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Stories from The Little Black School House

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • This article explores the history and memory of Canada’s all-Black segregated schools and the attendant struggle of African Canadians to ensure that their children have access to the full educational opportunities promised by Canadian society. Through advocacy, and a legacy of resistance, and by dint of committed work, teachers, community leaders, and parents fought for many generations to turn the ‘promise’ of freedom into reality. Canadians can no longer engage in the dance of denial about the misery caused by the forced evacuation of Aboriginal and Inuit children when they were ripped from their families only to be placed in separate, segregated residential facilities, which, while called “schools,” bore little resemblance to the caring, nurturing educational environment this word evokes. Rather, they were locations, sites of memory, where abuse and racism reigned. Why did this happen? In a word: race, the socially, not biologically constructed category that has stratified and negatively affected humans for generations, and what theorist W.E.B. Dubois spoke of when he said, “[t]he problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line.” What is not widely known or remembered is that in two Canadian provinces, because of their race, a large number of African Canadian children were also required by law to attend separate, segregated schools.

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  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
  • License
    © 2011 Aboriginal Healing Foundation.
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  • Source
    Hamilton, S. D. (2011). Stories from The Little Black School House. In A. Mathur, J. Dewar, & Mike DeGagné (Eds.) Cultivating Canada: Reconciliation through the Lens of Cultural Diversity. Ottawa: Aboriginal Healing Foundation
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