CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Riendeau, Roger.

Toronto, Dundurn Press, c1984. 48pp, paper, $2.95, ISBN 0-919670-83-0.CIP

Grades 4 and up
Reviewed by John Harkness

Volume 13 Number 1
1985 January

This little book is a joint venture of the multiculturalism and citizenship division of the Ontario ministry of citizenship and culture and the Ontario Heritage Foundation in cooperation with Dundurn Press. It is very short and therefore only scrapes the surface of a fascinating topic. Part one is text; part two is mostly pictures. There is a small bibliography for further reading at the end.

The black heritage of Ontario is as old as the province itself, since many blacks were among the first Loyalists to open up the unknown frontier in the late eighteenth century. The famous Underground Railroad in the mid-nineteenth century routed some forty thousand black fugitives here from the American slave society. Upper Canada was the first British possession to legislate against slavery, and Simcoe's 1793 Act paved the way for Upper Canada to become a haven for black refugees.

Several black figures were prominent in nineteenth-century Ontario, Harriet Tubman and John Mason to name but two. The town of Chatham was the largest centre for black settlement, with Toronto later becoming prominent.

Most of the photographs in part two are of churches, some of which no longer exist. Fortunately enough still do to remain as focal points for local blacks. The collection of historical highlights and photographs presented in this booklet succeeds in stimulating further interest in the black heritage of Ontario.

John Harkness, Emery C.J., Weston, Ont.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works