My Fighting Family: Borders and Bloodlines and the Battles That Made Us

Morgan Campbell (BSJ99)

Morgan Campbell comes from “a fighting family,” a connection and clash that reaches back to Chicago in the 1930s. His parents’ families were both part of the Great Migration from the U.S. rural south to the industrial north, but a history of perceived slights and social schisms solidified a feud that only intensified over the century.

Morgan’s maternal grandfather, Claude Jones—a legendary grudge-holder and fixture of the Chicago jazz scene—was recruited to play in Toronto and eventually settled in Canada in the mid-1960s. Morgan’s paternal grandmother, Granny Mary, however, remained stateside, a distance her resentments would only grow to fill.

Bearing witness to these tensions was young Morgan, an aspiring writer, budding athlete, and slow-jam scholar whose American roots landed him an outsider status that exposed the profound gap between Canada’s multicultural reputation and its very different reality.

Having grown up bouncing between these disparate identities—Black and Canadian, Canadian and American, Campbell and Jones—Morgan has crafted a witty, wise, rich, and soulful illumination of the journey to find clarity in all that conflict.
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