Online Event, Niagara Parks
Black History Speaker Series
Black History Speaker Series
Discover three different perspectives on Black history and culture in Canada with this three-part online speaker series. This inspiring series will explore the power of the Black community in Niagara. From those who made headlines by escaping the bondage of slavery to settle in Niagara, to those who influenced the political and business scene on both sides of the Niagara River and throughout Ontario.
This year’s Black History Speaker Series is delivered as a live-streamed, digital event. Tickets grant access using any computer, tablet or mobile device for these live, interactive sessions with leading community historians and commentators specializing in Black history and culture.
Tickets are $15 per event, or gain access to the entire series for $35. All sessions begin at 7:00 PM.
Irene Moore Davis
Exploring Black History in Essex County
January 26, 2022
Dr. Dann Broyld
Black and in the Niagara Borderlands Before the Civil War
February 23, 2022
"Sale of Said Negro Woman": Chloe Cooley and the Enslaved Black People in Niagara
March 30, 2022
Irene Moore Davis Exploring Black History in Essex County
January 26, 2022, 7:00 p.m.
Gain a new perspective on the rich heritage of Black communities and individuals in Essex County during the eras of slavery, abolitionism and the Underground Railroad. Discover key contributions of notable Black Canadians and their individual and collective efforts to resist injustice. Commonly held myths regarding Black history in the region will also be dispelled in this session alongside historian Irene Moore Davis.
About the speaker: Irene Moore Davis is the president of the Essex County Black Historical Research Society, co-founder of Black Women of Forward Action and fulfills board and committee roles within the Buxton National Historic Site and Museum, BookFest Windsor/Festival du Livre and other organizations. Irene was executive co-producer of the short documentary The North Was Our Canaan (2020) and is currently co-producing a short documentary titled Across the River to Freedom. Both films explore nineteenth century Black history in Sandwich, Ontario. (Learn more)
Dr. Dann Broyld Black and in the Niagara Borderlands Before the Civil War
February 23, 2022, 7:00 p.m.
This session will explore the struggle of transient Blacks to negotiate space for recourse and self-assertion within the crossroads of two contrasting political realms. Join Dr. Dan Broyld as he highlights the idea that Black inhabitants of Rochester, New York and St. Catharines, Canada West possessed transnational identities and strategically positioned themselves near the American-Canadian partition where immigration, movement and interaction occurred.
About the speaker: Dann J. Broyld is an associate professor of African American History at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He earned his PhD in nineteenth-century United States and African Diaspora History at Howard University. His work focuses on the American-Canadian borderlands and issues of Black identity, migration and transnational relations.
Natasha Henry 'Sale of Said Negro Woman': Chloe Cooley and the Enslaved Black People in Niagara
March 30, 2022, 7:00 p.m.
On March 14, 1793, Chloe Cooley, an enslaved Black woman in Niagara was bound and taken across the Niagara River by her enslaver to be sold in New York. Cooley was one of many Black women, men and children held as chattel in the Niagara region. This intriguing session alongside Natasha Henry will explore their lives and experiences and the role of slavery in Upper Canada.
About the speaker: Natasha Henry is a historian and educator. She is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at York University. The 2018 Vanier Scholar is researching the enslavement of African people in early Ontario. Natasha is the president of the Ontario Black History Society. Her publications include Emancipation Day: Celebrating Freedom in Canada (June 2010), Talking about Freedom: Celebrating Freedom in Canada (2012), a number of youth-focused titles and several entries for the Canadian Encyclopedia on African Canadian History. Through her various professional, academic and community roles, Natasha’s work is grounded in her commitment to research, collect, preserve and disseminate the histories of Black Canadians.
Discover Black History along the Niagara River
Discover some of Canada’s most poignant stories of freedom and courage with Niagara Parks’ extensive collection of displays and monuments honouring Black Canadian history.
Follow the scenic Niagara River Parkway from Fort Erie north to the shores of Lake Ontario in Niagara-on-the-Lake to learn about Niagara’s role in the legendary Underground Railroad that led an estimated 40,000 slaves to freedom throughout the 19th century. Along the way, stand in the spot where Harriet Tubman crossed into Canada in 1856, witness the landing points where freedom seekers arrived in Canada and see the printing press that printed Upper Canada’s 1793 Act Against Slavery.