Race on Trial: Black Defendants in Ontario's Criminal Courts, 1858-1958 (Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History). Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010.
Using capital case files and the assize records for Kent and Essex counties... Barrington Walker's Race on Trial investigates the limits of freedom for Ontario's African Canadians from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. Through court transcripts, depositions, jail records, Judge's Bench Books, newspapers, and government correspondence, Walker identifies trends in charges and convictions in the Black population, contrasting formal legal equality with pervasive patterns of social, legal, and attitudinal inequality. Walker not only exposes how blackness was articulated in Canadian law, but also offers a rare glimpse of black life as experienced in Canada's past.
'Race on Trial is a cutting-edge work, intertwining issues of blackness with the creation of a dominant Canadian nationhood. Barrington Walker effectively relates legal history to ideas of Black masculinity, patriarchy, and gender-topics that are not touched upon nearly enough in African Canadian history.' (Harvey Amani Whitfield, Department of History, University of Vermont ).
Dr. Barrington Walker's book launch was held on Oct. 28, 2010, at the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History at Osgoode Hall in Toronto.