The introduction chapter depicts a common story of thousands of Black migrants to Canada from various Caribbean islands and territories. Contact with a cricket and social club was critical for settling in Toronto’s urban and suburban neighbourhoods, finding (mainly) middle-class jobs, returning home to their nations of origin for visits, and travelling to Black plurilocal homespaces created in Canada, the Caribbean, the United States, and England. The Mavericks Cricket and Social Club (MCSC) involved sport, spectatorship, food, music, dancing, travelling, and socializing that were crucial for recreating the sense of home necessary for Black men’s survival in a city rife with interpersonal and systemic racism. The chapter outlines the ways in which cricket is an essential yet often forgotten component of Black Atlantic cultures and Canadian socio-politics The chapter describes the MCSC participants and researcher involved in this study; reviews the sociological processes of making and crossing group boundaries; and sets the context for the book by reviewing a range of literatures including the Black Atlantic and the Caribbean diaspora in Canada, studies of sporting diasporas, the narrative inquiry approach used, and the contents of the remaining book chapters.
This chapter highlights the ways diasporas form as a collectively identified community despite their dispersal to multiple sites and in the Caribbean case, multiple nations of origin. These communities are neither homogeneous nor innate; they do a lot of work to construct boundaries around themselves and in the case of the Mavericks Cricket and Social Club (MCSC) that work involves liming to recreate a sense of home. Liming is a uniquely Caribbean expression that captures the practice of socializing, listening to music, playing and watching games of cricket and dominoes, and engaging in spirited rounds of antiphonic storytelling in native Patois languages and various English accents. This chapter explores these tactics used by MCSC members to create a sense of familiarity, solidarity, security, and comfort in a racist society; to celebrate blackness and masculinity; and to assuage the fear of infirmity and mortality. Through a focus on club members’ activities before, during and after games, the chapter shows how they mark themselves as part of various bounded groups: Blacks, Afro-Caribbeans, and also a local, Canadian community.