Carleton University’s Department of History will host the Shannon Lecture, Challenging the ‘White Man’s Country’ Narrative: How Black Railway Porters Fought for Civil Rights, Equality and Inclusion presented by Cecil Foster.

When: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, at 1 p.m.
Where: Room 2017, Dunton Tower, Carleton
Info: This event is free and open to the public. A campus map is available online.

Media are invited to attend the event.

The experience of black Canadians is largely absent from history books. In the last century, work as sleeping car porters was one of the few job options open to black men. They often worked for no wages other than tips.

Foster has extensively researched the harsh lives of these men and their determination to win respect for their labour. In this lecture, he will explore how their story forces us to re-examine underlying assumptions about what constitutes Canada’s history. Foster will argue that Canada’s reputation for diversity rests on the shoulders of the porters’ struggles.

This lecture has been rescheduled from last autumn.

About Cecil Foster

Foster is an acclaimed author, academic and public intellectual. He is a professor of Transnational Studies at the University of Buffalo and is a leading authority on social justice and multiculturalism. His latest book is They Call Me George: the Untold Story of Black Train Porters and the Birth of Canada.

About the Shannon Lecture Series

The theme for the 2019 Shannon Lecture series is “rebooting biography.” Historical biographies have always been a popular avenue into the past, but with the facts about the famous and not so famous available at the tap of a keyboard, today’s historians and biographers are reshaping the genre. The conventional chronology of a life is giving way to group biographies, micro-histories and previously unheard voices. Increasingly, authors are embracing the freedom offered by digital publishing.

Lecturers will discuss the subjects of their recent biographies and the choices they made in presenting their material.

Media Contact
Steven Reid
Media Relations Officer
Carleton University
613-520-2600, ext. 8718

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Wednesday, January 29, 2020 in
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