February 2, 2010
In the 199os an artist-musician and close friend originally from Haiti, Emmanuel Printemps, used to visit us regularly on Friday evenings and we would ask him to share his music with us and our other guests. We always requested one of his most moving, enchanting Creole songs, the powerful but sad story of the local butcher who lost his livelihood during the pig slaughter. As I follow the events in Haiti since the earthquake, I think of these precious friends from another time and place; they and their families are in our hearts and prayers.
Rural peasants in Haiti raised a very hardy breed of creole pigs which along with goats, chickens, and cattle served as a savings account. It was argued that from 1978 to 1982 about 1/3 of Haiti’s pigs became infected with the highly contagious African Swine Fever (ASF) in an epidemic that had spread along the Artibonite River shared with the Dominican Republic whose pigs had caught the virus from European sources. At first peasants were encouraged to slaughter their own pigs but then the Haitian government proceeded on a total eradication program that virtually wiped out what remained of the 1.2-million pig population by 1982. Farmers argued that they were not adequately compensated for their losses. The more robust creole pigs were replaced with a sentinel breed of U. S. pigs that were not adapted to Haiti’s ecosystem or market. For Haiti’s rural peasants the loss of income due to the virus and the government’s controversial eradication and repopulation programs led to further impoverishment and greater hardship, ultimately resulting in greater political instability.
In two webviral posts entitled “The Hate and the Quake: Rebuilding Haiti” by scholar, historian Sir Hilary Beckles of the University of the West Indies, (Beckles 2010-01-19) that are now circling the globe , we need to do some memory work before we conclude that Haitians are the architects of their own impoverishment.
In this seminal retelling of Haiti’s history, (Beckles 2010-01-19) reminds us all that when Haiti provided freedom and the right of citizenship to any person of African descent who arrived on the shores of the newly formed Haitian republic (1805), the newly formed nation-state (1804) was strategically punished by Western countries, through economic isolation ( (Beckles 2010-01-19)).
From 1805 through 1825 Haiti was completely denied access to world trade, finance, and institutional development in “the most vicious example of national strangulation recorded in modern history ( (Beckles 2010-01-19)).”
In 1825 in an attempt to be a part of international markets, Haiti entered into negotiations with France which resulted in payment of a reparation fee of 150 million gold francs to be paid to France in return for national recognition. The installments were made from 1825 until 1922. From 1825-1900 alone this amounted to 70% of Haiti’s foreign exchange earnings. Beckles (2010-01-) argues that this merciless exploitation caused the Haitian economy to collapse (Beckles 2010-01-19).
Furthermore, when Haiti’s coffee or sugar yields declined, the Haitian government had to borrow money from the United States at double the going interest rate in order to repay their punishing debt to the French government (Beckles 2010-01-19) .
From 1915-1934 the United States occupied Haiti under orders of President Woodrow Wilson in response to concerns that Haiti was unable to make its considerable loan payments to American banks to which Haiti was deeply in debt. The brutal U.S. occupation of Haiti caused problems that lasted long after 1934.
Webliography and Bibliography
Filed in African Canadian history, child poverty, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Studies, economic efficiency, Economics, ethics, History, Human Geography, Memory Work, meta-ethics, MyGoogleMaps, Politics, Public Policy, risk management, Risk Society, Robust conversations, social cohesion, Social Justice, Social Sciences, society, wealth disparities will intensify
Tags: Beckles, Emmanuel Printemps, Haiti, Memory Work
December 31, 2009
In the southwest of the city, trees were covered in hoar frost, Christmas lights shone through halos of dense fog and there were patches of black ice on the bridge across the Bow. My mind was far away even as I listened. I had googled Cambodia before we went to the dinner invitation, but nothing could have prepared me to meet this survivor of the “killing fields.” This gifted scientist, with an unshakable belief in God, was the sole infant who somehow miraculously clung to life while hundreds of mother’s babies lay lifeless beside him, around him, under him. He rejects the label of miracle child, preferring to travel the globe to study, to learn and to share, to either help or do no harm . . . with an intensity that can be vertiginous.
A group of Vietnamese-American immigrants compiled the following list of cultural differences (1978) shortly after arriving in the United States when they were living between two worlds. Dr. Douglas K. Chung, Professor at Grand Valley State University School of Social Work, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1992) included this comparison to enhance understanding of cultural shock that Indochinese refugees experience in Western countries.
|We live in time.||We live in space.|
|We are always at rest.||We are always on the move.|
|We are passive.||We are aggressive.|
|We accept the world as it is.||We try to change it according to our blueprint.|
|We like to contemplate.||We like to act.|
|We live in peace with nature.||We try to impose our will on nature.|
|Religion is our first love.||Technology is our passion.|
|We delight to think about the meaning of life.||We delight in physics.|
|We believe in freedom of silence.||We believe in freedom of speech.|
|We lapse in meditation||We strive for articulation.|
|We marry first, then love.||We love first, then marry.|
|Our marriage is the beginning of a love affair.||Our marriage is a happy end of a romance.|
|Love is an indissoluble bond.||Love is a contract.|
|Our love is mute.||Our love is vocal.|
|We try to conceal it from the world.||We delight in showing it to others.|
|Self-denial is a secret to our survival.||Self-assertiveness is the key to our success.|
|We are taught from the cradle to want less and less.||We are urged every day to want more and more.|
|We glorify austerity and renunciation.||We emphasize gracious living and enjoyment.|
|Poverty is to us a badge of spiritual elevation.||Poverty is to us a sign of degredation.|
|In the sunset years of life, we renounce the world and prepare for the hereafter.||We retire to enjoy the fruits of our labor.|
Dr. Douglas K. Chung, Professor at Grand Valley State University School of Social Work, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1992) included the following comparison to enhance understanding of cultural shock that Indochinese refugees experience in Western countries. A group of Vietnamese-American immigrants compiled this list of cultural differences shortly after arriving in the United States when they were living between two worlds.
