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Write the Reynolds’ book parts. Part 1 of the book gives an overview of Canada’s Black settlement as well as anti-Black racism history. The first two chapters of this part focus on African slavery in the New France as well as the events regarding the Black Loyalist settlement in the country’s Maritime Provinces.

Overview of Canada’s Black settlement and anti-Black racism history

Canada like the US has a lot of history of anti-Black racism. Race and ethnicity are issues that are still in the public domain today with human rights activism over time, having brought about an end to slavery and racial discrimination. Even so, Canadians have been made to believe that they are better off as compared to Americans in regard to accommodating the Blacks. They consider themselves as having embraced diversity and thus moral than their US counterparts who are still struggling with racism issues. In the book “Viola Desmond’s Canada: A History of Blacks and Racial Segregation in the Promised Land” by Reynolds, the author indicates that majority of Canadians today do not know of the Black life history in Canada and perhaps the reason why they belief they are positive about embracing racial diversity, unlike the US. Reynolds indicates that the history of African Canadians remains a marginalized field in the country’s history. As a result of the marginalization, this author argues that it is absolutely right to conclude that majority of Canadians that see anti-Black racism as being an American phenomenon, do not fully understand the African Canadian experience. Reynolds thus presents his book to educate them on the Black Canadian experience. Reynolds’ account of the Black Canadian experience is not reliable as it only discusses the life of the Blacks in Nova Scotia while paying minimal attention to related accounts in other parts including Ontario, Quebec and New France.

Reynolds’ book has two parts. Part 1 of the book gives an overview of Canada’s Black settlement as well as anti-Black racism history. The first two chapters of this part focus on African slavery in the New France as well as the events regarding the Black Loyalist settlement in the country’s Maritime Provinces. They also present an account of the Underground Railroad while describing the different segregation and discrimination forms which transpired between 1880 and 1960 across Canada. Crucial legislative acts including the prominent people and organizations that fought to end the segregation in the country are also highlighted. At the end of the second chapter, Reynolds describes the case of Viola Desmond’s historic choice at the Roseland theatre where she sat in the section that was reserved for Whites in Nova Scotia, including an account of her subsequent arrest. The first part ends in chapter three where Wanda Robson, Viola Desmond’s younger sister writes on her experience while growing up in Nova Scotia as a Black woman. This also includes Wanda’s discrimination experience in Nova Scotia as well as an account of what she recollected regarding Viola Desmond’s incident. Part 2 of the book provides a documentary of various primary documents which are directly related to the anti-Black discrimination history in Canada. Among them include several possessions of Marie Marguerite Rose who was freed as a slave in Canada’s New France. These possessions included documents on West Indian immigration into Canada, the activities of the Ku Klux Klan, Canada’s minstrel shows, as well as an interview involving Pearleen Oliver and the civil rights activism that she was devoted to in Nova Scotia. The author indicates that the documents in the chapter are primary sources, with accounts of Canadian Black experiences, which are relatively unknown to Canada’s majority.

Viola Desmond’s historic choice and subsequent arrest

One of the reasons as to why Reynolds’ book fails to fully document the history and bring out new knowledge on anti-Black segregation and racism in Canada is because he does not give enough attention to most areas of Black settlements in Canada. These areas despite being significant in the history of Blacks in Canada have been given so little attention by the author. In spite of the fact that French Canada, as well as African slaves, find a mention in the first chapter of the book, there is little attention on the Black populations that lived in Quebec after slavery.  The book’s discussion regarding the Underground Railroad gives the overview of the prominent persons that were involved in this particular movement including Levi Coffin and Josiah Henson. Even so, there is a lesser discussion on the Black life in Canada’s Southwestern Ontario, which was a major settlement area for many fugitive slaves as well as free people of color. There is a very minimal discussion on Black life in the locations mentioned by Reynolds. It is therefore clear that focusing on the Underground Railroad with minimal discussion of Black settlement as done by Reynolds does limit the area’s history to the Underground Railroad, in the 19th Century. This particular limitation has been identified by Black Canadian history scholars as a problem as it ties the area quite heavily to not only slavery but also to the United States while allowing little room for a detailed analysis of Canada’s Black life.

