Category Archives: Caribbean History

When Historical Time Meets Real Time: Mourning Harry Tanner

Karen Dubinsky Harry Tanner died November 7 2019 at the age of 85. I’ve only known him a couple of years. However, I’ve known him his whole life. I knew his parents, his father a Bank of Nova Scotia manager stationed in Havana in the 1940s and 1950s, where Harry grew up. I know Harry’s excitement about life in 1960s… Read more »

Welcome to Canada: A Story from the First Year of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program

Edward Dunsworth It started as the most mundane of requests. One evening in late September, after a long day’s work, a light bulb flickered out in the dormitory that housed Carlton Robinson[i] and twelve other Jamaican men for the duration of their contract work on a farm in Vanessa, Ontario, about 65 kilometers southwest of Hamilton. For unclear reasons, it… Read more »

Not so Accidental: Farmworkers, Car Crashes, and Capitalist Agriculture

By Edward Dunsworth  Early last month, near the southern Italian city of Foggia, sixteen migrant farmworkers from various African countries were killed in two separate car accidents. In both cases, vans taking migrants back to camp after work collided with trucks carrying tomatoes from the very fields they had spent the day toiling in. The tragedy brought international media scrutiny… Read more »

Planned and Unplanned Urban Migrations

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Richard White As anyone who lives in or frequents Toronto’s inner-city can attest, the place is over-run with human activity. The word “congestion” is probably over-used in urban affairs, and it still feels tainted by its long association with slum clearances, but it is the word that comes to mind when travelling about the city’s lower downtown these days. Walking… Read more »

How Cuban Music Made Me a Better Historian

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By Karen Dubinsky “If you want to learn anything about the history of this country, you have to start listening to Carlos Varela.” This advice, offered by a colleague who was helping me make my way through a Cuban film archive a decade ago, proved remarkably true. I arrived in Havana in 2004 to research child migration conflicts. But what… Read more »

Podcast: 2014 CHA Annual Meeting Keynote Address by Ian McKay

http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/McKay-2014-CHA-Keynote.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadOn May 26th, historian Ian McKay presented the keynote address of the 2014 Canadian Historical Association Annual Meeting, held in St. Catharines, Ontario. ActiveHistory.ca is pleased to feature a recording of his talk: “A Half-Century of Possessive Individualism: C.B. Macpherson and the Twenty-First Century Prospects of Liberalism”.

One Island, Two Worlds: Conflict between The Dominican Republic and Haiti

By Thomas Zajac  “One Island, Two Worlds” describes the experience shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti, both located on the one island in the Caribbean that is shared by two nations. Recently, the Dominican government has ruled to take citizenship away from all children of Haitian immigrants born after 1929. It is also the phrase that introduces the film… Read more »

Tap Dancing and Murder – in a Grade Seven Classroom

ActiveHistory.ca is on a two-week hiatus, but we’ll be back with new content in early September. During the hiatus, we’re featuring some of our favourite and most popular blog posts from this site over the past year. Thanks as always to our writers and readers! The following post was originally featured on June 20 2013. By Merle Massie “My tap… Read more »

Keeping the Peace or Keeping a Myth?

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By Dan Macfarlane The federal government’s recent initiatives in foreign policy and glorification of Canada’s military past (particularly in light of the bicentennial of the War of 1812) have given rise to plenty of complaints, including suggestions that the country needs to return to its peacekeeping roots. While I agree with many of the criticisms, I am not so sure… Read more »

New Review of Perceptions of Cuba: Canadian and American Policies in Comparative Perspective

Perceptions of Cuba: Canadian and American Policies in Comparative Perspective By Lana Wylie Reviewed by Mary Stanik, a communications consultant and opinion writer who has been published in a number of major Canadian and American newspapers. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. These are interesting times for anyone in Canada or the United States who takes a serious interest in Cuba. … Read more »