Desmond Cole wins $10,000 Toronto Book Award

Desmond Cole

Journalist and activist Desmond  Cole has been awarded the 2020 Toronto Book Award for The Skin We’re In: A Year of  Black Resistance and Power.

The $10,000 prize annually goes to the book that best evokes the city of Toronto.

The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power, published by Doubleday Canada, describes the struggle against racism in Canada during the year 2017, chronicling Cole’s role as an anti-racist activist and the impact of systemic racism in Canadian society.

The four other finalists were Zalika Reid-Benta for the linked short story collection Frying Plantain, Vivian Chong and Georgia Webbe for the comic Dancing after TEN, Toronto Star reporter Katie Daubs for the nonfiction book The Missing Millionaire and Jean Marc Ah-Sen for the short story collection In the Beggarly Style of Imitation.

Toronto finalist for the 2020 book prize

They will each receive $1,000.

Cole  said he will be donating half of his prize money to charity – $2,5000 will go to to a mutual aid fund for Black trans women to support their living expenses during the pandemic and the other $2,500 will be given to the Encampment Support Network, which supports the homeless population in Toronto