"Hotel Refuses Negro Nurse": Gloria Clarke Baylis and the Queen Elizabeth Hotel

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On 2 September 1964, one day after the Act Respecting Discrimination in Employment was introduced in Quebec, Gloria Clarke Baylis, a British-trained Caribbean migrant nurse, inquired about a permanent part-time nursing position at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel (QEH). In response, she was told that the position had already been filled. Less than a year later, Gloria appeared as the key witness in Her Majesty the Queen, Complainant v. Hilton of Canada Ltd., Accused, to determine whether the QEH violated the new legislation. Drawing on excerpts from the court transcript, this article expands and complicates intersectionality as a theoretical framework to include other markers of difference. Critical to this discussion are two interrelated concerns: first, the connection between Gloria's experience at the QEH and Black women's historical relationship to nursing; second, how her subjectivity and identity influenced her decision to pursue the lawsuit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-308
Number of pages31
JournalCanadian bulletin of medical history = Bulletin canadien d'histoire de la medecine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Act Respecting Discrimination in Employment
  • Black women
  • Code des droits de la personne
  • Femme noire
  • Gloria Clarke Baylis
  • Human Rights Code
  • Loi sur la discrimination dans l’emploi
  • droit
  • law
  • nursing
  • racism
  • racisme

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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