Vol 2, No 4 (2006)

Cover Page
Wesley W. Bates, 2003, wood block 3.5" by 4.5" published in George Elliott Clarke, Québeccité (Kentville, Canada: Gaspereau Press, 2003).

The Quebecois, however defined, are a multiracial, multilingual people, if one respects the multicultural fact of Quebec's history. Even when Quebec was Nouvelle-France, it boasted the presence of at least 5,000 slaves, some African, most Aboriginal peoples, with much intermarriage (and just plain old "shacking up") too. The cover of Québeccité illustrates that "Quebecness" (the meaning of "québeccité") signals a rainbow, not a "pure laine," identity, regardless of the racial feelings of hard nationalists.... Some folks may reject the image of the "Anglo-imperialist" Chateau Frontenac looming in the background, but too bad: it's the most photographed building in Canada; it's a world-recognized symbol of the specialness of Quebec (appearing in even governmental tourist info); and the CP Railway, its builder, was also one of the few somewhat decent employers of African-Canadian men for the first half of the last century. Oh, and I should add, it's a beautiful building.

George Elliott Clarke