Groundbreaking new series explores Canada’s shocking untold Black history


A groundbreaking, four-part collection began airing on the Historical Channel last weekend; it explores the untold tales of Black historical past in Canada.

BLK: An Origin Story takes Canadians on a nationwide journey of discovery into the individuals, communities, and never-before-heard tales of Canada’s Black inhabitants.

Producers Jen Holness and Sudz Sutherland crossed the nation, listening to tales and placing collectively a collection “that resets the understanding of Black historical past in Canada,” stated Holness.

Viewers will study Canada’s unfiltered Black historical past in 4 hour-long episodes that target communities in Nova Scotia, Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec.

The narrative is helped along by George Elliot Clarke, Lawrence Hill, Charmaine Nelson, El Jones, Could Q Wong, and Stephanie Allen.

The first episode is filmed in Nova Scotia, and uncovers a few of the myths and misconceptions concerning the historical past of Black communities on the East Coast.

Jen Holness
Sudz Sutherland

Viewers are in for some stunning revelations after they understand how a lot of this history was omitted from their college curriculum.

According to Sudz Sutherland, lectures in school taught us that that Black individuals used the Underground Railroad to get to Nova Scotia, after which they lived happily ever after. It was like a real-life fairytale, a long way from reality. There was no resistance in these tales. For them, it was simply this story of Black people being liberated by Canadians.

Holness says the first episode that shines a light on the horrible treatment Blacks were subjected to in Nova Scotia. It pushed some to return to the place in which they were first enslaved.

Why would anybody leave a “land of freedom: to return to the land of Jim Crow and segregation? The series try to answer that question.

Sutherland said he and Holness were sometimes shocked by some of their discoveries.

“One of many issues that shocked us was [to discover] that a number of first non-Native settlers on Vancouver Island were Black,” stated Sutherland.

Surprises?: James Douglas, the first Governor of the Colony of British Columbia, was bi-racial; Black Loyalists and the Black refugees were not quite the same but history conflated them; the bond that existed between between Black Canadians and the Indigenous peoples.

The series premiered on HISTORY Channel on February 26, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Check your local listing for future episodes.