The Blazing Legacy of Black Canadians
A Study through the Work of Mary Ann Shadd
Pluralism is an integral part of Canadian culture and our society would be far behind if not for the contributions of citizens of all backgrounds, especially the black Canadians. Through the work of Mary Ann Shadd toward the freedom of blacks, the improvement of the Canadian media and women’s suffrage, we can see the immense benefits that black Canadians have provided this nation. Black Canadians such as Mary Ann Shadd exemplify the rich heritage and identity of Canadian society.
The advanced society of Canada was by Mary Ann Shadd in promoting the freedom of blacks, a contribution valued in our identity. Shadd was born on October 9, 1823 in Delaware, United States. Inspired by her parents, who were activists and members of the Underground Railroad, Shadd followed the path of the blacks that were heading north to Canada and ended up settling in Windsor, Ontario, where she wrote educational booklets that outlined the advantages of attaining freedom in Canada, and the necessity of living within one’s means. Additionally, she set up a school that was open to anyone who could afford to attend (education was not a public amenity at this time), regardless of race. Mary Ann Shadd knew that the freedom and acceptance of blacks as members of the community was not only imperative for the improvement of blacks, but the improvement of Canadian society as a whole. Canada is known as being accepting of all people, and citizens such as Mary Ann Shadd are the inspiration and the heritage behind this notion. Mary Ann Shadd and her work for the freedom of blacks is a clear example of how black Canadians have contributed to Canadian society.
Mary Ann Shadd’s contributions to the Canadian media helped to define Canada’s heritage and society. Shadd desired to promote the successes of free blacks living in Canada. To do this, she founded the Provincial Freeman newspaper, which made her the first black woman in North America to publish a paper. While Canada is a multicultural nation, if those of the minority don’t work to make their voices heard, they can end up becoming lost in the dominance of the majority. Shadd knew that black women needed a voice in the media in Canada and by founding her own newspaper she worked to make the media in Canada more diverse, an impact that still leaves its mark to this day. The impact that Mary Ann Shadd had on the Canadian media had a large contribution to the heritage, identity and advanced society in Canada.
The work of Mary Ann Shadd for women’s suffrage contributed to the advanced society that Canada has today. In 1851, she became the only woman to attend the First Convention of Colored Freemen held outside of the USA. After working as a recruitment agent supporting the Union side during the American Civil War, she became the first black woman to complete a degree in law at Howard University. She later joined the women’s suffrage movement and became the first black woman to vote in a national election. While some of these actions were in the USA, the impact spread to all parts of the world as both Canada and America had suffrage movements around the same time. Shadd showcased the tenacity and leadership of Canadians by being the leading woman in many disciplines. As a woman, as a black person and most importantly, as a Canadian you can do anything, a notion which was epitomized by Mary Ann Shadd, making her a major contributor to Canadian identity and society.
Black Canadians such as Mary Ann Shadd exemplify the rich heritage and identity of Canadian society. May Ann Shadd worked for the freedom of blacks, the improvement of the Canadian media and women’s suffrage, all of which were major contributions to our society. Pluralism is something that Canada prides itself on, and the works of people from all walks of life have fostered growth and inspiration in our nation. So many black Canadians have made an impact on the lives of every single member of our country, leaving a blazing legacy that helped to create the Canada that we are proud to call home.
Biography. “Mary Ann Shadd Cary.” Accessed November 29, 2017. https://www.biography.com/people/mary-ann-shadd-cary-214141. Historica Canada. “Mary Ann Shadd.” Accessed November 28, 2017. http://blackhistorycanada.ca/profiles.php?themeid=20&id=5.