Born on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Samuel Ringgold Ward (1817–c. 1869) escaped enslavement and would become a leading figure in the struggle for Black freedom, citizenship, and equality. Ward, a newspaper editor, Congregational minister, and advocate for the temperance movement, was considered one of the leading orators of his time. After the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 he fled to Canada, where he lectured widely to improve conditions for formerly enslaved people who had settled there. Ward then went to Britain as an agent of the Canadian Antislavery Society and published his influential book Autobiography of a Fugitive Negro.
This biographical dictionary recovers the stories and illuminates the lives of enslaved Black people in the Maritimes.
Black Loyalists in New Brunswick by Stephen Davidson
Publication Date: 2021-06-18
Among the Loyalists who were transported to the shores of New Brunswick by the British after their defeat by revolutionary Americans were several hundred African Americans. Like their counterparts who went to what is now Nova Scotia, among this group were formerly enslaved men, women and children who had been granted their freedom in exchange for joining the British side during the revolutionary war. In the colony that soon became New Brunswick, slavery was still legal. Many African American Loyalists had to become indentured labourers to survive in this new situation. Many others took up the opportunity offered them in 1791 to move yet again, this time to Sierra Leone in Africa where many Black Loyalists established a new colony on the coast of Africa where they lived free of slavery. The stories of New Brunswicks Black Loyalists are captured in the brief biographies of eight individuals--men, women and youths--presented by author Stephen Davidson. Through their experiences a picture emerges of the narrow limits to the freedom which the Black Loyalists were able to experience in a predominantly white and highly racist colony.
Hearing Enslaved Voices by Sophie White (Editor); Trevor Burnard (Editor)
Publication Date: 2020-09-01
This book focuses on alternative types of slave narratives, especially courtroom testimony, and interrogates how such narratives were produced, the societies (both those that were majority slave societies and those in which slaves were a distinct minority of the population) in which testimony was permitted, and the meanings that can be attached to such narratives. The chapters in this book provide valuable information about the everyday lives--including the inner and spiritual lives--of enslaved African American and Native American individuals in the British and French Atlantic World, from Canada to the Caribbean. It explores slave testimony as a form of autobiographical narrative, and in ways that allow us to foreground enslaved persons' lived experience as expressed in their own words.
Slavery Geography and Empire in Nineteenth-Century Marine Landscapes of Montreal and Jamaica by Charmaine A. Nelson
Publication Date: 2019-11-09
One could easily assume that nineteenth-century Montreal and Jamaica were worlds apart, but through her astute examination of marine landscape art, the author re-connects these two significant British island colonies, sites of colonial ports with profound economic and military value. Through an analysis of prints, illustrated travel books, and maps, the author exposes the fallacy of their disconnection, arguing instead that the separation of these colonies was a retroactive fabrication designed in part to rid Canada of its deeply colonial history as an integral part of Britain's global trading network which enriched the motherland through extensive trade in crops produced by enslaved workers on tropical plantations.
I've Been Meaning to Tell You by David Chariandy
Publication Date: 2019-03-05
When a moment of quietly ignored bigotry prompted his three-year-old daughter to ask, "What happened?" David Chariandy began wondering how to discuss with his children the politics of race. A decade later, in a newly heated era of both struggle and divisions, he writes a letter to his now thirteen-year-old daughter. The son of Black and South Asian migrants from Trinidad, David draws upon his personal and ancestral past, including the legacies of slavery, indenture, and immigration, as well as the experience of growing up as a visible minority in the land of his birth.
Policing Black Lives by Robyn Maynard
Publication Date: 2017-10-16
Policing Black Lives traces the violent realities of anti-blackness from the slave ships to prisons, classrooms and beyond. Robyn Maynard provides readers with the first comprehensive account of nearly four hundred years of state-sanctioned surveillance, criminalization and punishment of Black lives in Canada. While highlighting the ubiquity of Black resistance, Policing Black Lives traces the still-living legacy of slavery across multiple institutions, shedding light on the state's role in perpetuating contemporary Black poverty and unemployment, racial profiling, law enforcement violence, incarceration, immigration detention, deportation, exploitative migrant labour practices, disproportionate child removal and low graduation rates.
Viola Desmond's Canada by Graham Reynolds; George Elliott Clarke (Foreword by); Wanda Robson (As told to)
Publication Date: 2016-01-31
In 1946, Viola Desmond was wrongfully arrested for sitting in a whites-only section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. In 2010, the Nova Scotia Government recognized this gross miscarriage of justice and posthumously granted her a free pardon. Viola Desmond's Canada is a groundbreaking book that provides a concise overview of the narrative of the Black experience in Canada. Reynolds traces this narrative from slavery under French and British rule in the eighteenth century to the practice of racial segregation and the fight for racial equality in the twentieth century. Included are personal recollections by Wanda Robson, Viola Desmond's youngest sister, together with important but previously unpublished documents and other primary sources in the history of Blacks in Canada.
