canada shines in all its beautiful and complex diversity.

My name is Charmaine A. Nelson and I invite you to enter this beautiful mashup of the academic and the popular. After all, they’re not exclusive, at least not in my world.

About Me

As the first black professor of Art History at a Canadian university, I bring a unique outlook to the study of art, culture, and history. Identity is always a part of scholarship and my identity as a black woman in Canada has shaped the questions that I have asked and continue to ask when I think about art, community, culture, and history.

My Work

Although all three of my degrees are in the discipline of Art History, my interdisciplinary research draws from other areas like Anthropology, Cultural Studies, and History. I examine several regions including Canada, the USA, and the Caribbean and analyze both “high” art and popular culture forms like neoclassical sculpture, oil portraiture, historical photography, and clothing. Although a specialist in Canadian art, I am also a scholar of the Black Diaspora, which of course includes Canada.

Learn More About Charmaine

About Black Maple (BM)

BM began as back in 2012 as a way for me to share my passion for Black Canadian Studies. Although we know that people of African descent have been in Canada since at least 1605 when Mathieu da Costa arrived with the Portuguese, and although Transatlantic Slavery and triangular trade were practiced simultaneously by the French and the British in the territories now known as Canada, the narratives of black Canadian presence have been overwhelmingly written out of Canadian histories, as well as histories of the Black Diaspora and Transatlantic Slavery.

Why We Need BM

These erasures have also resulted in the absence of a Black Canadian Studies infrastructure in Canadian universities and colleges. As such, it is extremely difficult (if not technically impossible) for students to attain degrees in African-Canadian or Black Canadian Studies and many exceptional scholars are labouring in obscurity and isolation across the country (or have opted to leave Canada altogether) with little institutional support, funding, or recognition.

What We Do at BM

BM is a hub through which I will communicate my ongoing and transforming research agenda, as well as cultural and social interests with the public. But it is also a forum where you’ll learn about the spaces, places, and people bringing all things Black Canada into the light! From academic to popular articles, from exhibitions to events, from resources to funding, we got you covered. Looking for a job, we can help with that too!

What BM Can Do for You

Want to learn more about the study of the Black Diaspora and Black Canada? We’ve got the resources you need and the media that’ll make you feel seen. Keep up to date on my latest publications and speaking engagements and dive into our research and resources to find out more about your history! Want to keep learning, growing, and challenging yourself? This is the place!