Bernice Redmon wanted to become a nurse but was refused entry to nursing schools in Canada. Instead, she went to St. Phillip Hospital Medical College in Virginia, U.S.A. and graduated with her nursing diploma in 1945. When she returned to Canada that same year, she became the first Black Nurse allowed to practice in public health after getting a job at the Nova Scotia Department of Health. She went on to become the first Black woman appointed to the Victorian Order of Nurses in Canada.

You can learn more about Canadian black nurses histories at this link.


Why I'm doing this )

In any case, recent appreciation for transcribing some of my readings has prompted me to do a weekly post of other quotes. I hope this will lead to dialogue within the simultaneously safer and colder realities of this virtual world. None of the quotes in this week's selection are longer than a page single paced but all of them combined will take more than 2 minutes to read. Read those that engage you in full, skip over others. They may or may not be related to any others. Comment on those that spoke to you, made you reflect or on those that disengaged you quickly, with why if you prefer. I will challenge myself not to offer my thoughts on any within the post. My bias will still be evident to the critical eye noticing what I do and don't quote, how much I quote, etc. and I will do my best to be accountable when shortcomings are shown to me.

d�finition de la communaut� francophone )


Same quote as above but in English - about defining what francophone community is )

 LJ ate the original descriptor of the below quote. Redefining "the West" as it has been experienced by an Indian emigrant.

Redefining  )


Reconnecting mental health to the body and challenging the foundation of why mental  )


How one Native American learnt about himself and revisited his sexuality by partaking in community action )


A psychiatrist refuses the construction of his blackness imposed by white supremacy (translated into English) )


One academic offers a critical way to reconsider the above quote )

To Whom It May Concern:
I am not what I have tried to be!
Will I ever be able to write a few words correctly?
Will I ever learn not to misspell words?
No. Never. I am a cobbler.
-John Petracca

the poet's grand-daughter's take on the poem and repositioning working class knowledge more generally within an academic frame )
Unrelated to the rest of the entry, I called Brassard's office )Why do we have such an absurd need for a solid, deep-rooted, robust, and pink-cheeked identity, a peasant identity anchored for centuries to the same land? Why not embrace an empty self? I have no roots. It's a fact .... I am a crowd, a one-woman march, procession, parade, masquerade .... To be a crowd, what a marvelous gift!
-Alicia Dujovne Ortiz

My latest rant on the tired topic )

The following excerpts are from "Beyond the Pale": Rearticulating U.S. Jewish Whiteness by Caren Kaplan. It was written in the 1990's and although it is US-centric this author is one of the most aware ones I've come across who does locate her experience and theories with an awareness for the rest of the globe (not just Europe or Canada).
Internalized anti-semitism? Insufficient ethnic identification? Classism? Racism? The list of possible crimes again "my people" is as long as my propensity for self-flagellation can support. Betrayal is at the end of the road for such a journey away from home base. But what is "home base" in the current climate of identity politics in the United States, when so many subjects express contradictory, ambivalent, or multiple affiliations? Between the demand for singular adherence to a modern identity script and the homogenization of assimilation there lies a zone that could be described as "beyond the Pale." The literal meaning of pale is a stake driven into the ground to mark a boundary. The word also connotes a limit of restriction. Thus, to be beyond the pale suggests a transgression, a movement beyond the boundaries of civilization, beyond the reach of a community or collective sense of values and identities. [...]
No one is free of the burden of definition in a political society that operates through rights claims that assert an intrinsic quality of identity. This aspect of the liberal, democratic state plaques the feminist theorist who adheres both to post-structuralist concepts of the social construction of categories and to activist agendas for social change. But some categories are less marked by ambiguity or angst for me than others and that can't be accidental. Rather, such certainties and uncertainties can be read as maps of power, privilege, and discrimination inscribed on the body as each person's social text. In my own case, it is my understanding of myself as a Jew that tends to throw the limits of identity politics into sharp relief .... I have experienced the cognitive, if not political, dissonance of access to the privileges of whiteness accompanied by the threat of racist violence and discrimination expressed as anti-semitism. It's confusing but instructive. Such points of complication can serve as sites of investigation: they are the signs of ideology at work. [...]
Read more... )
part 1 of a poem )part 2 of an unrelated poem )Bits from this week's reading on the politics of resistance and marginality )Moreover, while Canada may have come to oppose slavery, it did not do so in an antiracist context. Escaped slaves were welcomed into Canada not just for benevolence's sake but as cheap labor. After slaves were emancipated in the United States, Canadians encouraged blacks to relocate there. And after emancipation many blacks voluntarily left Canada for the United States, not only to return to kin but also to flee Canadian racism.
[...]Read more... )By extension, blacks outside of the United States are often on some level in contention with black America, whether they wish it or not. As many have observed, black subjects globally are affected by African American poiltical and civil rights struggles, as well as by other widely circulating African American discursive technologies and cultural forms, such as literature, scholarship, music, dance, fashion, and so on. This is especially the case in nearby Canada even though Canada is almost always overlooked within the writings that make this type of argument.
Read more... )Blackness is seen as American, while Canada's foremost national bond, according to countless polls, is a collective sense of self as un-American. When the most notorious "invisible empire," the Ku Klux Klan, was established in Canada in the 1920s, anti-Americanness was part of its platform.
And yet, this same multiculturalism fosters perceptions of blacks as having non-Canadian origins, a form of displacement, alienation, and expatriation (or repatriation) from the imagined community that is Canada. In the United States this type of association is uncommon for blacks and more common for, say, Asian Americans, who are often treated as recent immigrants, for instance, being complimented on their English, even if their Americanness extends back many generations.
It is the same logic that has prompted some to note that blackness, unqualified, is often coded as American. The anthropologist Michel Rolph Trouillot, for instance, conjectures that "the U.S. monopoly on both blackness and racism [is] itself a racist plot" (1995: 71). The politics of place, the issue of geopolitics, is every bit as consequential an aspect of identity as race, class, gender, and sexuality.
A conclusion of sorts )
I have recently been informed by multiple monolingual anglophones that discrimination based on language is not racism. At best, I am conceeded that it is discrimination but racism, many have asserted, is skin deep and skin pigmentation alone. In the interest of giving this due consideration, if I am to accept this, I then need a vocabulary to precise discrimination based on language apart from non-specific discrimination or those already defined by their own specific vocabulary (e.g. sexism, heterosexism, etc.)

Also, from the get go, I want to be clear on where I stand on racism as I understand it. For the last ~6-7 years, I have been of the school thought that by virtue of my whiteness, I am racist. There is no qualifer to my whiteness, I am white. If you are suddendly frightened that I secretly have a white hood in my closet, you are probably equating racism to xenophobia. (Yes, yes, it's true. I'm making a generalization. I do them all the time despite knowing better. Culpa mia.)Read more... )



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