North of the Color Line by Sarah-Jane Mathieu
Publication Date: 2014-06-24
By World War I, sleeping car portering had become the exclusive province of black men. White railwaymen protested the presence of the black workers and insisted on a segregated workforce. Using the firsthand accounts of former sleeping car porters, Mathieu shows that porters often found themselves leading racial uplift organizations, galvanizing their communities, and becoming the bedrock of civil rights activism. Examining the spread of segregation laws and practices in Canada, whose citizens often imagined themselves as devoid of racism, Mathieu historicizes Canadian racial attitudes, and explores how black migrants brought their own sensibilities about race to Canada, participating in and changing political discourse there.
African Canadians in Union Blue by Richard M. Reid
Publication Date: 2014-05-13
When Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, he also authorized the army to recruit black soldiers. Nearly 200,000 men answered the call. Several thousand came from Canada. What compelled these men to leave the relative comfort and safety of home to fight in a foreign war? In African Canadians in Union Blue, Richard Reid sets out in search of an answer and discovers a group of men whose courage and contributions open a window on the changing nature of the Civil War and the ties that held black communities together even as the borders around them shifted and were torn asunder.
Ebony Roots, Northern Soil by Charmaine A. Nelson
Publication Date: 2010-12-01
Ebony Roots, Northern Soil is a powerful and timely collection of critical essays exploring the experiences, histories and cultural engagements of black Canadians. Drawing from postcolonial, critical race and black feminist theory, this innovative anthology brings together an extraordinary set of well-recognized and new scholars engaging in the critical debates about the cultural politics of identity and issues of cultural access, representation, production and reception.
Through examination of archival sources, Mackey shows the variety of occupations held by blacks, the relationships they had with those they served, their encounters with the judicial and political systems, and the racial mingling that came with intermarriage and apprenticeships. The book provides a detailed reconstruction of the circumstances of black Montrealers and their lived experience.
The Journey from Tollgate to Parkway by Adrienne Shadd
Publication Date: 2010-12-14
When the Lincoln Alexander Parkway was named, it was a triumph not only for this distinguished Canadian but for all African Canadians. The Journey from Tollgate to Parkway looks at the history of blacks in the Ancaster-Burlington-Hamilton area, their long struggle for justice and equality in education and opportunity, and their achievements, presented in a fascinating and meticulously researched historical narrative.
Historic Black Nova Scotia by Bridglal Pachai; Henry Bishop
Publication Date: 2006-01-01
The history of Nova Scotia's black communities is a complex story of triumph and struggle, intertwined with the many stories of ancestors, destinies, and challenges. Eleven chapters explore the African presence in Nova Scotia, and range from topics such as the influence of the church and the African United Baptist Association (AUBA); pioneers in publishing, law, politics and business; the legacy of Africville; heroes of sports, military, arts, and volunteer activism.
Canada's Forgotten Slaves by Marcel Trudel; George Tombs (Translator)
Publication Date: 2013-05-20
Canada's Forgotten Slaves is a ground-breaking work by one of French Canada's leading historians, available for the first time in English. This book reveals that slavery was not just something that happened in the United States. Quite the contrary! Slavery was very much a part of everyday life in colonial Canada under the French regime starting in 1629, and then under the British regime right up to its official abolition throughout the British empire in 1834.
Being Black by Althea Prince; Insomniac Press Staff
Publication Date: 2001-09-25
Following in the highly personal tradition of essayists such as Dionne Brand and bell hooks, Althea Prince culls thirty years of lived experience into an important new collection, Being Black. A writer and sociologist, Prince tackles the complacency she sees in some manifestations of Black Canadian culture -- such as Toronto's popular Caribana festival -- as well as in white society's attitudes towards Black culture, as revealed by Prince's involvement with the notorious Writers' Union of Canada-sponsored Writing Thru Race conference.
The Road to Now by Dorothy Williams
Publication Date: 1997-01-01
Blacks have always been a part of the Québec experience-from the original European explorations to enslavement, from Confederation to the present day. Dorothy Williams returns to the roots of black history by chronicling slavery in Montreal, which lasted officially in New France for seventy-one years. The author describes the impact of the railways on Montreal's black community and charts the evolution of the black community's institutions.
We're Rooted Here and They Can't Pull Us Up by Peggy Bristow (Editor)
Publication Date: 1994-08-18
The role of Black women in Canada's history has remained largely unwritten and unacknowledged. This silence supports the common belief that Black people have only recently arrived in Canada and that racism is also a fairly recent development. This book sets the record straight. The six essays collected here explore three hundred years of Black women in Canada, from the seventeenth century to the immediate post-Second World War period.