Title and statement of responsibility area
General material designation
- Graphic material
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- Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the fonds.
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Statement of scale (cartographic)
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Dates of creation area
[ca. 1910-1999] (Creation)
- Beckley, Leonard, 1905-2003
Physical description area
376 photographs : b&w
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Leonard Beckley was born in Bude, Cornwall, England in 1905. In 1910, he immigrated to Canada with his parents, Richard and Jane, and his brothers Herbert, Victor, and Edgar. Beckley’s family moved to 509 Beech Street East, Whitby, Ontario in roughly 1916. Beckley married Elizabeth Ellen Roberts (1901-1984); the couple lived at 609 Pine Street, also in Whitby. They did not have children.
Beckley was employed as a janitor and labourer. In his spare time, he was an avid photographer, capturing many images of flowers, landscapes, Whitby events, and his vacations. He was also an enthusiastic gardener; his photographs often feature his “Old English” garden.
Beckley died on June 25, 2003.
Scope and content
The fonds consists of photographs of Whitby taken by Leonard Beckley in his late adulthood (1950-1999), as well as photographs of Beckley’s family of origin in the early years of their settlement in Whitby at 509 Beech Street East (1910-1930). Photographs taken by Leonard depict his garden, nature scenes, and events in the town. Photographs in the latter category provide evidence of racist public activities in Whitby, including the following: the existence of the Whitby Rotary Minstrels, whose members put on minstrel shows while in blackface (photographs date into the 1950s); various town parade participants in redface and blackface; and a parade participant who is likely dressed in a Ku Klux Klan outfit.
Photographs are arranged in files.
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Name access points
- Beckley, Leonard, 1905-2003 (Creator)
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For more resources that confront and challenge blackface and minstrel performances in a Canadian context, see the following:
Howard, P.S.S. 2017. “Blackface in Canada.” Arts against Postracialism: Strengthening Resistance against Contemporary Canadian Blackface (McGill University). 2017. Accessed February 2018. https://mcgill.ca/aapr/blackface-canada.
- --. “On the back of Blackness: Contemporary Canadian blackface and the consumptive production of post-racialist, white Canada subjects.” Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation, and Culture. Published online: January 23, 2017. Accessed February 2018. http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/pga4hjRX4j3vAW56C9IN/full.
“Blackface Timeline.” Arts against Postracialism: Strengthening Resistance against Contemporary Canadian Blackface (McGill University). 2017. Accessed February 2018. https://mcgill.ca/aapr/files/aapr/blackface-timeline.pdf.
For more resources that confront and challenge redface, see the following:
Deloria, Philip Joseph. 1998. Playing Indian. New Haven: Yale University Press.