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282civil war history settings and associations; Chapter II, which is unusually dull and tedious , is an excellent example. Unfortunately, although the documentation is all that can be desired, the footnotes are treated as endnotes at the close of chapters. The bibliography is complete and the index is desirably analytical. The author deserves to be commended for this welldone biography. LeRoy H. Fischer Oklahoma State University The Blacks in Canada. A History. By Robin W. Winks. (New Haven: Yale University Press, and Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1971. Pp. xvii, 546. $15.00.) In The Blacks in Canada Robin Winks grapples with problems of minority identity, institutional unity, leadership, and majority response, all compounded by Canada's persistent identity crisis and intensified by insistent contrasts and comparisons with the American experience. Examining the Canadian black experience from the seventeenth century to 1970, Winks emphasizes three major conclusions: prejudice against blacks has always been endemic; blacks have never been assimilated into the majority culture; and they have failed to create a viable community among themselves. Slavery, which existed in both French and English Canada until the 1830's, was neither extensive nor important . The French and English found it an uneconomic labor system. And, although both accepted it, the Catholic Church did not encourage it while the English, particularly after 1800, became increasingly antislavery . Yet, though slavery gradually died out, prejudice against the Negro increased during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The early French had defined inferior status merely by color; but later, scorn for the poverty of Negro refugees of the War of 1812, fear of mongrelization in the 1850's and of increasing black immigration by the 1880's, early twentieth century pseudoscientific racism, and the activities of a Canadian KKK in the Ì920s variously delineated that prejudice. There was also the question of cultural assimilation and the problem of creating a black community. Because of Canada's cultural pluralism, to be Canadian has meant also to be English, French, Ukranian, Loyalist , or whatever. Yet, argues Winks, Negroes lacked such a positive group identity. Those from the United States, either antebellum fugitives or later immigrants, were neither African nor American in loyalty. Moreover, those who formed special communities — the Loyalist blacks (1780's), Jamaican Maroons (1790's), Refugees (1812-1814), or, in recent decades, West Indians — viewed other blacks with suspicion and distrust. Buried deep in Canadian black history and giving clearest definition to the issues which Winks portrays is perhaps the most important conclusion of all. White Canadian response to the black presence has varied BOOK REVIEWS283 with geography and time. Accepted in twentieth-century Toronto, blacks are rejected in Dresden; never of real concern on the prairies, they have been ever-present to Nova Scotians. At the same time blacks have failed to establish themselves on a nationwide plane. There have been, Winks contends, no national black leaders in Canada, no church structure unrent by sectarianism, no race press with sound business acumen or broad, unifying policy, no school system, segregated or integrated , which met the needs of the black community. So it has gone over the years. If there is a certain formlessness about The Blacks in Canada, it is largely inherent in the history it narrates. Yet, after discussing a new black activism in the 1960s similar to that in the United States, though less developed and occurring later. Winks optimistically concludes that, although "the historian cannot run ahead of the headlines," there seems still a place for the "black tile in the [Canadian] mosaic." 483 pages speak otherwise. In the end there is little contemporary—and virtually no historical—evidence that many white Canadians understand the black other than as an outsider or that many black Canadians have transcended their internal fragmentation. The story does mirror in good part the history of the blacks in the United States. And Canadians, like Americans , must be troubled by the pattern of the black experience in their country, a pattern shaped largely by the majority. William H. Pease University of Maine, Orono Reconstruction: The Great Experiment. By Allen W. Trelease. (New York: Harper and Row, 1971. Pp. 224. $4.95.) Sunday in Centreville, The Battle of Bull...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 282-283
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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