Webliography and Bibliography
Chung, Douglas K. 1992.
Filed in AFlicktion, Ethnography, History, hospitality, memory, Power and everyday life, slow world, social cohesion
Tags: courage, culture shock, East-West, ethical topography of self and the Other, genocide, information-knowledge-wisdom, killing fields, Memory Work, social cohesion
December 2, 2009
Overwhelmed that a photo of the Iqaluit cemetery taken from Happy Valley looking out over Koosejee Inlet in October 2002, can travel so far because of the initiative of Sep and Jonathan, two cyber citizens who have created Art 2.0: a collaborative art form linking (and hyperlinking) art, technology, consciousness . . .
Their methodology was impeccable, including dozens of collaborators through a series of courteous and informative emails that described the step-by-step process.
The final result is mind-boggling.
They provided the customized url for the image of pages on which the work of each contributor is shown:
They also provided a link to the Amazon site where the book itself is on sale at a very low price considering the high quality of the book design and its unique format which is a harbinger of a Art 2.0.
I am grateful they trawled Flickr and found a fragment of my own narrative . . .
After nearly 3 years of hard work we are so very happy to announce that We Feel Fine: An Almanac of Human Emotion is in stores starting today. You should all be receiving your books within the next few weeks, but we hope that you will take a sneak peek next time you’re at your local bookstore. Copies should be on the shelves of bookstores nationwide in the United States.
If you live within the Unites States, your complimentary copy of the book will be shipped out today or tomorrow. If you live outside of the US we will be shipping your book next week and it may take some extra time to get to you. Thank you all for being so patient and it shouldn’t be too much longer until you have it in your hands.
We also hope that you will spread the word and perhaps include the exciting news in your facebook status or on your blog. We will be posting the simple: “We Feel Fine book in stores today! http://bit.ly/wffbook)” in our facebook/twitter as well.
As we have said before we honestly couldn’t have done this without all of you and so on today of all days would like to send you all our sincerest gratitude. For me, personally, I have had an incredible time working on this book and a huge part of that has been reading your blogs. Thanks for everything. Best, Sep
Filed in Artists, Blogosphere, collaborative, Cultural Anthropology, Human Geography, microblogging, My personal product recommendations, social cohesion, Technology and Software, Technology. Mind and Consciousness, Visual Arts, Web 2.0
Tags: bricoleuse, collaboration, Creative Commons, cyberdelirium, cyberworld nomad, human nature, reflexivity, social cohesion, we feel fine
July 25, 2009
In the few short months that I have spent in Nunavut, two mothers who had become my colleagues and friends, lost youthful sons to suicide. Within a brief period of two months, four youth in a community of less than 1,500 people committed suicide. Almost the entire community attended the funeral. The hall was filled with infants, toddlers, children, youth, adults and elders. The youngest children wove between chairs and family members comfortably a part of community life. Youth dressed in southern street-smart clothing respectfully gave their seats to elders. The shared pain in the room at the loss of their youth through suicide, was suffocating. At the graveside, it was cold and windy. It began to snow. As one mother witnessed the shovel-fulls of sand thudding onto her son’s coffin, another walked quietly alone to another fresh grave nearby. I stood there helpless feeling so overwhelmed I couldn’t move. I know many others felt the same paralysis. How many of us were mothers? How many of us had sons in their twenties?
The family of the young man, colleagues and friends provided support to the parents and to each other. On the return flight home, one man was unusually upbeat and talkative. Perhaps that is his way of dealing with the pain. I didn’t know who he was. He sat behind me. As I left the plane I asked the woman next to me who this man was. To my astonishment it was the *** for Nunavut.
Following the suicides, friends and acquaintances attempted to find ways of absorbing yet another tragedy. Some felt anger at the youth who committed suicide. Many expressed feelings of numbness. Some regretted their own inability to know what to do. They felt guilty for not knowing how to prevent it. Like many others I feel a sense of powerlessness.
November 21, 2003: (I hope things go well with you. I am writing to ask your favour in helping a bit on your recent (and future) expense claims. I know that S.H. is a bit harried, working herself as a full-time instructor as well as the financial manager on this project. I really do not want her — nor is it fair — working as a glorified clerk. Therefore, in her behalf, could you send her a claim that she can file without amendment — that is, typed or in pen, a correct excess baggage sum, and an amended per diem (given kitchen facilities, it should be much less than $70.) working with an actual cost or estimated at around $35 or $40. We are tight on this project, especially as I went the extra mile on the term appointment. Many thanks.)
