The African Canadian Legal Odyssey: Historical Essays
Published: November 2012© 2012
416 Pages, 6.40 x 9.28 x 1.55 in
The African Canadian Legal Odyssey explores the history of African Canadians and the law from the era of slavery until the early twenty-first century. This collection demonstrates that the social history of Blacks in Canada has always been inextricably bound to questions of law, and that the role of the law in shaping Black life was often ambiguous and shifted over time.
Comprised of eleven engaging chapters, organized both thematically and chronologically, it includes a substantive introduction that provides a synthesis and overview of this complex history. This outstanding collection will appeal to both advanced specialists and undergraduate students and makes an important contribution to an emerging field of scholarly inquiry.
1) Introduction: From A Property Right to Citizenship Rights - The Black Canadian Legal Odyssey - Barrington Walker (Department of History, Queen’s University)
2) Ethelbert Lionel Cross, Toronto's First Black Lawyer - Susan Lewthwaite (Independent Scholar) Previously published in Constance Backhouse and W. Wesley Pue, eds., The Promise and Perils of Law: Lawyers in Canadian History (Toronto: Irwin law, 2009), pp. 193-223
3) Constructing an “Imperial Pan-Africanist”: Henry Sylvester Williams as a University Law Student in Canada - J. Barry Cahill (Independent Scholar)
Formal Legal Equality and Anti-Black Discrimination: Case Studies
4) Racial Segregation in Canadian Legal History: Viola Desmond’s Challenge, Nova Scotia, 1946 - Constance Backhouse (Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa) Previously published in Dalhousie Law Journal, Volume 17, 1994, pp. ; 299-362
5) Creating the Myth of ‘Raceless’ Justice in the Murder Trial of R. v. Richardson, Sandwich, 1903 - Susan McKelvey (York University)
6) Maniacal Murderer or Death Dealing Car: The Case of Daniel Perry Sampson, 1933-1935 - David Steeves (Independent Scholar)
7) The Law's Confirmation of Racial Inferiority: Christie v York, 1939 - James W. St. G. Walker (Department of History, University of Waterloo) Previously published as Chapter 3 of Walker, “Race,” Rights and the Law in the Supreme Court of Canada: Historical Case Studies (Toronto: Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History and Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1997), pp. 122-180
8) Errors of Fact and Law: Race, Space and Hockey in Christie v. York - Eric Adams (Faculty of Law, University of Alberta) Previously published in University of Toronto Law Journal, 2012
Slavery, Race and the Burden of History
9) Slavery and Slave Law in the Maritimes ; - David Bell, Faculty of Law (University of New Brunswick); J. Barry Cahill (Independent Scholar); and Harvey Amani Whitfield (Department of History, University of Vermont). Edited and consolidated by Philip Girard. Previously published as David G. Bell, ‘Slavery and the Judges of Loyalist New Brunswick,’ University of New Brunswick Law Journal, Volume 31, 1982, pp. 9-42; J. Barry Cahill, ‘Slavery and the Judges of Loyalist Nova Scotia,’ University of New Brunswick Law Journal, Volume 43, 1994, pp. ; 73-135; and J. Barry Cahill and H. Armani Whitfield, ‘Slave Life and Slave Law in Colonial Prince Edward Island, 1769-1825,’ Acadiensis, Volume 38, 2009, pp. 29-51.
10) The Burden of History: Race, Culture, ; African Canadian Subjectivity and Canadian Law in R v. Hamilton - David Sealey (formerly Centre of Criminology, University of Toronto)
11) A Black Day in Court: “Race” and Judging in R. v. RDS - James W. St. G. Walker (Department of History, University of Waterloo)
‘The African Canadian Legal Odyssey makes an important contribution to scholarship in African Canadian legal history. It not only brings new material to light and casts new light on familiar material, but it also expands and reconfigures the parameters of the field. I look forward to teaching this collection in African Canadian history classes.’ Nina Reid-Maroney, Department of History, Western University
- Joint winner - Osgoode Law Society Peter Oliver Prize in Canadian Legal History