Chapter 4 Histories: Roots

Greying hair offers a point of departure for thinking about origins, histories, genealogies, and memories, and considers roots, rooting, and uprooting at material, mythical, and  metaphorical levels.

Prompts and Activities

  1. In A Map to the Door of No Return: Notes to Belonging, Dionne Brand suggests “all origins are arbitrary” (2006, 64). What do you think Brand means by this? What does it mean to you?

Activity: Have a look through a family photo album, if possible, and consider the significance of place, memory, journeys, bodies, and desire. What stories do these photos tell? And what stories might you, yourself, imagine?



Bowring Park, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Photo credit: Lesley Butler
Roots, Manuels River Linear Park. Newfoundland and Labrador. Photo credit: Sonja Boon.
Silver Mine Head Path, East Coast Trail, Newfoundland and Labrador. Photo credit: Sonja Boon
Silver Mine Head Path, East Coast Trail, Newfoundland and Labrador. Photo credit: Sonja Boon


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(c) Sonja Boon, Lesley Butler, and Daze Jefferies, 2018.