Official launch at Don Heights
"The Letters: Postmark Prejudice in Black and White"
by Sheila White
What a fantastic launch!
Author's reading. Vintage display. Music, mingling & refreshments.
About this book:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A book launch with a twist
TORONTO, July 17, 2023 – Sheila White’s biographical novel, The Letters: Postmark Prejudice in Black and White, launches here Wednesday (July 18) with a twist: In addition to the traditional reception and reading by the author, the event features a unique collection of vintage photographs and other rare items relating to Canadian Black history of the 1940s.
The Letters tells the story of the controversial 1947 marriage in Toronto of Vivian Keeler, the author’s white mother, and Bill White, her Black father. Every artifact on display at the launch, at the Don Heights Unitarian Congregation at 18 Wynford Drive, is authentic and relates to the story.
“My mother received letters 75 years ago, all of which she saved. Family and friends were desperate to dissuade her from marrying outside of her race,” White says.
“Having inspired this book, their letters now have a higher purpose - promoting racial equality and harmony.”
The actual letters are part of the display. Among the other items are:
- “Lantern plates,” glass photographs portraying the co-founders of the Emancipation Day Picnic in Toronto ’s High Park, Black community pillars Dr. Oscar and Leona Brewton
- A rare, groundbreaking book, A Guide to The Study of the Negro in American History by Professor Merl R. Eppse, 1937
- A hand-painted fan, a prop from the all-Black production of The Mikado by the Toronto Negro Choral Society in 1949
- The 1949 federal election campaign scrapbook of Bill White, the author’s father and the first Black in Canada to be a federal candidate
- A Second World War military rejection slip issued on racial grounds
Since its publication last month, The Letters has garnered worldwide interest, with book sellers across North America and in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia promoting the book.
Ed Shiller, whose Yorkland Publishing published The Letters, calls the work “a beacon of hope, especially today when bigotry is on the rise and democracy and social justice are under siege.”
“It is also a reminder,” he said, “that the struggle for social justice never ends, that any progress thus far attainted – including Vivian and Bill’s contribution – can only be sustained through constant vigilance, and that complacency inevitably leads to regression.”
The Letters is available through local bookstores. It can also be purchased on Amazon and from Yorkland Publishing’s website: www.yorklandpublishing.com.
CONTACT: Ed Shiller, Publisher of Yorkland Publishing, at email@example.com or 647-407-2953