By Stephen Weir
The Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives (PAMA) in Brampton and the Ontario Black History Society will launch this weekend North is Freedom, an evocative new photo exhibition celebrating the descendants of former American slaves who fled to Canada in the years before the American Civil War.
In portraits of 24 descendants of freedom seekers– the great-great-grandchildren of once-enslaved African Americans – Toronto photographer Yuri Dojc explores Canada’s end of the “Underground Railroad,” a clandestine network of “conductors” and “stations” that helped some 30,000 men, women, and children follow the “North Star” to freedom.
The Black freedom seekers settled across Canada but most of them came to places in Ontario, such as Windsor, Chatham, Buxton, the Niagara Peninsula, Owen Sound, Oakville, Mississauga and Toronto.
Future generations remained and North is Freedom tells their stories.
The Heritage Singers, performer Liberty Silver, and storyteller Sandra Whiting will be at the formal opening of the exhibition at the downtown Brampton Museum this Sunday.
Running from 11.30 a.m. to 4 p.m., this Black History Month event is free to the public.
PAMA is presenting authors, storytellers and performers throughout the long weekend, including the Family Day holiday on Monday.
North is Freedom is sponsored by the TD Group and runs until June 30.