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Black History in Ontario: Free Online Series

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Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society will host an online series focused on Black history in Ontario.

This free three-part series runs on April 13, 20 and 27 at 7:30 pm EDT.

Three speakers will discuss their extensive research into the history of people of Black heritage in Ontario.

April 13: The Underground Railroad
In the first session on April 13, Adrienne Shadd will discuss her research for the book The Underground Railroad: Next Stop, Toronto! You will learn about Deborah Brown and other freedom seekers who settled in the York Township west area.

April 20: The Search for Alfred Lafferty
In the second session, Hilary Dawson will share her search for Alfred Lafferty, a Black educator and lawyer. The Lafferty family arrived in Canada in the 1830s as penniless and illiterate freedom seekers from the United States. You’ll learn how Alfred excelled and became the first Canadian-born Black lawyer in Ontario.

April 27: Black History in Ontario, 1793–1965
And in the final session on April 27, Winston Anderson will present an overview of events in Ontario, beginning with the Act to Limit Slavery passed in 1793 and taking us forward to 1965. He will explore the lives of people of Black heritage, both free and enslaved, who shaped Toronto.

Each session will consist of a presentation and an opportunity to ask questions. The lectures will be recorded, so that registrants who can’t attend the live presentations may watch at a more convenient time. There is no charge for the series but participants must pre-register.

Photo: Anderson Ruffin Abbott fonds, S90, Baldwin Collection, Toronto Public Library.

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