One of my beefs with Canada is our lack of preserving and teaching actual Canadian Black History. I guess I was ‘lucky’ to go to a school that did acknowledge black history month, not all do. But when it was taught, it was focused entirely on American black history. What I learned about black Canadian history I knew from one Canada Heritage Underground Railroad commercial.. Remember that? The melodramatic reenactment of slaves arriving in Canada? It positions Canada’s history as a place of freedom. We never know what came before (slavery in Canada) or what came after (persecution, starvation, segregation).
The Toronto Star posted an article a while ago, focusing on a push to have a Quebec cemetery where black slaves are buried recognized as a historical landmark. The site is actually called “N—-r Rock”, but what’s semantics. If the site does get recognized as a black history site, it would be one of the very few in Canada. There’s so much history here that we literally bury. Whether it is Freetown in Nova Scotia or the Civil Rights Movement in Montreal. Canadian students are really missing out on a rich history. The only thing most people think they know about black Canadian history is that there was no slavery in Canada and that is flat-out wrong!