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North of the Color Line: Migration and Black Resistance in Canada, 1870-1955

Mathieu, Sarah-Jane

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ISBN 10: 0807871664 / ISBN 13: 9780807871669
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Bibliographic Details

Title: North of the Color Line: Migration and Black...

Publication Date: 2010

Binding: PAP

Book Condition:New

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Synopsis:

North of the Color Line examines life in Canada for the estimated 5,000 blacks, both African Americans and West Indians, who immigrated to Canada after the end of Reconstruction in the United States. Through the experiences of black railway workers and their union, the Order of Sleeping Car Porters, Sarah-Jane Mathieu connects social, political, labor, immigration, and black diaspora history during the Jim Crow era.

By World War I, sleeping car portering had become the exclusive province of black men. White railwaymen protested the presence of the black workers and insisted on a segregated workforce. Using the firsthand accounts of former sleeping car porters, Mathieu shows that porters often found themselves leading racial uplift organizations, galvanizing their communities, and becoming the bedrock of civil rights activism.

Examining the spread of segregation laws and practices in Canada, whose citizens often imagined themselves as devoid of racism, Mathieu historicizes Canadian racial attitudes, and explores how black migrants brought their own sensibilities about race to Canada, participating in and changing political discourse there.

Book Description:

"Sarah-Jane Mathieu's scholarship opens up and deepens our understanding of race, migration, immigration, urbanization, and the discourse of white supremacy through its exploration of the United States' northern neighbor. She exposes multiple assumptions and contradictions presently embedded in the consciousness of citizens of Canada and the United States as well as the historical literature. Her treatment is creative, well-researched, and beautifully written."--Beth Tompkins Bates, author of Pullman Porters and the Rise of Protest Politics in Black America, 1925-1945

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