December 11, 2002: While waiting for my plane at the Iqaluit airport I met a physician-researcher who had just completed a report on the Nunavut Ministry of Health. She told me about a two-hour conversation she had with a man called TNC in a hotel bar in Rankin Inlet. TNC had lost a friend to suicide. He was deeply bothered by his loss. He went to see a nurse. The nurse became very uncomfortable when Tommy mentioned he was depressed and upset by this suicide. She sent him to a Social Worker. The Social Worker was also ill at ease. She called the police. TNC spent the night in jail. They were concerned he might hurt himself. Because the small hamlet had no counselling services, TNC was flown to Yellowknife. He was separated from the only real support system he had — his mother and grandmother in Rankin Inlet. Later on the plane I sat beside a young man GRB. GRB worked for Baffin Correctional Centre. He started there in c.1996. He told me about a millionaire who made his fortune by buying high-end buildings in Iqaluit, then renting them at high rents to the Nunavut Government. GRB loved speed — the speed of the snow machine. His best moments were out on the land with a half a dozen friends on powerful machines. His work bothered him. He felt surrounded by uneducated, untrained fellow-workers — many of whom came from Halifax — who cared little for the young offenders. Many were there because they could earn huge salaries — especially with overtime. Some of them didn’t even have high school education and in Iqaluit they were earning much more than they ever could in the Maritimes. It frustrated him to see how these untrained workers wanted to work by the book to earn points from the supervisors. Sometimes a situation could be diffused before it became violent and ugly. By rigidly following the book, a small incident could escalate into an ugly incident very quickly. GRB came to know the offenders so he knew how to calm things. Increasingly the workers who lacked experience but were older than him, made the situations worse. GRB noticed the most improvement in the youth came through the on-the-land program. Youth would spend a couple of months with the elders. They came back healthier and more confident. He commented on the work of the psychiatrist Dr. Q He said that Dr. Q tried to prevent the worst from happening but he was not really in control of the situation. He was not able to make all the decisions that would be beneficial to the youth. GRB said that Iqaluit youth threatening suicide would be sent to the Youth detention centre. He would be stripped down, showered and then given ‘baby dolls’ to wear before being locked in a safe cell where he could do himself no harm. (What a contrast to the treatment my friend’s son received in Ottawa. )
June 2002: This text will change organically as the flicktion develops.
Uploaded by ocean.flynn on 30 Nov 06, 9.15PM MDT.
July 9, 2009
Clifton Ruggles is described by QWF Literary Database of Quebec English-Lanuage as an “important fixture in Montreal black community, an artist, poet, photographer, and journalist who dedicated his time to ensuring that black youth had proper guidance and role models.”
Fernwood Review of Ruggles and Rovinescu’s (1996). Outsider Blues: a Voice from the Shadows:
”The articles that appear in this book originate in the shadows–those marginal spaces that black people have been forced to inhabit ever since the first slaves reached the shores of North America.” Ruggles tells us that “Black is more than just a racial category, it’s a way of viewing the world.” It is out of this set of eyes that Clifton Ruggles writes a column in the Montreal Gazette. This book is a collection of those columns and of Ruggles’ photographs, which visually illustrate the “Black” experience. He tells stories of Black people’s everyday lives, provides non-stereotypical role models, details their contributions to culture, politics and so on–stories which are often either ignored or underplayed. Among the photographs are two photo essays, one autobiographical and one entitled Shadowlands. The book also includes an article by Olivia Rovinescu entitled “Deconstructing Racism.”
History, Identity and the Politics of Exclusion; Racism and Everyday Life; Reducing Prejudice: The Role of Multicultural Education; Education, Access and Social Mobility; Crossing Cultural Boundaries; Race, Representation and the Arts;
Combatting Social Problems/Making A Difference; racism, marginality, Canada,
Thumbnail biography with CLIFTON RUGGLES (B.Ed., McGill University, Certificate Special Education, McGill University, M.A. candidate, Art Education, Concordia University) has been teaching for 11 years for the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal. Along with Olivia, he has co-authored “Expressions of Montreal’s Youth,” “Exploring the World of Work,” and “Words on Work.” Clifton teaches art and math at Options High School and is himself an exhibited artist and photographer. Clifton is also the co-editor of The Sentinel, a magazine published by the Provincial Association of Protestant Teachers.
This is an excerpt from Outsider Blues:
“I guess practice does make perfect. Every year it seems that Black History Month gets better.
This year is no exception. Performances celebrating black historical and cultural contributions ranged from lectures, art exhibits, music, theatre, dance, film, poetry and even a demonstration of caring for black hair.
Black History Month evolved out of African-American educator Carter G. Woodsen’s 1926 Negro History Week. It has a dual purpose: celebrate the experiences and achievements of blacks and educate blacks as well as non-blacks about that history.
The West End had its share of Black History Month events, “Free Your Mind Return to the Source” as the Loyola Concert Hall featured more than two dozen musicians. It showcased the evolution of black music from the chains and drumbeats from the heart of Africa, to the Americas, from slavery to hip hop.
In the middle of one of the worst winter storms this year, blacks and whites came together to hear the sounds and the stories of the African diaspora.
