Rude: Contemporary Black Canadian Cultural Criticism


219 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 1-895837-74-X
DDC 305.896'071





Edited by Rinaldo Walcott
Reviewed by Nanette Morton

Nanette Morton teaches English at McMaster University.


In this collection of essays, the authors attempt, in editor Rinaldo
Walcott’s words, to “to say something about the nation’s
encounters with Blackness” and the “ways in which intra black
dialogues reframe the nation.”

Contributor Richard Almonte draws on Toni Morrison’s Writing in the
Dark in order to talk about early Canadian literature’s fascination
with blackness, which it viewed as dangerous and forbidden. Walcott
examines the life of 19th-century newspaper editor, teacher, writer, and
lawyer Mary Shadd Cary, who challenged boundaries of gender,
nationality, and race. Leslie Saunders analyzes André Alexis’s first
novel, Childhood, and notes that “the novel’s (in)attention to
race” indicates the central character’s “uncertain relationship to
his racial origins.” Essays by Renuka Sooknanan, Awad El Karim M.
Ibrahim, and others provocatively reexamine the meaning of black

Rude is an attempt to shake up Canadian studies—and the nation’s
concept of itself—by provoking a serious discussion about blackness in


“Rude: Contemporary Black Canadian Cultural Criticism,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 21, 2024,