Shades of Black

by Carlos Anthony

How big a price should a Black teen have to pay to feel safe in a dangerous new environment?

Shades of Black is an honest and authentic portrayal of life as a young Black male teen in today’s culture and environment at an urban school in Toronto’s Etobicoke neighbourhood.

Romero, a Guyanese Canadian, is a sensitive kid who is just starting to attend an inner-city-style school with a large racialized population. Romero falls in with a friendly crew but finds himself in trouble when a shot is fired in the school cafeteria — and he gets stuck with the gun. Meanwhile, the police, often using brutal tactics and targeting young Black males, try to find out who the shooter was.

To humanize and critique the Black male experience and dispel the myth that vulnerability and empathy equal weakness, Carlos Anthony draws on his own recent experiences as a teen in school in Etobicoke. His novel is an authentic – and rare -- representation of Black youth culture and the experiences of Black teens in Canada’s public schools.

About the Author

Carlos Anthony

CARLOS ANTHONY is a filmmaker and author who writes about the experiences that Black men have historically avoided talking about. He has been recognized for his video web series, short story series, published essays, and short films that explore the themes of Black adolescence, fatherhood, fidelity, provision and work ethic, healthy relationships, sex and intimacy, overcoming addiction, and abuse. This is his first novel. With his wife and children, Carlos lives in Windsor, Ontario.


Anthony has crafted a fast paced, multifaceted story that brings many heavy issues to the surface including the difficulties with maneuvering adolescence, being Black, school shootings, gangs, drugs, poor parenting, deportment, and determining where loyalty lies… a believable dark look into what some teens could be going through… Highly Recommended.

CM: Review of Materials

Subjects (BISAC)


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