Black History in Canada

4 Primary Source Analysis 1. Form small groups, and together read the advertisements in the Primary Source Analysis Worksheet. Pay attention to the wording and any accompanying imagery. 2. Once you have examined the ads, answer the following for each advertisement: a. When and where was each advertisement produced? b. Why was this document produced? c. Look at the characteristics the enslavers used to describe the enslaved. What do you notice about how they are described? d. What do you learn about the subjects of each document? e. What can these advertisements teach us about enslavement in colonial Canada? 3. As a class, discuss your answers and share what you have learned from these advertisements. Use these questions to lead the discussion: a. What do these documents reflect about the attitudes and beliefs towards Black people in the colonies that made up Canada at that time? b. What questions do you have about these advertisements? What don’t we know about these sources? c. How do these advertisements help contribute to a fuller understanding of the conditions faced by enslaved Black women, men, and children? ACTIVITY 1.1 ACTIVITY 1.2 MARIE-JOSEPH Angélique Enslavement Advertisements Marie-Joseph Angélique (also spelled Marie-Josèphe) was an enslaved Black woman charged with one of the most infamous crimes in Quebec’s history. In 1734, she was charged with arson after a fire leveled Montreal’s merchants’ quarter. It was alleged that Angélique committed the act while attempting to escape her bondage. She was convicted, tortured, and hanged. While it remains unknown whether she set the fire, Angélique’s story has come to symbolize Black resistance and freedom. 1. As a class, listen to the Marie-Joseph Angélique podcast episode from the Strong and Free series. 2. Have a class discussion about what you learned: a. What does it mean to be enslaved? b. What does the history of enslavement in Canada reveal about society in colonial New France? What does it reveal about Canadian society today? c. Afua Cooper says in the podcast, “She [Marie-Joseph] was enslaved. It’s not like anyone had sympathy for her. No one had sympathy for her.” Her status as an enslaved person worked against her in the trial. Can you think of other instances where someone’s circumstances may work against them? In a court of law? In a job? In the classroom? d. What does the statement “innocent until proven guilty” mean? What are some barriers today that may affect someone’s perceived innocence? e. Are any of these conditions of enslavement present in our modern world? 3. After discussing the above, read the Marie-Joseph Angélique article on The Canadian Encyclopedia. Write a page about why you think Marie-Joseph Angélique was blamed for the fire, rather than another enslaved person or a white colonizer. What does the public’s decision to blame her tell us about how enslaved people were treated and expected to behave in New France, and the dangers of challenging this structure? Keep in mind that everything we know about her life comes from the trial condemning her. Plan of Montreal, 1700 (Library and Archives Canada) Still from Strong and Free: Marie-Josèphe Angélique podcast (Historica Canada) Quebec Gazette, 1778