Troy Burle Bailey's The Pierre Bonga Loops
A documentary poem that lays bare the black presence in the northwest, The Pierre Bonga Loops is also about fathers and sons, now and then. Born in the 1780's Bonga was the son of freed slaves who worked for J. Sayer and Co. in 1795 at Fond du Lac. He was employed by the North West Co., the South West Co. and the American Fur Co. in their Fond du Lac Departments. Using images and text from documentary sources including the Hudson's Bay Company Archive, Bailey has constructed an important, innovative and exciting book.
Crawford Kilian's Go Do Some Great Thing: The Black Pioneers of British Columbia
The voyage north of some 600 blacks from San Francisco to Victoria during the 1858 Fraser Canyon Gold Rush was one of the most unusual mass migrations in North American history. While the British colonies of the Pacific Northwest were overrun with migrants from all lands on the quest for gold, this black community sought freedom and political enfranchisement as much as fortune. Go Do Some Great Thing: The Black Pioneers of British Columbia describes a history that stands at the crossroads of multiple national narratives – the imperial contest between Britain and the United States, the emergence of Canada as a state, the fate of dozens of First Nations, and the furthest and most unlikely reaches of the global African diaspora.