Showing Grit – Showboating North of the 44th Parallel

As white people concerned about racism, the very least we can do is listen to what Blacks are actually saying about Show Boat. M. Nourbese Philip’s critique, by turns acerbic and lyrical, always thought provoking, is an excellent place to start.

– Robin C. Pacific, Artist

In her brilliant and compassionate explanation of why Show Boat should never have opened in Toronto, Nourbese Philip provides an in-depth examination of the contents of the play, the book on which the play is based, and the real social and historical contexts which produced them both. Showing Grit is an elegant, moving and important essay that is essential reading for everyone who cares shout the future harmony of the community in Toronto and the communities of Canada.

– Bev Daurio, Writer and Publisher

… one of the most intelligent pieces I had read in a long time. It opened my mind and my imagination and provided me with a new perspective and understanding.

– Macela Duran, Multicultural Consultant

Showing Grit is both a timely, thought-provoking: book and a significant act of resistance by us as African Canadians. It is in the spirit of Harriet· Tubman, Mary Ann Shadd and the many other Black women who have always spoken for themselves — out of the joy and pain of lived Black experience. In speaking out they have illuminated the truth for us all.

– Clem Marshall, Anti-racist Educator

‘The Show Boat controversy has raised many intersecting questions: cultural appropriation, the complexities of racism in a multicultural society, and the very nature of art itself – who produces it, for what purpose and for what audience! Nourbese Philip’s intellectually honest and cogent book places these problems within a useful historical, cultural and societal framework — the only context in which they can be fully understood.

-Robin Breon, Administrator: Museum Studies Program University of Toronto

… Showing Grit traces the history of Show Boat and indicts it …

-Jack Kroll, Newsweek


Book description