Interviewee: Rosalie Soutar
Interviewer: Dr. Mary Louise McCarthy-Brandt
Location: St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Springhill, NB
Courtesy of Fredericton Region Museum, 2020.
Rosalie Soutar reflects on growing up curious, and what it feels like to be seen as a visible minority.
Rosalie Soutar and Mary Louise McCarthy-Brandt are seated in the graveyard outside of St Peter’s Anglican Church. The video begins with a close-up view of Rosalie’s face as she speaks to Mary Louise.
[Rosalie Soutar (RS)] Well I think we can all say we would like to go back, and if I changed this, but then I wouldn’t be who I am today.
[Mary Louise McCarthy-Brandt (MLMcC-B)] Right.
[RS] I’ve learned a lot… my mother always said I was the most challenging.
[MLMcC-B] Oh is that right!
[RS] I was always the most challenging child in the household, because I’d ask why. But that’s not right mom! Well I know it’s not right, but that’s the way it is. But that’s not right! Why is it that way?
[Camera widens to show Rosalie seated on the left and Mary Louise on the right. There’s a bouquet of flowers on the table between them. The graveyard is clearly visible in the background] And I still ask that.
[MLMcC-B] I remember you speaking, I hope you don’t mind me bringing it up.
[RS] Please do.
[MLMcC-B] [Camera switches to a close-up of Mary Louise, as she gestures with her hands] But I was at a… I was part of a panel at Saint Thomas [University] a few years ago, and you asked a question, or maybe you even said it to me personally, but you always analyze some of the institutionalization of our community, and you said: “We are not visible minorities, we are not minorities, and my mother did not raise nine visible minorities. Come in children, come in visible minority children”.
[MLMcC-B] …Like we’re people!
[RS] [Close-up of Rosalie’s face as she speaks to Mary Louise] I HATE that term “minority”.
[MLMcC-B] Yes, I remember we had that [discussion]…
[RS] And it needs to change.
[MLMcC-B] Yes, it already is like a marginalization, when, because it’s an institutionalized form. Correct?
[MLMcC-B] From the federal government, I mean you fill out forms, I mean…
[RS] I don’t mark it! I’m not a minority, I’m not less than.
[MLMcC-B] Is that right?
[RS] That’s exactly what I do…
[MLMcC-B] Black or?
[RS] No, I’m not going to be your checky-box!
[MLMcC-B] Good for you!
[RS] Sorry, I’m not going to be your checky-box, so that you can say you have x number of dark-skinned people.
[RS] I’m not a minority. Am I part of your team, or not?
[MLMcC-B] Yes, yes.
[RS] [Camera widens again to show Rosalie seated on the left and Mary Louise on the right] So that’s just me in my own, little way… no I’m not ticking the ticky-box.
[MLMcC-B] I remember that about you a few years ago, when you said that, [Close-up of Rosalie’s face as she smiles] and it’s a powerful statement. It truly is.
[RS] It needs to change.