From Suspect Rapist to Mr. Farrell

By Farrell, Lennox | Canadian Dimension, July 2000 | Go to article overview

From Suspect Rapist to Mr. Farrell


Farrell, Lennox, Canadian Dimension


I had become notorious, at home and abroad, as a radical and anti-police element. In the village where I grew up, some older people made special prayers to return me to more respectable pursuits. Others, though, more secretly advised, "Defend yuh people, eh, garcon? Is time!"

January 1, 1969 marked my arrival -- a 26-yearold Black visitor with Scottish first name and Irish surname at Toronto's International airport -- now Lester Pearson's.

My history summed up before this hopeful date was that I, a greatgrand-off-spring of enslaved Africans, had been born in a French-named village, Morvant-Laventille; on a Spanish-named Island, Trinidad; under the political culture of Rule Brittania; and the Rum 'n' Coca-Cola influence of the Yankee dollar, oh!

My personal circumstances of birth and upbringing were indicative, too, of the general history of the various peoples of this many-conquered, multi-colonized region. The Caribbean Basin has remained a strategic crossroads in a region whose internal social and economic maldevelopment has for centuries reflected external vagaries of European or North American imperial bullies.

In fact, nothing so well defines the rule of these imperial powers as the universal and chronic failure of their policies: from 18th-century European mercantilism and U.S. Gunboat Diplomacy to 20th-century Fascism, and benign impositions of Puerto Rican models of economic development.

Like my childhood counterparts I had, for example, been schooled in what is currently touted in Tory Ontario as the basics. Schooled in Grammar, Syntax and Etymology; I could recite the rules of the verb, To Be; do Spanish and Latin verb declensions in high school -- as long as my parents paid the monthly school fees.

During these schooling years, I had been exposed not to the nearby and urgent geography of the Caribbean, but to a Colonially imposed curricula that emphasized the Australian outback and the Canadian Great Lakes system.

I had also not read Caribbean- or African-based literature, but during the week days, studied and memorized portions of English poets. On weekends, when we could avoid church, we paid tuppence hap pny for popular American cowboy movies.

Schooling and training -- as opposed to education and learning -- generally prepared us with skills, useless in solving, for example, the agricultural problems of our nation-state. We were well prepared, however, to be civil servants, useful for tallying low-cost, raw exports leaving the colony, and high-priced manufactured imports arriving. We were trained, in other words, to export employment and import inflation!

My arrival in Canada, inadvertently pursuing these jobs, occurred as part of the most massive brain-drain from the region, ironically within the same decade that region, as well as our twin-island nation, Trinidad & Tobago, was given flag -- if not economic -- independence from Great Britain.

With independence and a world calling me away, I was obliged to leave aging parents, numerous siblings, and a newly-independent yet impoverished country. Like so many other Caribbean nationals, I left home, seeking in foreign lands better opportunities for education, jobs and a more secure future.

This future in Canada would bring unimagined changes in my life, living and sensibilities. Among other changes I would come to see White people as being real humans, not the cardboard cutouts of Hollywood. I remember, my mother-in-law, Muma, visiting us years later, going on a trip to the Royal Ontario Museum, and unable to swallow her meal, a handkerchief held over her mouth, shocked at being served by a white waitress.

However, the institution that has first and most affected me, was the police. March, 1969, marked my first encounter with this force.

Encounter with Police on the Bloor Line

I had boarded a subway at Sherbourne Station in downtown Toronto on the east-west Bloor line. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

From Suspect Rapist to Mr. Farrell
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.