February 22, 1938|
|Died||December 23, 1998(aged 60)|
|Occupation||Journalist, writer, publisher|
Vallières was born in the east end of Montreal, Quebec, but grew up in Ville Jacques-Cartier (now part of Longueuil), on the south-shore of Montreal, an area considered one of the most disadvantaged of the metropolitan region. He became a left-wing political activist at a young age and conducted a hunger strike at the United Nations headquarters in New York City to protest what he considered to be Quebec's plight. While in New York, he was held in the Manhattan House of Detention for Men before being extradited to Canada, where he was arrested and convicted of manslaughter, but later acquitted in a second trial in 1970. During his four years' imprisonment in New York, he wrote a number of works, the most famous of which was Nègres blancs d'Amérique (1968), translated into English as White Niggers of America. This book compared the situation of French-Canadians in Quebec to that of African-Americans at the height of the latter's civil rights struggles. He also called for armed struggle.
In 1970, during the October Crisis, the FLQ kidnapped and murdered the Quebec Vice-Premier, Pierre Laporte. The following year, Vallières renounced violence as a means to achieve Quebec independence and on October 4, 1972, under a plea bargain agreement, he received a one-year suspended sentence on three charges of counselling kidnapping for political purposes. He then resumed his career as a journalist, writer, and publisher.
He died of heart failure.
- Nègres blancs d'Amérique, autobiographie précoce d'un « terroriste » québécois. Montréal : Éditions Parti pris, 1967 (translated as White Niggers of America: The Precocious Autobiography of a Quebec Terrorist by Joan Pinkham, Monthly Review Press, 1971 and McClelland & Stewart, 1972)
- Vivre sans temps morts, jouir sans entraves ! Paris, 1970
- L'urgence de choisir. Montréal Parti-Pris, 1971; (translated as Choose!, New Press, 1972 )
- Pour un front commun multinational de libération. with Charles Gagnon. S.l. : Front de libération du Québec, 1971
- Un Québec impossible. Montréal : Éditions Québec/Amérique, 1977 (translated as The Impossible Quebec: Illusions of Sovereignty Association, 1980)
- L'exécution de Pierre Laporte : les dessous de l'Opération. Montréal : Éditions Québec/Amérique, 1977 (translated as The Assassination of Pierre Laporte by Ralph Wells, Lorimer, 1977)
- Les scorpions associés. with René Lévesque. Montréal : Éditions Québec-Amérique, 1978
- La démocratie ingouvernable. Montréal : Québec/Amérique, 1979
- La liberté en friche. Montréal : Éditions Québec/Amérique, 1979
- Changer de société. with Serge Proulx. Montréal : Québec/Amérique, 1982
- Les héritiers de Papineau : itinéraire politique d'un "nègre blanc" (1960-1985). Montréal, Québec : Québec/Amérique, 1986
- Noces obscures. Montréal : L'Hexagone, 1986
- Le devoir de résistance. Montréal : VLB, 1994
- Paroles d'un nègre blanc. with Jacques Jourdain and Mélanie Mailhot. Montréal : VLB éditeur, 2002
- Freedom Outraged Vallieres plays his own role in a documentary by the national Film Board of Canada directed by Jean Daniel Lafond. A 16-mm medium length, color, 1994.
- La troisième solitude. Montreal Labor Council. as cited in Vallières, White Niggers of America, p. 120.