Toronto-based author Robert Picart has released his debut novel GODDIE - a riveting new book that shines a light on the untold, yet familiar story of a Jamaican immigrant’s journey to Canada. He hopes schools will use it as a resource to improve awareness about Black Canadians contribution to Canada.
Described as “a searing tribute to the people of Jamaica and the wider Caribbean diaspora,” Picart’s novel GODDIE, has been quietly turning heads since it was published late last year.
The biographical novel captures the story of Picart’s mother, Goddie, a young girl born in the mid-1900s in the picturesque Blue Mountains of Jamaica. With the sudden loss of both parents, Goddie finds herself indentured to strangers in order to pay for school. Heartbroken, weary and alone, she forms a plan to escape to Great Britain and later Canada as the Windrush movement escalates.
Using Goddie’s powerful story, Picart captures the familiar journey of many Jamaican immigrants to Canada with grace and reverence, while offering a glimpse into the untold stories of Caribbean people who made the arduous journey to find a better life in Canada.
This year, twin brothers, Robert and Richard Picart, using the GODDIE book as a foundation, produced an inclusive 6-part secondary school literary resource that amplifies the authentic histories, cultures and perspectives of Afro-Caribbean Canadians.
The brothers hope to work with the Ministry of Education and local school boards to incorporate GODDIE’s story into the curriculum to increase awareness about how African, Afro-Caribbean, and Black people have shaped Canada since the 1940s.