The Promised Land: History and Historiography of the Black Experience in Chatham-Kent's Settlements and Beyond
Eschewing the often romanticized Underground Railroad narrative that portrays southern Ontario as the welcoming destination of Blacks fleeing from slavery, The Promised Land reveals the Chatham-Kent area as a crucial settlement site for an early Black presence in Canada. The contributors present the everyday lives and professional activities of individuals and families in these communities and highlight early cross-border activism to end slavery in the United States and to promote civil rights in the United States and Canada. Essays also reflect on the frequent intermingling of local Black, White, and First Nations people. Using a cultural studies framework for their collective investigations, the authors trace physical and intellectual trajectories of Blackness that have radiated from southern Ontario to other parts of Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa. The result is a collection that represents the presence and diffusion of Blackness and inventively challenges the grand narrative of history.
- Series: African & Diasporic Cultural Studies
- World Rights
- Page Count: 248 pages
- Illustrations: 6
- Dimensions: 6.1in x 0.7in x 9.1in
‘This book is brilliant compilation of in-depth exciting, informative, and interdisciplinary scholarship that explores the history of Chatham-Kent.’
The Michigan Historical Review vol 41:02:2015
“The Promised Land is one of the most interesting, informative, and exciting books I’ve read in years. It is a call to action that comes at just the right time, as scholars and lay historians alike increasingly work to look beyond the mists of obscurity and the myths that have kept us from a just and comprehensive understanding of a past that has everything to do with our sense of the present and with any hopes of cultural stability and historical certainty we might entertain as we look to the future.”
John Ernest, Department of English, University of Delaware
“The Promised Land has fulfilled on its promise, with an engaging and authoritative account of the Black experience in southwestern Ontario. Rich in local detail and family lore, this collection demonstrates the value of academic-community collaboration. It will be useful for anyone interested in African-Canadian history or the comparative study of the African Diaspora, and it contributes as well to a more nuanced understanding of Canadian history and historiography.”
James W. St.G. Walker, FRSC, Department of History, University of Waterloo
Author InformationBoulou Ebanda de b’Béri is a professor of Communication and Cultural Studies and the founding director of the Audiovisual Media Lab for the study of Cultures and Societies at the University of Ottawa.
Nina Reid-Maroney is an associate professor in the Department of History at Huron University College, Western University.
Handel Kashope Wright is a professor of Education and founding director of the Centre for Culture, Identity and Education at the University of British Columbia.
Table of contents
Part I: Introducing the Promised Land Project
1. The Politics of Knowledge: The Promised Land Project and Black Canadian History as a Model of Historical “Manufacturation”? (Boulou Ebanda de B’béri)
2. Multiculturality Before Multiculturalism: Troubling Black Identity and History Beyond the Last Stop on the Underground Railroad (Handel Kashope Wright)
3. History, Historiography and the Promised Land Project (Nina Reid-Maroney)
Part II: From Fragments through Biography to History
4. William Whipper’s Lands along the Sydenham (Marie Carter)
5. Mae Alexander: Daughter of Promise (Claudine Bonner)
6. “A Contented Mind Is a Continual Feast”: Tracing Intellectual Migrations through the Promised Land (Nina Reid-Maroney)
Part III: Transgeographical Trajectories and Identity Formation beyond the Underground Railroad
7. Resisting Imperial Governance in Canada: From Trade and Religious Kinship to Black Narrative Pedagogy in Ontario (Olivette Otele)
8. African-American Abolitionist and Kinship Connections in Nineteenth-Century Delaware, Canada West, and Liberia (Peter T. Dalleo)
9. Reimagining the Dawn Settlement (Marie Carter)
Epilogue. Reflections: The Challenges and Accomplishments of the Promised Land (Afua Cooper)
PrizesSpeaker's Book Award awarded by Legislative Assembly of Ontario - Short-listed in 2014
Subjects and Courses