One of the most impressive performers was South African vocalist Lorraine Klaasen.
She sang songs that spoke of the black struggle for liberation in South Africa as well as a song based on a traditional cry of joy. And she reminded parents of the importance of teaching children about their ancestors and culture.
Maison de la Culture Notre Dame de Grâce and Maison de la Culture Côte des Neiges had a full array of activities to celebrate Black History month. I was particularly taken with Pat Dillon’s portrayal of a black domestic talking about life, politics and the condition of black women in “Clemmie is M’friend.”
The one-woman play gives historical significance to all the black women who have worked as domestics, my mother included, and who in some ways have been the backbone of the black community.
Reads letter aloud
During the play, she reads aloud a letter she sent to her mother and children in Jamaica. She tells of the police shootings of black men and recounts the bitter irony of how these black men were killed. She concludes her letter by telling her mother not to send her teenage son for fear he might become one of the police statistics.
Even the National Gallery of Canada got involved in Black History Month this year by having a series of talks on such topics as African art and aesthetics and the image of blacks in art.
I attended one of these by art educator Maureen Flynn-Burhoe called “The Positive Presence of Absence: a History of the African Canadians through Works in the Permanent Collection of the National Gallery of Canada.” Even though there weren’t many works in the Gallery’s collection, Flynn-Burhoe managed to use certain paintings in the permanent collection to discuss the social and historical significance of these images to the black experience.
What wasn’t there became as relevant as what was there. One fascinating story was about the portrait of a naval officer, painted for his bravery. However, what was not hanging there, Flynn-Burhoe noted, was a painting of an equally brave soldier who was on another ship at the same time, and who was awarded the Victoria Cross. His name was William Hall and he was black. The omissions speak volumes.
But the most fascinated thing about the art tour was coming face to face with a bronze bust of one of my relatives – Tommy Simmons, who worked as a railway porter and coached an all-black girls’ baseball team.
It is one of the few existing sculptures of a black Canadian person. The bust, by Orson Wheeler, was found in 1975 in a studio at Sir George Williams University.
Jones, also a relative of Simmons, was on hand to give some historical information about the bust.
The talk reminded me how the contributions of black Canadians have gone missing from the pages of Canadian history. Black History Month came to life for me when these untold stories began to surface.
Reactions to Black History Month vary with the black community. Most of the people I spoke to were very positive about its scope and impact.
One view was that besides giving blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves, Black History Month forces the involvement of societal institutions like governments, schools, art galleries, and various media.
Other people, however, were sceptical of the benefits of dedicating just one month to this agenda.
One person I spoke to expressed concern that there were not enough young people at the events; another that there weren’t enough people of other cultural groups.
One view was that Black History Month should work towards incorporating into the programs events that have a focus on the future.
Black History Month showed the diversity, richness, and talent can be found in the black communities. It was a testimony to the pain, joy and difficulties of the black experience (Ruggles 1995:02-23, reprinted Ruggles and Rovinescu 1996: 68-9).”
1971 Ruggles interviewed a Sleeping Car Porter: “Most porters did their work simply because they were afraid of getting fired. Most of these men had families and they wanted their kids to get a good education and they tried to do their work and stay out of trouble. They would have died if someone had taken their jobs away from them for no reason. I was there…I felt these men…you can feel things like that. I’ve seen men cry like babies and shake. I’ve had to hold them back from getting at an inspector or a conductor. Every time I think about it I get so full of rage. All the resentment just errupts in me all over again. I’ve had to control this anger…this hatred for thirty years.” “Unit 7: World War Two: Breaking Down The Barriers” in “Some Missing Pages: The Black Community in the History of Quebec and Canada.”
1974 Ruggles interviewed a Sleeping Car Porter: “In the old days the porters were hired if they were “good boys”. Yes Sir Mr. Charlie. It was just a mask that they wore. That has all changed, as far as the younger porters are concerned. The older one still do it. It becomes habit forming after a while, they’ve been doing it a long time. You don’t teach an old dog new tricks, anything that the management says, they’d accept. They’re not willing to fight for their right. There’s no fire in them anymore. There’s no zest. The younger porters have more spunk. They won’t take as much. They won’t hop when an inspector gets on the train. You should see the old timers kill themselves when an inspector gets on the train. They overwork themselves. We don’t care. We’re a new generation, we don’t say “yes Sir Mr. Charlie, No Sir Mr. Charlie”. That’s dead, and we want it to die, but the old guys are letting it live.” “Unit 7: World War Two: Breaking Down The Barriers” in “Some Missing Pages: The Black Community in the History of Quebec and Canada.”
1975 Ruggles interviewed a Sleeping Car Porter “When I first started, all porters where Black…and every white person on the train had the authority to act as your boss. Any passenger could get us fired. The conductors, our immediate bosses were told to ‘ride the porters’…make them tow the line, make them submissive. The tourist cars were just like cattle cars…soldier, low-life types…poor people who had no business on the train, got on with all their prejudices. They would insult us…humiliate us, and no matter what insult was hurled at us, the conductors were always reprimanding us…apologizing to them, promising them we would be disciplined accordingly. Consequently, a lot of porters were fired for hitting people in the mouth. But how much can a man take? Anybody…any bum could come up to you and tell you that he’s going to get your job just because he didn’t like your face. It gave them pleasure to act superior to Black people.” “Unit 7: World War Two: Breaking Down The Barriers” in “Some Missing Pages: The Black Community in the History of Quebec and Canada.”
