1934 mini-comic the latest from the Harding Project

Photo of Chatham Coloured All-Stars comic book

Local students will have the opportunity to turn new pages of history this September — pages of a comic book, that is.

A 10-page comic book along with a teachers’ guide is the latest development to grow out of the Breaking the Colour Barrier: Wilfred (Boomer) Harding and the Chatham Coloured All-Stars project.

Created by local artist Scott Chantler with help from UWindsor librarian and history professors Heidi Jacobs and Miriam Wright, the comic brings to life the story of the 1934 Chatham Coloured All-Stars victory game.

Chantler joined the Harding project team in 2016, when he created a series of baseball trading cards and a four-panel cartoon for the official launch of the Breaking the Colour Barrier website.

The art was so well received the team decided to collaborate on a longer version as a component of the “Telling the Stories of Race and Sport in Canada” project, for which Drs. Wright and Jacobs received a SSHRC Connections Grant in 2017.

In addition to the comic, the team reached out to English professor and comics studies scholar, Dale Jacobs, to help develop a teachers’ guide to help educators bring the comic and story of Boomer Harding and the Chatham Coloured All-Stars into classrooms. The guide builds on the curricular resources local teacher Shantelle Browning Morgan created for the Breaking the Colour Barrier project.

What started as a collection of old photographs and frail newspaper clippings quickly developed into one of the strongest examples of storytelling, preservation, and community collaboration involving Leddy Library to date.

Copies of the comic will be distributed to schools and libraries this summer and are available to purchase online and at the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society. The cost is $5; proceeds from the sale will support the CK Black Historical Society.

View the Chatham Coloured All-Stars mini-comic at Leddy Library and learn more about the Harding Project online.


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