Fonds MSS 216 - Donald K. Gordon Collection

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Donald K. Gordon Collection

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0.01 m of textual records.

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Biographical history

Donald K. Gordon was born on September 27, 1935. He attended Calabar High School in Jamaica from 1948 to 1953. In 1969, Gordon recieved his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in Spanish American Literature and went on to be employed by the University of Manitoba from 1970 to 2001. Gordon became a Professor in 1984 and was named Professor Emeritus in 2004 after his retirement on July 1, 2001. His publications include Language and Racism: Historicity (2007), two books in Spanish on the subjects of Juan Rulfo and Quince Duncan, several chapters in books and numerous articles for both the scholarly and popular press. One notable article presented Alderman Johnson Roden's work for the first time in the North American journal, Afro-Hispanic Review.

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Biographical history

A. J. (Alderman Johnson) Roden, "tailor poet," was born March 28, 1893 in Jamaica. His date and place of death are unknown, although he did live to be at least eighty-nine years old. On August 14, 1911, Roden moved to Limon, Costa Rica where he was educated at a preparatory school.. Recognized as a good student, Roden began writing poetry at age twelve and won a scholarship to attend St. George's College, but was prevented from attending by his father who disliked Catholicism. Instead, Roden became a tailor and set up shop in Port Limón, moving between Matina and Bataan as economic conditions necessitated. Unable to achieve his goal of publishing a collection of his poetry, in spite of gaining support from Professor Donald K. Gordon and the important Costa Rican writer Quince Duncan, Roden burnt most of his work. Some of his work had been published in the Costa Rican periodical The American Advisor between 1968 and 1971 and other poems were self-published.

Donald K. Gordon, in his article about Roden titled "Alderman Johnson Roden: The Tailor-Poet" (1983) describes Roden as "one of the earliest and strongest voices of protest against racism." Gordon also described Roden as a "rarity" as he wrote in English while living in a Spanish-speaking country.

Custodial history

The collection was accumulated by Donald K. Gordon and donated to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections in 2005.

Scope and content

The collection consists of A.J. Roden's photographs, poems, as well as correspodence between A.J. Roden and D. K. Gordon.

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  • English

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There are no restrictions on this material.

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A finding aid can be downloaded from the fonds-level description by clicking on the “Download’ link under “Finding Aid” on the right hand side of the screen.

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No further accruals to this collection are expected.

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Inventory prepared by Jason Peters (December 1, 2005). Revised by N. Courrier (October 2018). Revised by M. Horodyski (June 2019).

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