1976 Ruggles interviewed a Sleeping Car Porter: “Porters used to have to shine shoes. One inspector used to actually smell them to see if they were freshly shined. I remember one porter got some really smelly cheese and put it in a shoe..this inspector took a whiff…I think that cured him…for a while. Another disgusting thing were the cuspidors or spitoons in the smoke room. These were cups in which people would spit. There was nothing more degrading than emptying these things out. Can anything be more disgusting than cleaning out somebody’s spit?” “Unit 7: World War Two: Breaking Down The Barriers” in “Some Missing Pages: The Black Community in the History of Quebec and Canada.”
1976 Ruggles interviewed a Sleeping Car Porter: “We were treated like five year olds. we couldn’t even talk back. If you did, they’d punish you…they’d put you out in the streets and make your wife come down and beg for your job. This is the reason I never got married. I never wanted my children to be ashamed of me. The porters that survived the best were the Uncle Toms…but I’ve seen these so called Uncle-Toms ashamed of the things they had to do…knowing that their children were ashamed of them. When they’d get home they’d break mirrors and break windows. The company never know about this, or cared about it for that matter. The story of my life is that I have closed this job out of my life. I go through the motions of doing my work to keep these people off my back. If have no respect for this job. As a matter of fact. I do not allow my friends to refer to this “nigger” job when I’m off it.” “Unit 7: World War Two: Breaking Down The Barriers” in “Some Missing Pages: The Black Community in the History of Quebec and Canada.”
1989 Clifton Ruggles published em>Visions of Colour which included “poems were inspired by events and situations which have had a profound influence upon [his] life. Reprinted in “Unit 7: World War Two: Breaking Down The Barriers” in “Some Missing Pages: The Black Community in the History of Quebec and Canada.”
“To me poetry is an inner experience which requires a certain understanding of yourself, of the situation and the conditions which give birth to creative expression. My father worked as a porter for many years. After his accidental death, I became interested in learning about the kind of work he did and how it had affected him. So I decided to take employment as a porter for the C.P.R. Soon after I became acquainted with many of the people with whom he had worked as well as some of his closest friends. It was them who shared their deepest and most cherished memories with me. I was deeply touched by the stories of the men who had worked the trains for many years and one day I decided to write about them. These poems are a result of that experience (Ruggles 1989).”
Ruggles Poetry from 1989
To be nothing more than a figure head a shadow
Of something concrete…
But the shadow is concrete too
Existing in the background
Its hopes, fears, aspirations
Emotionally swallowed up in the foreground
Opaque but striving to be noticed
By whom for what?
The moon grows smaller
But the shadow grows taller
Reaching for the moon
Slowly the moon disintegrates
The shadow is no more
until the Sun rises
If it rises?
The shadow’s plight remains the same
bent and twisted on the walls of shame
A shadow will always be a shadow
From: Ruggles. 1989. Visions of Colour, 1989, Montreal.
Ruggles, Clifton. 1989. Visions of Colour.Montreal.
Ruggles, Clifton, 1995, “Black History Month is better than ever,” The Gazette,” Montreal, Thursday, February 23, 1995.
Ruggles, Clifton; Rovinescu. 1996. Outsider Blues: a Voice from the Shadows. Fernwood Publications: Halifax.
Goddard, Horace I.; Ruggles, Clifton. reprinted 2008. "The nature of black writing in Canada: an interview with Cecil Foster." Kola. 2008: Spring.
Horace I. Goddard "The nature of black writing in Canada: an interview with Cecil Foster". Kola.
Learn Quebec. "Work and Identity: The Art of Clifton Ruggles" in "Unit 7: World War Two: Breaking Down The Barriers" in "Some Missing Pages: The Black Community in the History of Quebec and Canada." Unit 7. Features. Social Sciences. Learn Quebec curriculum.
List of Works on Black Canadian History Recommended by Learn Quebec Curriculum Unit on Black Canadian History
1: Print Sources
Africville Genealogical Society, ed. The Spirit of Africville. Halifax: Formac Press, 1992.
Bearden, Jim, and Linda Jean Butler. The Life and Times of Mary Shadd Cary. Toronto: NC Press, 1977.
Bertley, Leo W. Canada and Its People of African DescentPierrefonds: Bilongo Publishers, 1971.
---. Montreal's Oldest Black Congregation: Union Church 3007 Deslisle Street. Pierrefonds: Bilongo Publishers, 1976.
Best, Carrie M. That Lonesome Road: The Autobiography of Carrie Best. Nova Scotia: The Clarion Publishing Company Ltd., 1979.
Black Cultural Centre of Nova Scotia. Traditional Lifetime Stories: A Collection of Black Memories. Black Cultural Centre, 1987 (Vol. 1), 1990 (Vol. 2).
Braithwaite, Rella, and Tessa Benn-Ireland. Some Black Women: Profiles of Black Women in Canada. Toronto: Sister Vision, 1993.
