The thematic workshops, explore subjects touched upon in the booklet and the timeline for further elaboration.
2a. Caribbean community life in Quebec
Outline of activity: Read chapter 2 of the booklet and the timeline and pay attention to dates of creation of centres and community organizations. Invite young people to take part in a group discussion.
Discussion: Encourage participants to reflect on the social role played by community organizations in the establishment of Caribbean communities since the beginning of the 20th century. This is also an opportunity to make them reflect on the role that some of these organizations continue to play.
Suggested questions: Why were community centres created? What types of activities were offered in these centres? Ask young people if they have ever attended such centres, and if so, what have their experiences been?
2b. Social demands
Outline of activity: After reading chapters 3, 4 and 5, the participants can research some of the events described in these chapters and some of the groups presented. Research can be done on the Internet or in the archives of certain newspapers available through Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec – online or onsite. For example, a simple online search in the Google search engine resulted in:
On the Sir George Williams affair of 1969:
On the struggle against racism in the taxi industry (in French):
Discussion: Organize discussion sessions from the information booklet and the research that young people have done. From their analysis of the social demands of the 60s and 70s, encourage them to think about what they would change in their lives now and how they might do so in a constructive manner.
Suggested questions: What kinds of social problems did Caribbean communities in Quebec face in the 60s and 70s? What types of demands did Caribbean groups and students make and how did they express them? What are the social challenges that young people in these communities are now facing? What could be some solutions? How can they get their message across? Can they establish a plan of action to implement the solutions they find to the problems they face?
2c. Carnival and the performing arts
Outline of activity: Read chapters 1 and 5 and bring young people to the Carifiesta, to a play by the Black Theatre Workshop, to a show by the dance troupe Mapou Ginen or the traditional music group Rara Soley, or to any other artistic performance by a Caribbean arts company based in Quebec.
Discussion: Afterwards discuss the show. Ask youth what was most significant for them; what they discovered; how were aspects of of Caribbean cultures transmitted in what they’ve seen.
2d. Caribbean writing in Quebec
Outline of activity: Read chapter 6 and select and read a book or a short story by a Caribbean author established in the province. Some works directly address the subject of Caribbean immigration to Quebec (e.g. Nigel Thomas, Marie Célie Agnant). Some examples are given below. Then, young people can write short biographical stories or fiction, poems or any other literary genre with which they are comfortable, on the theme of the Caribbean presence in Quebec. Literary creations of youth can be inspired by the book and the timeline or by personal events in their own lives.
Examples of books by Caribbean authors in the province:
-Nigel Thomas (2002). Behind the Face of Winter. Tsar Publications
-Marie-Celie Agnant (2001) (2001). Vingt petits pas vers Maria. Montreal: Éditions Hurtubise.
(an English translation of this work is available in Chantal Samson’s master’s thesis found at http://savoirs.usherbrooke.ca/bitstream/handle/11143/2668/MR79779.pdf?sequence=1)
– Dany Laferrière (1993). An aroma of coffee. Toronto: Coach House.
– Mairuth Sarsfield (1997). No Crystal Stair. Toronto: Women’s Press.
Discussion: After reading the work of their choice, youth can present their favourite aspects and then introduce their own literary work. Questions can be asked about the similarities or differences between what they read and what they have written, the topics addressed and the chosen literary style.
Suggested questions: Is there a parallel between the themes of the works of writers that you have read and yours? How does the literary style you chose allow you to express the subject you are exploring? What are the intergenerational similarities and differences between the works of older writers and yours?