Resources: Celebrating the International Year for People of African Descent

Emancipation Day: Celebrating Freedom in Canada, by Natasha L. Henry (Dundurn Press Ltd. 2010)

Photo: Emancipation Day: Celebrating Freedom in Canada, by Natasha L. Henry (Dundurn Press Ltd. 2010)


Ontario Heritage Trust

Black heritage

Published Date: Nov 10, 2011

What's on the shelf

The Journey from Tollgate to Parkway: African-Canadians in Hamilton, by Adrienne Shadd (Dundurn Press Ltd. 2010)

When the Lincoln Alexander Parkway was named, it was a triumph not only for this distinguished Canadian, but for all African Canadians. It had indeed been a long journey from the days in the 1880s when a Black woman named Julia Berry operated one of the tollgates leading up to Hamilton Mountain. The Journey from Tollgate to Parkway examines the history of Blacks in the Hamilton-Wentworth area, from their status as slaves in Upper Canada to their settlement and development of community, their struggle for justice and equality, and their achievements, presented in a fascinating and meticulously researched historical narrative.

Emancipation Day: Celebrating Freedom in Canada
, by Natasha L. Henry (Dundurn Press Ltd. 2010)

This new, well-researched book provides insight into the creation, development and evolution of a distinct African-Canadian tradition through descriptive historical accounts and appealing images. The social, cultural, political and educational practices of Emancipation Day festivities across Canada are explored, with emphasis on Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and British Columbia.

I Am My Father’s son: A Memoir of Love and Forgiveness
, by Dan Hill (Harper Collins Publishers Limited, 2009)

In this poignant, moving memoir, one of Canada’s most respected singer-songwriters traces his difficult, often tumultuous relationship with his father. From the time Dan Hill picked up a guitar at age 11, he tried to win the approval of Daniel Hill Sr., a man who has been called Canada’s father of human rights. But Hill Sr. set impossibly high standards for himself and his family, especially for his eldest son, leading to conflict and alienation even as young Dan achieved international fame.

I Am My Father’s son: A Memoir of Love and Forgiveness, by Dan Hill (Harper Collins Publishers Limited, 2009)

My name is Henry Bibb: A Story of Slavery and Freedom, by Afua Cooper (Kids Can Press, 2009)

Often shocking, always compelling, Afua Cooper’s novel is based on the life of Henry Bibb, an American slave who after repeated attempts escaped in 1841 to become an anti-slavery speaker, author and founder of a Black newspaper. Cooper takes painstakingly researched details about slavery and weaves an intimate story of Bibb’s young life, which is overshadowed by inconceivable brutality.

Ontario’s African Canadian Heritage: Collected Writings by Fred Landon, 1918-1967, by Karolyn Smardz Frost, Bryan Walls, Hilary Bates Neary and Frederick H. Armstrong (Dundurn Press Ltd. 2009)

Ontario’s African-Canadian Heritage is composed of the collected works of Professor Fred Landon, who for more than 60 years wrote about African-Canadian history. The selected articles have, for the most part, never been surpassed by more recent research and offer a wealth of data on slavery, abolition, the Underground Railroad and more, providing unique insights into the abundance of African-Canadian heritage in Ontario. Though much of Landon’s research was published in the Ontario Historical Society’s journal, Ontario History, some of the articles reproduced here appeared in such prestigious US publications as the Journal of Negro History.

Harriet Tubman: Freedom Seeker, Freedom Leader, by Rosemary Sadlier (Dundurn Press Ltd. | A Quest Biography book, 2012)

Tubman’s exploits helped to empower those opposed to slavery and enrage those who supported it. Her success encouraged enslaved Africans to make the brave break for freedom and reinforced the belief held by abolitionists in the potential of black freedom and independence. Referred to as “General Tubman” due to her contributions to the Underground Railroad and to the Union Army, Tubman’s numerous rescue missions ending in Canada helped to build the interest in escape and reinforce the position of Canada as the final stop on the journey to freedom.