Bramble, Linda. Black Fugitive Slaves in Early Canada. Vanwell History Project Series. St. Catharines: Vanwell, 1988.
Brand, Dionne. No Burden to Carry: Narratives of Black Working Women in Ontario 1920s to 1950s. Toronto: Women's Press, 1991.
Brown, Rosemary. Being Brown: A Very Public Life. Mississauga: Random House, 1989.
Bymmer, D. The Jamaican Maroons: How They Came to Nova Scotia: How They Left It. 1898. Reprint. Toronto: Canadian House, 1968.
Carter, Velma, and Wilma Leffler Akili. The Window of Our Memories. St. Albert, Alberta: B.C.R. Society of Alberta, 1981.
Carter, Velma and Levero Carter. The Black Canadians: Their History and Contributions. Edmonton: Reidmore, 1988.
Clairmont, Donald H. and Denis William Magill. Africville: The Life and Death of a Canadian Black Community. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1974.
Clairmont, Donald H. Nova Scotia Blacks: An Historical and Structural Overview. Halifax: Dalhousie University Institute of Public Affairs, 1970.
Clarke, Austin. Nine Men Who Laughed. Markham: Penguin Books, 1986.
---. When He Was Free and Young and He Used to Wear Silks. Toronto: House of Anansi Press Ltd., 1971.
DeJean, Paul. Les Haïtiens au Québec. Montréal: Presses de l'Université du Québec, 1978.
---. Haitians in Quebec. (Translated and with a foreward by Max Dorsinville.) Ottawa: Tecumseh Press, 1980.
Denby, Charles. Indignant Heart: A Black Worker's Journal. Montréal: Black Rose, 1979.
D'Oyley, Vincent. Black Presence in a Multi-Ethnic Canada. Vancouver: Centre for the Study of Curriculum and Instruction, University of British Columbia, 1978.
Drew, Benjamin. The Refugee: or the Narratives of Fugitive Slaves in Canada. Related by Themselves, with an Account of the History and Condition of the Colored Population of Upper Canada. Boston: John P. Jewett and Company, 1856. Rpt. as The Narratives of Fugitive Slaves in Canada. Toronto: Coles Publishing Company, 1981.
Eber, Dorothy. The Computer Centre Party: Canada Meets Black Power. Montréal: Tundra Books, 1969.
Elliot, Lorris, ed. Other Voices: Writings by Blacks in Canada. Toronto: William- Wallace, 1985.
Forsythe, Dennis, ed. Let the Niggers Burn: Racism in Canada. Montréal: Black Rose, 1971.
Gay, Daniel. Des empreintes noires sur la neige blanche: les noires au Québec (1750-1900): Rapport final. Québec: Conseil Québécois de la Recherche Sociale, 1988.
Gilmore, John. Swinging in Paradise: The Story of Jazz in Montreal. Montréal: Véhicule Press, 1988.
Govia, Francine, and Helen Lewis. Blacks in Canada: In Search of the Promise. A Bibliographical Guide to the History of Blacks in Canada. Edmonton: Harambee Centres Canada, 1988.
Grow, Stewart. "The Blacks of Amber Valley: Negro Pioneering in Northern Alberta." Canadian Ethnic Studies 6, nos. 1-2 (1974): 17-38.
Hill, Daniel. The Freedom Seekers: Blacks in Early Canada. Agincourt,: The Book Society of Canada, 1981.
---. Human Rights in Canada: A Focus on Racism. Ottawa: Canadian Labour Congress, 1977.
Hill, Donna, ed. A Black Man's Toronto 1914-1980: The Reminiscences of Harry Gairey. Toronto: The Multicultural History Society of Ontario, 1981.
Hill, Lawrence. Trials and Triumphs: The Story of African Canadians. Toronto: Umbrella Press, 1993.
Hornby, Jim. Black Islanders: Prince Edward Island's Historical Black Community. Charlottetown, PEI: Institute of Island Studies, 1991.
Jean Baptiste, Jacqueline. Haitians in Canada = Aylsyin Nan Kanada. Ottawa: Minister of State Multiculturalism, 1979.
Kilian, Crawford. Go Do Some Great Thing: The Black Pioneers of British Columbia. Vancouver: Douglas and McIntyre, 1978.
Krauter, Joseph F., and Morris Davis. Minority Canadians: Ethnic Groups. Ontario: Methuen, 1978.
Lind, Jane. The Underground Railroad: Ann Maria Weems. Toronto: Grolier Limited, 1990.
MacEwan, Grant. John Ware's Cow Country. Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie Books, 1972.
Pachai, Bridglal. Beneath the Clouds of the Promised Land: Volume 1 1660-1800: The Survival of Nova Scotia's Blacks. Halifax: The Black Educators Association of Nova Scotia, 1987.
---. Beneath the Clouds of the Promised Land: Volume 2 1800-1989: The Survival of Nova Scotia's Blacks. Halifax: The Black Educators Association of Nova Scotia, 1990.
Porter, Kenneth. "Negroes in the Fur Trade." Minnesota History 15 (1934): 421-433.
Riendeau, Rodger. An Enduring Heritage: Black Contributions to Early Ontario. Toronto: Dundurn, 1984.
Ruck, Calvin. Canada's Black Battalion. Rev. ed. Nimbus, 1987.
