Montreal Catholic School Minstrel Show

Written by Martin Julien

My father, Leo Julien, as the Interlocutor in his anglophone Montreal Catholic school minstrel show. He told me he was twelve years old in the 8' X 12" black-and-white picture. He was born in April 1928, so this is probably 1940/41. No other identifying information except for a rubber stamp on the back: " "Photo by Cyril Cassidy." My father ended up estranged from much of his large Irish-French family in later years, and so spoke of his youth haltingly, with gaps. I know that he did live off rue Clark at this time, near Parc Jarry and the Jean Talon Market. My father always said about this picture, ironically, that he never met a black African-Canadian until a very young Oscar Peterson played his high school dance a few years later. My dad was a great social dancer, so he and Oscar had, in his words, "hit it off".