Over the years many groups have questioned the absence of Blacks and the Black perspective from the school curricula. This project on the presence of the Black community in Québec and Canada had its genesis in a request by a class of young secondary school students who were studying Black History at the Da Costa Hall summer school in July 1993. These eager students of Mrs. Junia Wilson questioned the general absence of Blacks from the school textbooks.
Visiting personnel from the ministère de l'Éducation heard their complaints, recognized the need and acted to introduce the relevant materials found in Some Missing Pages. The Quebec Board of Black Educators and the Provincial Association of Social Studies Teachers collaborated with the Ministère in this project.
The title, Some Missing Pages, has been inspired by the work of Esmerelda M. A. Thornhill who instituted the first Canadian university-Accredited course on Black Women's Studies. The course was entitled: Black Women: The Missing Pages from Canadian Women's Studies and was taught at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, Concordia University, in the summer of 1983 and the fall of 1988.
It is the hope of the partners engaged in this project that the data presented in this document will also supply some of the "missing pages" in the print materials most generally used by students in elementary and secondary schools. Materials that focus upon Blacks in the history of Québec and Canada help learners to understand more fully the social and cultural realities of the past centuries. These pages depict joy and sorrow, struggle and triumph, courage and determination.
Blacks have continued to make a positive impact on Canadian society and, though largely missing from popular texts and public documents, their contributions can be verified by a search through the records. This document contains a small but significant representation of such evidence.
While the material is directly compatible with the History of Québec and Canada program (History 414), many of the items included in these pages can serve as valuable content relative to a variety of subject areas and grade levels.
Format and Presentation
The contents have been organized into eight units spanning the periods in Québec and Canadian history from the French Regime to the post-war decades of the twentieth century. To encourage individual and group learning activity, the pages have been packaged for insertion into a three-ring binder. This packaging arrangement allows for additional insertions of items discovered by users of the document in the process of carrying out their own research on related historical phenomena.
Opportunities for Learning
The materials contained herein may be used in a variety of creative and enjoyable ways by students and teachers. Learning contexts that invite learners to process information in problem-solving situations, that involve dialogue among partners or team members and require decision making can produce positive results. Students begin to understand present social realities as outcomes or later stages of past events and conditions. By exploring, observing, questioning, and imagining the past, students are exercising skills that historians use to probe the past and make connections with the present.
In the process of working with the contents of this document young people will have the opportunity to discover some of the "missing pages" in their history. Such new awareness and knowledge will help them become responsible citizens whose membership in society will contribute to shaping the future.
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