Silvera, Makeda, ed. Silenced: Talks with Working Class West Indian Women About Their Lives and Struggles as Domestic Workers in Canada. Rev. ed. Toronto: Sister Vision, 1989.
Spray, W. A. The Blacks in New Brunswick. Fredericton: Brunswick Press, 1972.
Sterling, Dorothy. Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman. Garden City: Doubleday, 1954.
Still, William. The Underground Railroad. New York: The Arno Press and the New York Times, 1968.
Talbot, Carol. Growing Up Black in Canada. Toronto: Williams-Wallace, 1984.
Thomson, Colin A. Blacks in Deep Snow: Black Pioneers in Canada. Don Mills: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1979.
Tounkara, Foday M. Un Africain à Montréal. Paris: Pensée Universale, 1980.
Troper, Harold Martin. "The Creek-Negroes and Canadian Immigration 1909-1911." The Canadian Historical Review 53, no. 3 (September, 1972): 272-288.
Tulloch, Headley. Black Canadians: A Long Line of Fighters. Toronto: New Canada Press, 1975.
Walker, James W. St. G. The Black Loyalists: The Search for a Promised Land in Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone 1783-1870. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992.
---. A History of Blacks in Canada: A Study Guide for Teachers and Students. Hull: Canadian Government Publishing Centre, 1980.
---. Identity: The Black Experience in Canada. Ed. Patricia Thorvaldson. Toronto: Ontario Educational Communications Authority, in association with Gage Educational Publishing Ltd., 1979.
---. Racial Discrimination in Canada: The Black Experience. Ottawa: The Canadian Historical Association, 1985.
---. The West Indians in Canada. Toronto: The Canadian Historical Association, 1984.
Williams, Dorothy W. Blacks in Montreal, 1628-1986: An Urban Demography. Cowansville: Editions Yvon Blais, 1989.
Winks, Robin W. The Blacks in Canada: A History. Montréal: McGill-Queens University Press, 1971.
---. "The Canadian Negro, A Historical Assessment." Journal of Negro History 53, no. 4 (October 1968): 283-300.
---. "The Canadian Negro, A Historical Assessment Part II: The Problem of Identity." Journal of Negro History 54, no 1 (January 1969): 1-18.
---. "Negro School Segregation in Ontario and Nova Scotia." Canadian Historical Review 50, no. 2 (June 1969): 164-191.
Winks, Robin W. et al., intro. Four Fugitive Slave Narratives. Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1969.
Print Sources Audio Visual Sources Archival Sources
Table of Contents
II: Audio-Visual Sources
Black Mother Black Daughter. Dir. Sylvia Hamilton and Claire Prieto. National Film Board, 1989. 28 min. 59 sec. This film pays tribute to the Black Women of Nova Scotia, who have struggled for over 200 years.
Fields of Endless Day. Dir. Terence Macartney-Filgate. National Film Board, 1978. 58 min. 14 sec. Outlines the presence of Black people in Canada from the seventeenth to the mid-twentieth century.
In the Key of Oscar. Dir. William R. Cunningham and Sylvia Sweeney. National Film Board, 1992. 94 min. A film biography of Montreal jazz pianist Oscar Peterson.
Older Stronger Wiser. Dir. Claire Prieto. National Film Board, 1989. 27 min. 59 sec. A unique history told by five Black women who discuss their lives between the 1920s and the 1950s.
Remember Africville. Dir. Shelagh Mackenzie. National Film Board, 1991. 35 min. Former residents of this historical Black community in Halifax discuss Africville's demolition and their relocation in the 1960s.
The Right Candidate for Rosedale. Dir. Bonnie Sherr Klein and Ann Henderson. National Film Board, 1979. 32 min. 52 sec. The story of Anne Cools, a Black woman, and her bid for the Liberal Party nomination in the Toronto riding of Rosedale.
Seven Shades of Pale. Dir. Les Rose. National Film Board, 1975. 28 min. 37 sec. A Black community meeting in Nova Scotia highlights the different perspectives of the older and younger generations towards the ways of obtaining positive change.
Speak It! From the Heart of Black Nova Scotia. Dir. Sylvia Hamilton. National Film Board, 1993. 29 min. A group of Black teenagers discover the richness of their heritage and learn some of the ways they can begin to effect a change in the exclusionary and racist attitudes in their predominantly white high school.
Voice of the Fugitive. Dir. René Bonnière. National Film Board, 1978. 29 min. 55 sec. This drama follows a group of fugitive slaves travelling North to Canada on the Underground Railroad in the 1850s.
Print Sources Audio Visual Sources Archival Sources
Table of Contents
III: Archival Sources
Black Studies Centre, 1968 de Maisonneuve Street West, Montréal, Québec H3H 1K5, Dr. Clarence Bayne, President.
The Roy States Black History Collection and the Lawrence M. Lande Collection of Canadiana, Rare Books Department, McLennan Library, McGill University.
Filed in African Canadian history, forgetting, History, hospitality, My personal product recommendations, My Reviews, My Reviews of Books, social cohesion, Visual Arts, Writers and theorists
Tags: African Canadian, Black History Month, Carter G. Woodsen, Clifton Ruggles, Montreal black community, National Gallery of Canada, Orson Wheeler, Tommy Simmons, William Hall VC
June 29, 2009
“Keep alive in your hearts
the feeling of confidence
that the light of knowledge
will inevitably dispel
the clouds of ignorance,
that concern for justice
will ultimately conquer
hatred and enmity.
