Call for Research Interns
Living History: 100 Years of Black History, Culture and
Heritage

Black immigrants have made significant cultural, artistic, and social contributions to
present-day Montréal; however, this history is often overlooked and rarely told. By collecting
and sharing the memories of our oldest community members, the Living History project seeks to
preserve Montréal’s Black anglophone history by highlighting the voices of those individuals
who helped to create it.
Project Goals
Beginning in the early 1900s with the burgeoning Saint Antoine district, Living History
will trace the development of Montreal’s Black community through significant institutions, like
the Negro Community Centre, and artistic innovations, such as jazz. The project then turns to the
increased immigration of the later 20th century, exploring its political and cultural ramifications
in events such as the Sir George Williams Affair and celebrations like Caribbean Carnival.
Ultimately, Living History will celebrate the diversity of Montreal’s Black English-speaking
community, while also emphasizing the cooperative work of our predecessors in creating the
Montréal we see today.
With the support of Heritage Canada, Living History will create 15 memoryscapes of
sites, organizations, and landmarks of cultural and historical significance to Montréal’s Black
anglophone community. These oral histories will enable listeners to experience the hidden
history of a place by listening to the memories of its past and present inhabitants. We are
currently seeking 15 Black youth to be responsible for the creation of these memoryscapes.
Living History is an opportunity to learn about our past while leaving a documented history for
future generations.

Term: December 2018-June 2019

Qualifications

– Black youth (age 16-35)
– English speaking (necessary)
– French speaking (an asset)

Requirements
– Time commitment of 2 to 10 hours per month of the internship
– Attendance at 8 Living History workshops (included in monthly time commitment)
– Conducting 2 oral interviews with community members
– Creation of an audio-recorded memoryscape
Skills and Experience Gained from Internship
Participants cannot receive financial remuneration for their internship. However, they will
develop a transferable set of skills valuable for future academic and professional endeavors.

These skills include:
– Research Experience
Interns will be guided through in-depth research of their chosen topic. They will
build familiarity with the resources offered in libraries, while also developing the
skills to understand both primary and secondary historical sources.
– Archival Expertise
Interns will receive specialized training in archival research and archival practice.
One workshop will be dedicated to an understanding of the archival process and
the development of necessary skills for the location and interpretation of archival
sources.
– Oral Interviewing
Interns will receive specialized training in oral history and oral interviewing.
Multiple workshops will be dedicated to the ethical considerations and
interviewing techniques used by oral historians. Interns will build familiarity with
the tenants of oral history, while also developing the skills of cross-generational
communication.
– Audio Production
Interns will receive specialized training regarding the digital production of MP3
files. Multiple workshops will be dedicated to the creation and editing of these
audio files, focusing both on the technical expertise of production and on vocal
training for effective narration.
– Networking and Outreach
Interns will become familiar with tools used in community outreach and
organization. Additionally, interns will build relationships with community
members, participating institutions and academic professionals.

If you are interested in participating in the project please email
us at livinghistory@bcrcmontreal.com.

Download (PDF, 126KB)

The Black studies Center, the Black Community Resource Center (BCRC) the Quebec Board of Black Educators (QBBE),  the Black Academic Scholarship Fund, as members of the Black Community Forum,  are working together as partners to improve the  employability of Blacks and to stop the Brain drain of Black graduates from Montreal and Quebec. The BSC has made significant contributions from its Charity Capital Fund in support of these organizations and this initiative. The sum total of funds donated to BCF member organization in 2017-2018 is $13 000. In addition, the BSC has spent a maximum to date of $18 000 on its Black community archives project carried out in collaboration with QBBE, BCRC, and BTW.

NEW Scholarships to Quebec Black Medical Association (QBMA).

The Black Studies Center has dedicated two scholarships renewable on an annual basis to be managed by the Quebec Black Medical Association (QBMA) and the Black Academic Scholarship Fund.  These scholarships are awarded across the language divide of  Quebec. The two scholarships consider the academic excellence and community engagement of Blacks and other visible minorities, and disenfranchised student competitors. Thus the scholarships are to support the organizations’ initiatives in their efforts to support excellence in the medical sciences, the general arts and social sciences disciplines, consistent with the spirit of the Black Community Forum principle of  “Collaborative Unity.”

The QBMA Awards

The first of the two BSC Awards were presented by the QBMA at a special symposium and award ceremony at Université de Montréal  Friday, Oct. 26th  5: 30-9: 00 pm. The Dean of the Faculty of medicine of UdeM was introduced by Dr Eduard Kouassi, President of the QBMA. The Dean’s welcoming address was well received.   During the address, the University’s support for the QBMA was announced. Following the welcome, a guest speaker, Dr Ahmed Maherzi, delivered an inspirational presentation on Social responsibility in Medicine and Health Sciences, making the central point that the disciplines and the role of the University must be tailored to the cultures and needs of the communities they serve.  Most importantly, he stated that the study and delivery of the services must engage and involve the participation of the peoples of those communities.

Following the question and answer period Dr Eduard Akoussi, president of the Quebec Black Medical Association, addressed the symposium and introduced the Awards Ceremony. Six scholarships were presented.  The highest award for the evening highlighted the Legacy of Dr Elery Tucker, the founding father of the QBMA.   The Black Studies Center award went to Kayala Lewis Thelusmon.

Ms Kayala Lewis Thelusmon is a student in the medical sciences (Macromolecular Structure and Functions plus protein purification).  She has a passionate curiosity about the healing bridge between the medical sciences and the arts. To quote her: “ j’ai un amour  pour les sciences de la vie et l’éducation.   Surtout, je m’assure d’inclure autant qe possible des notions de la communauté africaine et de descendence  africaine  dans toute ce que j’entreprends.”  This is what the General manager of the Black  Theatre Workshop had to say about her work in the Black Canadian theatre culture scene; “ I was very impressed with her professionalism and the quality and care she puts into her tasks … She has been a great asset to our team during our most busy period.. we were very [appreciative]  for her time.”

Award recipients along with the representatives of QBMA and BSC

Kayala Lewis Thelusmon and Dr. Clarence Bayne

 

The evening was a great success with some 100 persons in attendance. The food was great and the social interaction vibrant.

Community Contact, Guest Reporter