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jerryking : underground_railroad   11

'Heaven was the word for Canada:' race in Martin Luther King's 'North Star' - The Globe and Mail
Aug. 24 2013 | The Globe and Mail | John Ibbitson.

....Racially, the single greatest achievement may have been the decision by the government of Lester B. Pearson in 1967 to introduce the points system for choosing immigrants, sweeping away policies that had kept non-whites out of Canada for generations.

The following half-century of wide-open immigration and entrenched multiculturalism forged Canadian cities so cosmopolitan, diverse and tolerant that they come closer than any to Dr. King’s dream of harmony and equality....

But only for some. Black Canadians make up 2.5 per cent of the population, but fill 9 per cent of the spaces in the country’s prisons, according to the federal Office of the Correctional Investigator. Too many poor non-white neighbourhoods are unstable and, for many of those trapped in them, unsafe
MLK  John_Ibbitson  anniversaries  speeches  Underground_Railroad  geographic_segregation  North_Star  marginalization  1967  Lester_Pearson  African_Canadians  overrepresentation  disproportionality  immigration  multiculturalism  Canadian  cities  cosmopolitan  exclusion 
august 2013 by jerryking
Harriet Tubman's Great Raid -
June 7, 2013, 11:19 pm 29 Comments
Harriet Tubman’s Great Raid
slavery  Underground_Railroad  the_South  trailblazers  African-Americans  women  Civil_War  Harriet_Tubman 
june 2013 by jerryking
In 1812, black Canadians fought for their freedom
Feb. 25 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Rosemary Sadlier.

The narrative of Richard Pierpoint:

Pierpoint’s story is an excellent example of the black military contribution. It also speaks to an essential narrative in black Canadian history that belongs among the lessons of the War of 1812 bicentennial.

Pierpoint was born around 1744 in Bondu, West Africa (now Senegal). He was captured at 16 and, like so many young, strong Africans, enslaved. Upon his arrival in the Americas, he became property of a British military officer.

With the outbreak of the American War of Independence, Pierpoint accepted military duty to achieve his freedom. Following his service in Butler’s Rangers, he, like thousands of other Black Loyalists, was granted land in Canada. In Ontario, these veterans helped to settle Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake; they also settled parts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Pierpoint worked 200 acres near Twelve Mile Creek in Ontario.

The threat of re-enslavement in 1812 thrust African-Canadians into action. As Pierpoint says to a British officer in the Heritage Minute: “Your officers fight for land and money. I fight for my freedom.” He petitioned the government to form and lead a “corps of men of colour.” The unit was eventually formed under the direction of a retired white officer as Captain Runchey’s Company of Coloured Men. It was the first all-black unit in Upper Canada....After the war, black defenders were granted land in the remote Oro area. The land was difficult to clear and cultivate; many left.

In 1821, Pierpoint again petitioned the government, this time for passage back to Senegal. Instead, at 77, he was granted 100 acres near present-day Fergus, Ont. He died, impoverished, about 1838. But his story – from free-born in Africa to enslaved in the New World, from soldier to settler – provides a rare personal narrative that helps us understand the experiences of Black Loyalists and how this period led to Canada’s identification as a land of freedom.

The War of 1812 showed that Canada was a place where black people were effectively free under the law; where black settlements – the highest mark of freedom – created community. Living free “under the lion’s paw” was possible even as slavery continued to the south. As black War of 1812 veterans sought to reunite with family in the United States, their stories about stirred the imaginations of thousands more. In this way, the promise of the Underground Railroad was born of the War of 1812.
African_Canadians  Black_Loyalists  commemoration  Underground_Railroad  War_of_1812 
march 2013 by jerryking
Book Review: Bound for Canaan | John J. Miller | Hey Miller
March 29, 2005



By Fergus M. Bordewich
(Amistad, 540 pages, $27.95)
Underground_Railroad  slavery  Quakers  freedom  book_reviews 
november 2011 by jerryking
A Railroad to Freedom, Underground No More -
Opinionator - A Gathering of Opinion From Around the Web
June 26, 2011, 9:30 pm
A Railroad to Freedom, Underground No More
slavery  Civil_War  Underground_Railroad 
june 2011 by jerryking

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