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Caribbean Voices in Toronto: Three Examples. Lillian Allen , Austin Clarke and Dionne Brand. Caribbean Immigrants in Canada: Background (1). Early Immigrants : student and (female) domestic help e.g. A. Clarke and May in “ Running for my Life ”

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caribbean voices in toronto three examples

Caribbean Voices in Toronto: Three Examples

Lillian Allen, Austin Clarke and Dionne Brand

caribbean immigrants in canada background 1
Caribbean Immigrants in Canada: Background (1)
  • Early Immigrants: student and (female) domestic help e.g. A. Clarke and May in “Running for my Life”
  • Three factors of changes in the 60’s
    • Canadian immigration laws
    • Great Britain was closing its doors; deterioration of racial relationships there
    • the steady decline of the British economy
caribbean immigrants in canada background 2 toronto
Caribbean Immigrants in Canada: Background (2) --Toronto
  • Ideal of multiculturalism vs. reality of racism
  • Ethnic Areas in Toronto City: Bloor Street, Little Italy, Chinatown, Cabbagetown, etc. (see map)
  • differential incorporation; e.g. housing, salary (83% of Caribbeans’ yearly income falls under 25,000)
  • direct racism: e.g. police brutality

clips 5, 6, 8, 9

caribbean immigrants in canada 3 multiple voices
Caribbean Immigrants in Canada (3): Multiple Voices
  • House party (fete) and Caribana
    • As means of strengthening a sense of community;
    • the venues for illegal activities
  • Multiculturalism
    • Brand against 布松達認為多元文化政策造成「一種加拿大式的、溫和的、文化種族隔離政策」(Hutcheon 315);布蘭德也認為它將加勒比海裔分隔開來,「沒有處理真正的〔政治、經濟上〕的權力問題」(Hutcheon 274)。
    • Austin Clarke thinks that the immigrants are partly responsible for their failures.
lillian allen austin clarke and dionne brand
Lillian Allen, Austin Clarke and Dionne Brand
  • Lillian Allen: enacting the immigrant voices (dreams and resistance)
  • Austin Clarke: multiple solitudes and gender conflicts
  • Dionne Brand: Black resistance and liberation
lillian allen
Lillian Allen
  • Lillian Allen was born in 1951 in Spanish Town, Jamaica, and moved to North America in 1969. A dub poet, most of Allen's work is performed as opposed to written for the page. Dub poetry is a political form of poetry, often associated with Afro-North Americans, that has been set to music. (source)
  • Two performances of the immigrant voices (dreams and resistance)
austin clarke
Born in Barbados in 1934 and came to Canada to attend university in 1955. He has had a varied and distinguished career as a broadcaster, civil rights leader, and professor.

Clarkes has dealt extensively with the lack of roots and ruins in the lives of immigrants in Canada, and the consequent damage to the psychological and emotional health of these men and women. (Harney 131)

Austin Clarke
i m running for my life
"I'm Running for My Life"
  • Towards the end of the story, May goes tearfully to her friend Gertrude to confess her "sin," about which she feels both scared and good. Gertrude, on the other hand, claims that it is a sexual assault that May experiences. What do you think? What do you think Clarke wants to convey here?
two interpretations
Two Interpretations
  • May's explanation: pp. 88-89 --adultery; newness and love in her. the thought of murder the night before (p. 92); Indian blanket 92; 82-83
  • Gertrude's responses -- concern for her own work; 94; master and slave 95
may s contradictory feelings toward her master
May's contradictory feelings toward her master
  • Why does she feel guilty in the bedroom: Covetousness? Theft? Dishonoring?
    • Christian way of thinking
    • trying on the mistress’ dresses and pantyhose p. 77
    • Answering a phone call
    • Curious about the book, The Joy of Sex
  • Fear of the house: its emptiness and coldness, like a tomb; a presence
  • Loyalty, pity and sympathy for the man
  • Desire for him & feeling desired pp. 79; 80
mr moore s views of may
Mr. Moore’s Views of May
  • appreciative of her, but neglectful p. 80-81;
  • sexual desire for a colored woman 86
  • sense of deficiency p. 87
contrast between may and gertrude
Contrast between May and Gertrude
  • May– weak in need of help; relies on external supports such as frying pan and house slipper;
  • Gertrude – jumps into conclusion. But is she totally wrong?
  • Mr. Moore,
    • too weak, too invigorated; peace, wanting to die
    • the words “Confidential”“Pictures”“Photos”“Term Papers” signs of memory and power
  • May: tears p. 96
dionne brand
Dionne Brand
  • 布蘭德自稱為是非精英份子(non-elite),女同性戀者和馬克斯主義者
  • 布蘭德自稱「逃離」家鄉的,因為當時在千里達她身為一個女孩很受限制 (所以她也是逃離femininity﹔ Silvera 361-63)。但對她而言,她既不住在「那裡」(千里達),也不住在這裡(加拿大),而是在兩者之中(Birbalsingh 1996: 122)。
at the lisbon plate
"At the Lisbon Plate"
  • 1.How do African minorities in the story fight against limitations at a corner of the city?
    • Elaine's way ("African princess")-- leaving the city and going back to Africa;
    • the narrator's -- drinking, story-telling, the use of juju and voodon, continuation of Caribbean culture in the city but not going back; “killing” the colonizers.
what does lisbon plate represent
the bar’s position: p. 99

Rosa p. 96; 101

Rosa’s brother p. 97

All the signs are here: p. 105

the white boy p. 108

the women the narrator are associated with:

The old aunt pp. 99; 108

The old woman; 90; 98 her stories


What does “Lisbon Plate” represent?
the old woman
The Old woman
  • p. 98 Her stories led the narrator here.
  • her juju belt “full of perfidious mixtures and insolent smells and her secrets” p. 102
  • (the other sorts of old women e.g. from Brand’s poem “Hard Against the Soul”No Language is Neutral)
elaine vs the narrator
Elaine vs. the narrator
  • Eliaine always making promises, moving to Tanzania to find her roots; pp. 98-99; plans the possibilities of living grandly p. 104
  • Elaine fixed goals, definite ideas.
  • Elaine, drunk without vision, I drunk with ideas
  • I in constant flight; vacant look; tries to avoid the old woman by following Elaine.
the narrator
The narrator
  • my life on the upswing 95-96;
  • haunted like a plantation house, a woman in enemy territory 97; grow like the old woman 102
  • Assuming racial memories:
    • a thin smoke 105 thinks of deaths in Johannesburg
    • dream of the middle passage. 107
    • using voodoo, and predicting what will happen in her dreams p. 106; p. 110
the narrator1
The narrator
  • Story-telling pp. 99 – looking for liars; 101 for revealing the indiscretions, for admissions of being human,
  • Camus’Outsider re-written 112-13