The book’s narrow focus on the Black populations in Canada’s small areas and/or province presents two major problems. Firstly, the narrow focus reduces the scope of Black settlement in Canada and this contravenes the author’s intention as stated in its introduction. The second chapter includes Reynolds claims where he indicates that Black Canadians have actually not been perceived as being a significant population in the history of Canada.  This is actually a problem, since right before the Confederation; the Blacks in Canada formed the sixth-largest population. They could by this time be found in the majority of Canada’s various regions. The author fails to delve into discussing the regions beyond the Maritimes, in spite of the fact that it was necessary to do so. Secondly, Reynolds’ narrow focus in this book brings about the isolation of anti-Black racism subject, to a few specific areas. At some point, this trend makes it difficult to understand the broader sense of segregation and/or anti-Black racism in Canada, especially for those that are new to this subject. While Reynolds aimed at presenting the whole history of anti-Black racism in Canada, he fails to do so because of limited space. It is impossible to fully address each case of anti-Black discrimination in Canada in the country’s whole history in just two slim chapters. This is impossible especially knowing well that there were differences in the accounts of anti-Black racism in regard to regions and provinces.

In regard to the second part of the book, Reynolds frequently references more expansive secondary historical works in the narrative chapters. This approach helps the audience by finding first-hand information on anti-Black racism in Canada since the references supplement areas that the author could have given more details.  Even so, relying too much on more comprehensive texts as done by the author and including summarizations that are relatively diluted of the evidence that is drawn from the texts is the author’s undoing. This is because his own effort to clearly articulate the overall narrative of the Black life in Canada in his initial two chapters is rendered to have brought little new to Black history in Canada. Instead, Reynolds’ narrative chapters merely provide the overview of any work already done on Canada’s Black history. This means that the only important components of the book are the primary sources in part two which give the audience first-hand information on the history of the Blacks in Canada.

Conclusively, it is difficult today to openly articulate and/or record Canada’s racism history for any general audience which is not familiar with the country’s Black settlement history. Reynolds’ book reviewed above makes an attempt to remedy this issue using several chapters that provide the overview of the anti-Black racist past in Canada. Even so, the book tends to be narrow in regard to describing the plight of the Blacks in the many areas that they were located within Canada. The author mainly focuses on the anti-Black segregation in Nova Scotia and fails to document the same cases in other parts of the country including Quebec and New France. The author goes further to provide a collection of related primary sources which makes his volume a very useful beginner resource for studying race and ethnicity in Canada, with an emphasis on Canada’s history of Blacks.

"New Book Examines Centuries Of Anti-Black Racism In Canada | CBC News". 2018. CBC. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/policing-black-lives-book-sheds-light-anti-black-violence-racism-history-canada-1.4362065.

Maynard, Robyn. 2017. Policing Black lives: state violence in Canada from slavery to the present. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing.

Reynolds, Graham. 2016. Viola Desmond’s Canada: A History of Blacks and Racial Segregation in the Promised Land. Journal of Critical Race Inquiry. Winnipeg, MB: Fernwood Publishing. Vol. 4, No. 1 (2017) pp. 74-77

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My Assignment Help. (2019). Viola Desmond’s Canada: A History Of Blacks And Racial Segregation In The Promised Land. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/book-review-viola-desmonds-canada.

"Viola Desmond’s Canada: A History Of Blacks And Racial Segregation In The Promised Land." My Assignment Help, 2019, https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/book-review-viola-desmonds-canada.

My Assignment Help (2019) Viola Desmond’s Canada: A History Of Blacks And Racial Segregation In The Promised Land [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/book-review-viola-desmonds-canada
[Accessed 12 June 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'Viola Desmond’s Canada: A History Of Blacks And Racial Segregation In The Promised Land' (My Assignment Help, 2019) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/book-review-viola-desmonds-canada> accessed 12 June 2024.

My Assignment Help. Viola Desmond’s Canada: A History Of Blacks And Racial Segregation In The Promised Land [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2019 [cited 12 June 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/book-review-viola-desmonds-canada.

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