Carl E. James
A Multiculturalizing Presence
In 2012, Jamaica celebrates its fiftieth anniversary of independence from Britain. In the short period of its life as a nation, Jamaica’s increasingly powerful influence on global culture cannot go unremarked. The growth of Jamaican diasporas beyond Britain to the United States, Canada and West Africa has served to strengthen Jamaica’s global reach, so that today Jamaica’s cultural, economic and political achievements are felt way beyond its national borders. This anthology commemorates Jamaica’s independence by acknowledging the immense and widespread contributions of Jamaica and Jamaicans to Canadian society.
Community, Class and Schooling
The intersection of Jane and Finch in Toronto’s north end has long been portrayed as one of Canada’s most troubled neighbourhoods, with images of social dysfunction, shootings and “at risk” youth dominating media accounts. Setting out to discover what it means – and what it takes – to grow up in this economically disadvantaged and racially and ethnically diverse neighbourhood, Life at the Intersection engages young people, parents and educators to explore the experiences, issues, perceptions and ambitions of the youth of this community. What Carl James finds is that young people have come to appreciate the social capital and cultural wealth of their neighbourhood and that they use the negative perceptions of their community as inspiration for educational and social success. Understanding education as key to encouraging youth to persevere, endure and succeed, this book focuses on youth’s educational experiences and expectations and argues that schooling programs must consider socio-geographic context in their efforts to be socially and culturally relevant.
Difference is a fundamental aspect of our human existence. This anthology emerges from the editor’s attempts to navigate the complex, variable and unpredictable materiality of difference. The contributors present the various ways in which difference is experienced, interpreted and articulated. They tell of when and how they are named and/or recognized as different by others, and of their own naming and recognition of themselves as different. The essays show that gender, social class, ethnicity, race, region, appearance, dis/ability, sexuality, twin-ness, age, religion and occupational status are experienced and lived in multiple, complicated and contradictory ways. How the writers and others make sense of their differences is related to context, space and interaction. Difference, then, as the essays demonstrate, is relational, fluid, multiple and contextual, and therefore must be thought of in complex ways. Contributors have written in different styles and genres, which represent their respective voices and preferences. Through essays, written in narrative, journalistic and academic forms, short stories, letters, conversations and dialogues-contributors thoughtfully communicate their stories in ways that will maintain interest and attention, as well as facilitate an appreciation of the layered complexities of difference.