Marie-Josèphe Angélique: Montreal on Fire | Strong and Free
Marie-Josèphe Angélique was an enslaved Black woman charged with one of the most infamous crimes in Quebec’s history. In 1734, she was charged with arson after a fire leveled Montreal’s merchants' quarter. It was alleged that Angélique committed the act while attempting to escape her bondage. She was convicted, tortured, and hanged. While it remains unknown whether she set the fire, Angélique’s story has come to symbolize Black resistance and freedom.
The audio in this story is from Strong and Free, a six-part podcast from Historica Canada, produced by Media Girlfriends. Because Black history is Canadian history.
In the Strong and Free podcast we discuss Angélique’s story, and that of enslavement in Canada, with three women who have examined the trial: Dr. Afua Cooper, historian, poet, and professor at Dalhousie University; Denyse Beaugrand-Champagne, historian & archivist, and Ayana O’Shun, director of “Black Hands: Trial of the Arsonist Slave.”
Animation - Lucius Dechausay and Jeff Woodrow
Story Producer – Josiane Blanc
Featuring – Dr. Afua Cooper and Denyse Beaugrand-Champagne
Sound Mix - David Moreau
English Versioning – Power of Babel
Featured Song - “There is probably fire,” written by Dominique Fils-Aimé and Jacques G Roy. Published by Ensoul Records and Harris & Wolff.
Produced by – Media Girlfriends and Historica Canada
Media Girlfriends is rounded out by Hannah Sung, Garvia Bailey, Gabbie Clarke and Nana aba Duncan, the founder of Media Girlfriends.