Tuesday, September 1, 2009

africville in metro


i've got a great story on the front page of metro today. i've been interviewing eddie carvery for a few weeks now about a book we're working on about africville, and he mentioned nelson was joining him, so i stopped by yesterday to talk to them.

i went by today to take a copy round and have a chat, but he was busy with eastlink (that's eddie on the left). they're interviewing him for an atlantic film festival program about juanita peters' new film, africville, can't stop now. i've been trying to reach her lately to see her film, so it was great to run into her. her film is showing sunday, sept 20 at 4pm in park lane.

the language of media coverage around the africville protest is worth watching. eddie (and his brother victor) were strongly labeled 'squatters' in the 1990s. much in the same way that africville was turned into a slum, and its residents called slum dwellers, we once again used negative language.

by and large, i don't think us media types mean too - it's the same way that we call sex workers 'hookers,' lowering their value. we just think (like society at large) that it's neutral language; it's just what it is.

it isn't - it's a construct, and that means we can take derogatory ones down and build positive ones.
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