4.2 m textual records; 5 cassette tapes; 2 cd roms, 110 photographs (colour and b/w) various sizes
History / Biographical
Errol Black was born on September 8, 1939 in Brandon, Manitoba. He was the son of Thomas Alexander Black, who immigrated to Canada from Limerick, Ireland in 1929, and Roberta Jean (nee Groat) Black, a native of Chatham, New Brunswick. Black attended King George Elementary, Earl Haig Junior High, Brandon Collegiate Institute for Grade 10, and completed high school through correspondence courses for Grandes 11 and 12. He left school in 1956 to work a variety of jobs in Brandon, Calgary and on the west coast. He spent a short time in the Royal Canadian Navy. Errol Black undertook post-secondary education at Brandon College (1963-1965, graduated with a B.A.), the University of Alberta (1965-1967, graduated 1973 with an M.A. in economics) and Warwick University (1975-1977). Black taught economics at Brandon University from 1970 until his retirement in 2002. Following retirement he was granted Professor Emeritus status in 2003.
Errol Black has published three books, as well as many articles and reports in leading academic journals. He has a longstanding interest in the history of organized labour and working-class politics in Brandon. These remain important themes in his research and writing. He served on the Executive of the Brandon University Faculty Association for many years, and was President of the Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations for two years. Black is also a member of the Brandon District Labour Council, a founding member of the Manitoba branch of the Canadian centre for Policy Alternatives, and a board member of the Brandon Regional Health Authority (2000-2006). He was elected to Brandon City Council in 1998, and for a second term in 2001. In 1999 he was the federal NDP candidate for Brandon-Souris.
Black married Margaret Millard from Waskada, MB in 1961, with whom he had three sons: Sean, Dennis and Tom.
Accession 17-1997 was originally owned by Jim Davis, brother to Communist activist Stanley Forkin. Taimi Davis, Jim Davis' wife, mailed the collection from her residence in Ontario to Errol Black in 1994. Professor Black donated the collection to the McKee Archives. Accession 02-2003 was donated to the Archives in November 2002 by Errol Black. Accession 15-2003 was donated to the Archives on April 30, 2003 by Errol Black. Accession 17-2003 was donated to the Archives on July 15, 2003 by Errol Black.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of a number of accessions. Accession 17-1997, dating from 1935-1936, consists of twelve of the thirteen issues of the "Unemployed Worker," published in Brandon in the 1930s. The "Unemployed Worker" was the organ of the Brandon Unemployed Workers' Council. This Council, like its counterparts in other communities, was created by Canadian Communist Party militants. The "Unemployed Worker" covered the activities of the Unemployed Workers' Council, the plight of Brandon's unemployed, efforts by the city's unemployed to improve their lives, and City Council decisions, specifically those regarding relief policy.
Accession 02-2003, dating 1917, 1936-1939, 1970-2002 (predominant 1970-2002), contains extensive correspondence from former Brandon University Economic Professor Don Wheeler to Errol Black. In addition, the accession contains an important body of correspondence received by Professor Black from Taimi Davis written by Pat Forkin and his wife Pheobe Forkin to family members in Canada during the years 1936-1939, while Pat was a Moscow based corespondent for the Canadian Communist Party Clarion. The accession also contains personal correspondence of Errol Black dating from ca. 1970, drafts of papers, newspaper clippings, pamphlets related to labour and labour political matters. Two publications of note include: "Labour in Brandon" published by the Brandon and District Labour Council and a student guide to labour law written by George MacDowell. The accession also contains several documents related to Black's involvement in the provincial Industrial Adjustment Committee.
Accession 15-2003, dating 1930-2002 (predominant 1930-1939; 1971-2002), contains extensive clippings from the Canadian Communist Party publications "The Worker" and the "Daily Clarion" from the years 1930-1939; twenty-one personal and family photographs (b/w 3x5) of the Forkin family of Brandon, many of whom were active in the Canadian Communist Party; various historical photographs (b/w 8x10) related to the history of labour in Brandon, Manitoba; personal files containing correspondence, letters and opinion pieces to various newspapers, course outlines, research materials and draft publications, arbitration awards and documents related to Black's involvement with the Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations (MOFA).
Accession 17-2003, dating 1970-2002, contains correspondence, a manuscript of an autobiography written by Black's father Tom Black, research files, letters to the editor and draft publications by Errol Black.
Accession 3-2011, dating 1909-2010, contains an extensive record of newspaper clippings often of Professor Black's correspondence with the Brandon Sun from the early 1970s through to 2011. Clippings relate to civic issues, labour relations, social justice, economic questions. Documents (membership cards, cards of thanks, stamps) of various kinds, and photographs of Professor Black, family members, and various labour related events including parades and rallies, appear throughout these clippings. Collection includes miscellaneous files relating to the 75th Anniversary of the Winnipeg General Strike including the Brandon Sympathetic Strike of 1919, the Brandon Greys Baseball team, the Assiniboine College BMHC lobby campaign, Brandon and Area Environmental Council, the Brandon East NDP Contituency Association. Editions (1925-31) of the Sons of England - Official Organ of the Sons of England Benefit Society - published in Oshawa, Ontario, and copies of documents related to the Commission of Inquiry (1928) into labour issues at the Brandon Mental Hospital are included.Collection also contains extensive correspondence associated with Professor Black's activities as a department member, scholar, and activist in the Department of Economics at Brandon University. Collection contains as well research materials related to the Brandon labour movement, strikes at A.E. Mckenzie Seed Company 1940s, cd roms containg research materials - clippings and images - for Labour Council Anniversary book ( 2006), and civic politics in Brandon. Records also contain research materials on various members of the Forkin family - in particular the Pat Forkin, Tom Forkin, and Stephen Forkin (aka Jim Davis) - who were active members of the Canadian Communist Party during their adult lives. A collection of family photographs and six tape cassettes containing accounts of the experiences of single unemployed men during the Great Depression and the funeral of Stephen Forkin ( Jim Davis) and correspondence from Taimi Davis the widow of Stephen Forkin (Jim Davis) supplement the sources on the Forkin family.
Photographs of Joe Forkin, Pat Forkin, Stan Forkin, Jim Davis and other members of the Forkin family are contained in Box 3 (15-2003) and Box 10 (3-2011).
Some restrictions. Consult the University Archivist for access.
Researchers are responsible for observing Canadian copyright restrictions.
MG 3 Brandon University Teaching and Administration
1.1 Errol Black
MG 3 1.12 contains additional records related to George MacDowell; RG 6, Series 15 (BUFA) contains additional records on the Brandon University Faculty Association; RG 6, Series 7, Sub sub series 7.1.5 (Department of Economics) contains additional records related to the Department of Economics at Brandon University; RG 6, Series 7, Sub-series 7.1 (Dean of Arts) contains files on Don Wheeler and George MacDowell.