University Professor / Writer, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON. Born: Antigua.
Award-winning author, Dr. Althea Prince was born in Antigua and has resided in Canada since the 1960s. She has taught Sociology, first at York University, and the University of Toronto; she now teaches at The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University.
From 2002 to 2005, Dr. Prince was Managing Editor of the publishing company, Canadian Scholars’ Press & Women’s Press. Her awards include, The Children’s Book Centre ‘Choice’ Award for her children’s book, How the Star Fish Got to the Sea. In 2007, she received the Antigua and Barbuda International Writers’ Festival First Annual Award for Literary Excellence.
Dr. Prince’s background includes being actively engaged in the growth and development of Black youth in Toronto. She was a member of the group of university students who in 1969 launched The Black Education Project, an after-school tutoring programme for Black children in Toronto. Prince also taught Creative Writing for the Fresh Arts Organization, an Arts Programme for Black and First Nations Youth, created by Black and First Nations artists.
Dr. Prince’s latest work is entitled, The Politics of Black Women’s Hair (Insomniac Press. Toronto, 2009). Her other publications include: Being Black, a collection of essays; novel, Loving This Man; and short story collection, Ladies of the Night. She also co-edited Feminisms and Womanisms: A Women’s Studies Reader.
Favourite book? The Space That Connects Us by Mansa Trotman. The timbre of her heart-strings stays in the poetry, and you carry it around in your heart. (Nothing to do with the fact that she is my daughter.)
Favourite quote? “What a life!” – Antiguan Old Ones
Given the chance, what would you love to do that you have not done yet? Write the definitive work that shows that racism is a form of mental illness, and racists are mentally ill people.
Who inspires you? A woman whom I’ve named “Asha” (she’s a nameless “slave woman” in the records) who, during plantation slavery in Antigua, refused to accept that her baby was sold away from her. She walked to the opposite end of the island and took back her baby… She did this several times! Finally, a judge made the seller and the buyer cancel the sale, and Asha took back her baby for the last time. (See David Barry Gaspar’s Bondsmen and Rebels.)
Why do you do what you do? Teaching: I enjoy the process of exploring knowledge with students. Writing: If I did not write, I would probably grow boils!