The Invisibilisation of African Canadian Histories in Public Memory: The Heritage Designation of 221-223 King Street East & The Black Absented Presence of Joseph Gutches in Kingston, Ontario, Canada
MetadataShow full item record
This work seeks to address the invisibilisation of African Canadian histories in relation to constructions of public memory in Canada. I center my research around the erasure of Joseph Gutches’ historical presence as a black enslaved man from the heritage interpretation of 221-223 King Street East in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. I develop this research topic out of a response to the centering of Joseph Gutches’ historical narrative through the virtual memory project entitled Stones Kingston. The emergence of Joseph Gutches’ historical presence acts as a counter-narrative that disrupts the dominant white settler remembrances associated with 221-223 King Street East. I use the memory producing content presented by Stones Kingston as evidence towards the invisibilisation of black Kingstonion history working through the “official” cultural heritage interpretation and designation of 221-223 King Street East under the Ontario Heritage Act. From a geographical perspective, I engage with the conceptual and theoretical groundwork provided by the sub-discipline of black geographies to attend to the denials of black Canada as enduring and historical. I draw upon overlapping and intersecting geographies of black enslavement to inform the narrative building I employ to render visible Joseph Gutches’ historical presence and the processes of invisibilisation. To address my research problem, I complete a thematic analysis of archived material pertaining to the documented presences of Joseph Gutches and his slaveholder(s). These preservations of tangible records provide insights into the characteristics of colonial memory production and its relationships to traditional heritage and public memory. In combination with the strategies listed above, I analyse the architectural dominance of 221-223 King Street East, acknowledging the site as a historical landscape belonging to a conservation district and as a series of landscapes connected by hegemonic meanings protected under cultural heritage laws. I conclude my research by discussing the interactions between ideological, racial, socio-cultural, and spatial practices that construct the absented presences of black Canadian historical peoples from the heritage interpretations of historical sites in Canada. I finalise my conclusion by introducing how blackness and early black Canada can be remembered amidst the terrain of archival and traditional heritage-based productions of public memory.
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/31459
Request an alternative formatIf you require this document in an alternate, accessible format, please contact the Queen's Adaptive Technology Centre
The following license files are associated with this item: