→ 22 Jun 12 at 11 pm
- Rinaldo Walcott’s essay (2000) entitled “Who is she and what is she to you?”: Mary Ann Shadd Cary and the (Im)possibility of Black/Canadian Studies on pg 44 of the book Rude: Contemporary Black Canadian Cultural Criticism edited by Rinaldo Walcott and published in 2000 by the Insomniac Press, Toronto.
*author was referring to Jane Rhode’s work, Mary Ann Shadd Cary: The Black Press and Protest in the Nineteenth Century and how Shadd Cary is reimagined as an American citizen yet with obvious ties to the place of Canada, and hardly influenced by being in Canada for over a decade.
lovewashername thoughts: this book i’m not even 60 pages into but it’s become important to me for articulating stuff i’ve experienced or stuff i’m just tryna say. we are from here and we are from there. i always say that because it’s true. our heritages and ties are international. a lot of folk that are deemed (insert nationality here) have very long and strong ties to canada but we can hardly claim them as being true because borders. and when it comes to influences and contributions that grew from those people being around people in canada, those get swept under the rug. in other words, we aren’t taught about it. what we’re told is that blackness is new and started in the 60s and 70s when we FIRST got here, which is a complete bitch slap to the 300 something years of history we DO have. mary ann shadd cary i was taught about without the name cary. i was taught that she was an important abolitionist but nothing about how she talked about nationality, exodus, slavery, gender AND race etc. and maybe, with her in mind, that’s why i thought we were new people that are just figuring shit out, for a long time. because when we look to claim products, happenings, peoples, things and culture overall, we look beyond our borders since our stories and narratives are sized as small and recent. so this way, it is easy not to put history and socially oppressive shit in the same sentence. because we are new people. and now i’m wondering how much i’ve been duped… by the idea that black caribbean women in canada only had nursing services during the wars to contribute, and that’s as far as their history stems. or even that african women just started making their mark here. or even how much canada didn’t do shit for hip hop. or even how we don’t have culture. i’m sayin; i’m thinking.
its always confused me that when folks said that formerly enslaved Black folks escaped they went up north and north was code not just for the potential northern united states but also for canada. but i had never not ever heard any history about what happened when these Black folks arrived in canada. like did they stay? (some yes) did they return (some yes)? like and also you mentioned borders and i’m thinking about how like the contests over what becomes the Canada/US border and how whatever struggling that might have existed around it is like so underplayed, at least in US history classrooms in texas. like all i remember is ‘the 49th parallel.’ hmmm i want to read this now too.
"One of the missing links in diasporic discourses is that the history and cultural production of Black Canadians has been displaced in conversations and dialogues concerning the Black Atlantic. Thinking concretely about Blackness in Canada, which conceptually and theoretically embraces the tensions and contradictions of the diaspora, has much to offer. It would allow us to make sense of what Black Studies can add to the dimensions of thinking about transnational Black cultural practices and identifications. Such thinking would in turn elucidate discourses of home, belonging, nation, Black Studies, Canadian Studies, Black cultural studies and theories of diaspora. In particular, a focus on Black Canadians allows us to highlight nation-state policies like official multiculturalism and the roles those policies play in diasporic identifications and sensibilities. Focussing on crossings and recrossings offers resistance to the seduction of national borders and boundaries; in effect, these crossings can teach us something about how national discourses work. Shadd Cary’s life is exemplary of these crossings and *Rhode’s study confirms this."
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