Workplace Learning: Guelph Black Heritage Society (HIST*3480) | College of Arts

Workplace Learning: Guelph Black Heritage Society (HIST*3480)

Code and section: HIST*3480*04

Term: Winter 2020

Instructor: Catherine Carstairs


Course Synopsis:

The Guelph Black Heritage Society is currently renovating Heritage Hall. The renovated Hall will be unveiled in February 2020. The student will be working with the Guelph Black Heritage Society to provide a video that will outline the history of the organization and what they have accomplished over the past fifteen years.  

Methods of Evaluation and Weights:

Class Participation and Presentation - 10% (October 11 & November 1st)
Book Review (5 pages) - 15%  (November 1st)
Tri-Council Ethics Tutorial and List of Questions - 10% (October 25th)
Interviews 5 X 5% each - 25% (December 21st)
Video Production - 30% (January 31st)
Final Reflection - 10% (February 7)

Learning Outcomes:

  • You will gain knowledge of the Black experience in Ontario.
  • You will learn how to communicate history effectively through video format and written work.
  • You will gain crucial professional skills by working with a team and reflecting on your professional practice including communicating effectively with others, scheduling, and meeting deadlines.


Week 1

  1. The BME Church,
  2. Blackpasting Project,
  3. Adrienne Shadd, Afua Cooper and Karolyn Smardz Frost, The Underground Railroad next stop, Toronto!  (This is a short illustrated book, available in the University of Guelph library or on-line through the library)
  4. Sharon A. Roger Hepburn, “Following the North Star: Canada as a Haven for Nineteenth-Century American Blacks” Michigan Historical Review, (Will have to be on campus for this link to work or you’ll need to sign into the library)
  5. Constance Backhouse, Chapter 6  in Colour Coded: A Legal History of Racism in Canada, 1900-1950 (Toronto: Osgood Society for Canadian Legal History, 1999), 173-225  Available as an electronic book through the library
  6. Barrington Walker, Chapter 2 in Contesting bodies and nation in Canadian History (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013)  Editors of the book are Jane Nicholas and Patrizia Gentile.  Available as an electronic book through the library

To hand in:  Come with 2 questions and 2 things that you found interesting about each reading. This should not be more than 1 page in length.

Week 2

Read (1) of the following books:

  1. Lincoln Alexander, Go to School, You’re a Little Black Boy (2006)
  2. Lawrence Hill, Black Berry, Sweet Juice (2001)
  3. Cecil Foster, They Call Me George: The Untold Story of Black Train Porters and the Birth of Modern Canada
  4. Austin Clark, ‘Membering (2015)
  5. Cheryl Thompson, Beauty in a Box: Untangling the roots of Canada’s Black Beauty Culture (2019)
  6. Barrington Walker, Race on Trial: Black Defendants in Ontario’s Criminal Courts (2010)
  7. Karen Flynn, Moving Beyond Borders: A History of Black Canadian and Caribbean Women in the Diaspora (2011)
  8. Dionne Brand, No Burden to Carry: Narratives of Black Working Women in Ontario 1920s to 1950s (1991)

To hand in: a 5 page book review

* Please note: This is a preliminary web course description only. The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description. The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.