Volume 1. Issue 2. March 2012

Page 52

Camille Turner Miss Canadiana Confronts the Mythologies of Nationhood and the im/possibility of African diasporic memory in Toronto Key Words: Geography, Black Canadian History, Performance, Caribbean Intransit Journal

Abstract: As the walking tour begins, expectant faces turn toward me. I am in performance mode. I have transformed into Miss Canadiana. Although the audience is looking right at me, they see Miss Canadiana. They smile. She smiles back. Some, have come to hear the familiar Black Canadian history story, the one that maps the land as a safe haven for fugitive slaves who migrated across the border fleeing the evils they endured in America. I’m about to unleash a different geographic story. Blackness in Canada has a long and tumultuous history. It is erased, despatialized and concealed (McKittrick, p.93). Miss Canadiana is a persona I created and have performed since 2002 to reconcile fragments of my Black Caribbean heritage with my Canadian context in order to locate myself. By walking between worlds, I find ways to connect them


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