[… The] proper response to oppression
is neither to succumb in resignation
nor to take on the characteristics of the oppressor.
The victim of oppression
can transcend it
through an inner strength
that shields the soul
from bitterness and hatred
consistent principled action.” UHJ 2009
There is such a contrast between the use of the term “principled action” when used here for healing the human spirit and the way it is used in writings referring to doing ethics, applied ethics, ethics talk. Is it about words or deeds?
“Keep alive in your hearts” calls to all of us to sustain consistent principled action freed from bitterness and hatred even when oppressed, refuse to resign to victimization, be careful not to respond to oppression by taking on the characteristics of the oppressor, struggle to continue to believe that knowledge will overcome ignorance, that justice will conquer injustice, nurture and maintain inner strength that will sustain us through the most ethically distressing dilemmas of our lives, nurture confidence when you feel doubt, seek knowledge instead of vengeance. This far transcends concepts of ethical codes and minimal ethical standards.
“Some people confuse acting in good conscience with “doing ethics”. While personal good conscience is necessary for acting ethically, it is not sufficient. There is also confusion of so-called “codes of ethics’ which are really codes of professional etiquette – for instance, between physicians or between lawyers – or which define unprofessional conduct, with codes of ethics properly so-called. Just because certain conduct does not breach professional norms, does not necessarily mean that it is ethical […] “Doing ethics”, especially by an ethicist, requires one to undertake an informed structured analysis that will assist in the identification and prioritisation of the full range of values relevant to, or affected by, the various decision options that are open in any given situation. It is inevitable that one’s own values come into play, but they should be identified as such and the other people involved advised of this. I sometimes imagine that “doing ethics” can be compared with opening a beautiful, intricately painted fan. The struts are the different schools of ethics, or the fundamental bases of the alternative analyses that could be used. The fabric that joins the struts may display one or several scenes. When we all agree on the outcome, although we do so for different reasons, we are choosing a different location in the one scene. When we disagree on the outcome, we are identifying several scenes and arguing that one scene is fundamental and should take priority in setting the overall tone or interpretation of the painting that the artist has portrayed on the fan, and that the other scenes must be interpreted in light of this. We all need to learn how to do ethics, even if we do not always succeed in doing this. “Doing ethics” is not a simple task; it is a process, not an event; and, in many ways, no matter in which capacity or context we do ethics, it is a life-long learning experience. The most important requirement, however, is that we all engage in that process, that is, we all participate in “ethics talk” (Somerville 2006).“
Filed in Business & Finance, Economy & Finance, ethics, governance, justice, meta-ethics, My Reviews, Philosophy, philosophy and society, Political Philosophy, Power and everyday life, Public Policy, Religion, religion and politics, social cohesion, Social History Timeline, society, wealth disparities will intensify
Tags: allocating limited resources, applied ethics, corporate social responsibility, CSR, doing ethics, ethical distress, ethical imagination, ethical intelligence, ethics talk, Global Compact, human rights, minimum ethical standards, principled action
Following in the footsteps of great Western philosopher’s peripatetic origins (Socrates, Nietzsche, Rousseau, Kierkegaard and Walter Benjamin) Writer and Director Astra Taylor invited Cornel West (Cultural Studies scholar and campaign advisor to Barack Obama), Avital Ronell (who co-taught a graduate course with the late Jacques Derrida), Peter Singer, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Martha Nussbaum, Michael Hardt, Slavo Zizek, Judith Butler and her own sister Sunara Taylor to walk the talk while examining contemporary social and ethical issues in her 2008 documentary The Examined Life. Following Philadelphia curator and academic Aaron Levy’s suggestion that camera shy or timid speakers might be more comfortable walking, and enthused by Rebecca Solnit’s book Wanderlust, “a magisterial history of walking,” Astra Taylor decided to ask the big questions using the peripatetic approach. She filmed Cornel West in the back of a New York city cab as it wove through traffic. Peter Singer navigated Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue , a high-end shopping area with luxury items reflected in windows and on shopping bags flashing behind him. She chose a garbage dump as backdrop for Slavoj Zizek’s conversation on ecology. In this a series of vignettes she attempts to demonstrate the accessibility of philosophy, reiterating Isaiah Berlin and Bertrand Russell that, “the central visions of the great philosophers are essentially simple.” Through this documentary she stresses the urgency for a philosophy with a cosmopolitical point of view as “the myriad problems facing us [in our broken world . . . one beset by problems both interpersonal and political], demand more thinking than ever, not less.” Philosophy helps us to “search for meaning and our responsibilities to others in a [world] full of inequity and suffering.”
Filed in Cultural Studies, ethics, hospitality, My Reviews, Philosophy, philosophy and society, Power and everyday life, slow world, social cohesion, society, Writers and theorists
Tags: Cornel West, Jacques Derrida, Judith Butler, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Martha Nussbaum, Michael Hardt, NFB, peripatetic, Slavo Zizek, Socrates