Summary Of Marie-Joseph Angelique: Setting The City Of Montreal On Fire

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The story of Marie-Joseph Angelique, who was killed for setting the city of Montreal on fire, remains a mystery to many academicians. Many historians claim she was the innocent victim of dramatic circumstances. Others argue that she was a rebellious arsonist that was angry at the suppression of African slaves. Historical documents cannot tell whether Angelique was guilty for initiating the fire due to the various interpretations. Her dramatic tale opens up an important facet in history: the place of slavery in Canada. Angelique served as a study for the suppression of Black slaves in early Canada. The notion that Canada was a “haven for slaves is challenged by hierarchical structures” (Cooper, 2006). The history of African communities such as Angelique’s is marked with legacies of racism, oppression, and inequality…show more content…
22). If racial discrimination and social alienation is not controlled it will lead to substantial increases in crimes. Racial barriers that existed in New France in 1734 discriminated against Africans; slaves were not trusted and were regarded as goods to achieve means rather than human beings that should have been guaranteed natural rights like liberty and freedom. Slaves were alienated from Canadian society; they were not trusted to withhold any positions of power or trust. Racism was present in criminal courts then and it is still present today. “A survey was done and two thirds of black respondents felt that the members of their racial group were treated worse by the criminal courts” (Crumpton, 2012, p. 22). The criminal justice system is discriminatory even in the twenty first century (Crumpton, 2012 p. 23). The police may not be arresting Africans to put them through boot procedures, but instead black people are still arrested at much higher rates than white Canadians due to stereotyped associations with gangs, drugs, and

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