The Great Absquatulator

Speakers: Frank Mackey and Aly Ndiaye, alias Webster
When: Thursday, February 15, 2024, 19:30 to 21:00
Where: Centennial Hall,
            288, Beaconsfield Boulevard, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4
Lecture in English, followed by a bilingual question period

2024 02 15FrankMackey AbsquatulatorCover2024 02 15FrankMackey 18590609MtlGazettep2c7In this presentation, Frank Mackey talks about the genesis of his book “The Great Absquatulator", the combination of accidents that led him to write and publish it.
Alfred Thomas Wood, the subject of this book, was a truly great imposter. In the 19th century, through a multitude of countries: from Halifax, N.S., to New England, Liberia, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, Montreal, the U.S. Mid-West and the South, he posed as a preacher, an academic, a carpenter, an architect, a political fundraiser and a medical doctor. In this meticulously-pieced-together biography of A.T. Wood, Frank Mackey wittily casts new light on the momentous mid-19th-century events that shaped the world we live in today.
Aly Ndiaye (Webster), the rapper-historian, author of the preface and other works of a historical nature, agreed to participate in the lecture.

A native Quebecer, Frank Mackey retired from the Montreal Gazette in 2008 after working as a reporter/editor in Alberta, Newfoundland, Montreal, Quebec and London (Eng.). He also taught journalism at Montreal’s Concordia University. He and his wife have three adult children. He has published several books: Steamboat Connections: Montreal to Upper Canada 1816-1843 (2000); Black Then: Blacks and Montreal, 1780s-1880s (2004); Done with Slavery: The Black Fact in Montreal, 1760-1840 (2010), the latter translated into French as L’esclavage et les Noirs à Montréal, 1760-1840 (2013). His latest book, The Great Absquatulator, was published in May 2022.

2024 02 15 FrankMackey Absquatulator Webster 9 Crédit David CannonAly Ndiaye, a.k.a. Webster, hip-hop artist, independent historian, activist and lecturer, was born and raised in the Limoilou district of Québec City. His father is Senegalese and his mother is from Quebec. He has always been proud of his origins and describes himself as a SénéQueb métis pure laine. His passion for history led him to pursue university studies in this field; he holds a bachelor's degree in history from Université Laval. He worked for 10 years as history guide for Parks Canada. He is passionate about the history of the Afro-descendant presence and slavery in Quebec and Canada since the time of New France. Ndiaye is the author, amongst others, of a children's book that follows the journey of Olivier Le Jeune, the first African slave in Canada, Le Grain de Sable (Septentrion, 2019). In February 2023, he was appointed to represent Québec at the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.