Someone made a graphic novel about Toronto's race riot in Christie Pits
Eighty-six years ago, however, the park was best known as the site for one of the most violent fascist riots in Toronto's history.
The Christie Pits Riot of 1933—which saw a six-hour clash marginalized Italian and Jewish softball players come head-to-head with pro-Nazi Party fascists and anti-Semites, homemade swastikas in tow—is today commemorated by a plaque at the southeast entrance of the park.
But as fascist tension erupts worldwide, amplified by the digital age, a new graphic novel documenting one of Toronto's—and maybe the entire country's—most xenophobic altercations seems more timely than ever.
Christie Pits is written by Jewish-Canadian author Jamie Michaels, founder of Dirty Wate Comics, and illustrated by Doug Fedrau, both Winnipeg-based.
Michaels uses first-hand account interviews and historical documents to depict life for Jewish-Torontonians in the four months leading up to the riots.
The novel uses Fedrau's stark black-and-white illustrations to highlight the prevalent social conditions that abetted the incident, from the anti-Semitic sentiments in the form of Swastika Clubs coming to a boiling point in Toronto, to the rise of Hitler's Nazi Germany overseas.
Christie Pits will launch in Toronto at with a free event with Jamie Michaels at Beth Tzedec Synagogue on March 31.
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