It is with great pleasure and pride that I introduce the next 2 issues of CMAJ, which centre the health of Black people in Canada and explore anti-Black racism in Canadian health care spaces.
These 2 special issues grew out of a meeting in late 2020 between 2 co-leads of the Black Health Education Collaborative (BHEC), Dr. Onye Nnorom and Dr. OmiSoore Dryden, and Dr. Andreas Laupacis and me, not long after the murder of Mr. George Floyd. Drs. Nnorom and Dryden proposed that CMAJ show solidarity with Black communities in Canada by having a special edition on anti-Black racism and its effects on health in Canada. We said no. Special issues are a lot of work, and our staff were overwhelmed by more-than-doubled submissions in the first year of the pandemic. We offered to create a CMAJ collection for articles on the topic of Black health instead. Drs. Nnorom and Dryden explained why that would be an almost meaningless gesture that would do nothing to highlight how anti-Black racism affects people's health in Canada. And so began a course of learning for me, and the start of a journey for the CMAJ Group.
In early 2021, we agreed to move forward with a special issue, the gestation of which turned out to be neither straightforward nor easy. CMAJ advertised for Black health scholars to join a group that would oversee the work. In collaboration with BHEC, the working group (comprising scholars and CMAJ editors) put out a call for papers. Emails of intent and submissions began to come in. However, at the beginning of 2022 the project almost stalled because actions taken by CMAJ damaged the working group's trust, which needed to be rebuilt. (1)
Despite this rocky course, the call for papers for a single special issue resulted in more than...