Statue of Mary Ann Shadd Cary unveiled in Windsor

Mary Ann Shadd Cary

A statue honoring Mary Ann Shadd Cary was unveiled in Windsor last Thursday.

Cary, an American-Canadian anti-slavery activist, journalist, publisher, teacher and lawyer, was the first Black woman in North America to establish a newspaper.

Born in 1823 in Wilmington, Delaware, Cary and her family worked to free enslaved people as part of the Underground Railroad. After the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, her family relocated to Canada.

On the grounds of what is now Windsor City Hall Square, Cary opened a school for Black and white students. She wrote and lectured on the importance of freedom while living in Canada and published Canada’s first anti-slavery newspaper, The Provincial Freeman.

The bronze statue of Cary was created by Windsor sculptor, Donna Jean Mayne. It stands on the grounds of Windsor Hall, part of the University of Windsor’s downtown campus.

Artist Donna Mayne at work

“The University of Windsor is so proud to honour Mary Ann Shadd Cary’s legacy for generations to come as we work towards establishing a more safe, just, and equitable campus community – a truly inclusive future for the University begins with our actions today,” said Rob Gordon, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Windsor at last Thursday’s unveiling of the statue.