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AfriGeneas Canada Research Forum

2011 - Int'l Year for People of African Descent

International Year for People of African Descent

For the International Year for People of African Descent, celebrating August 1st as Emancipation Day, the OBHS will have a July 14th film screening, a July 23rd bus trip and, of sites interesting to visit yourself. They are:

St. Catharines

St. Catharines Museum at the Welland Canals Centre
The St. Catharines Museum's award-winning exhibit, Follow the North Star, explores the black experience along the Underground Railroad and recounts the rich legacy of Niagara's African Canadians.

Anthony Burns Gravesite

The provincial historic plaque at this site honours the memory of Revenend Anthony Burns, the last person tried under the Fugitive Slave Act in Massachusetts. A verdict, which returned him to slavery, incited street riots. Boston abolitionists bought his freedom and educated him before he settled in St. Catherines and successfully ministered at Zion Baptist Church.

St. Catharines British Methodist Episcopal Church (Salem Chapel)

Its proximity to the border, access to rail lines, and employment opportunities, established St. Catharines as a large refugee centre. In 1855 their first small log church was replaced with this larger, more finished building. Its open hall plan includes a three-sided balcony, providing seating capacity for the large number of people who regularly attended, often including the famous Harriet Tubman and the newly arrived refugees whom she had led to freedom.

Niagara Falls

R. Nathaniel Dett British Methodist Episcopal Church

Constructed in 1836, this building was originally in the area of present-day Niagara Falls, then known as Fallsview. The church was designated a national historic site in 2001. The Chapel continues to be the spiritual and cultural center of the black community. It was named in honour of native-born, world-renowned musician and composer of sacred music, Robert Nathaniel Dett, who, from 1898 to 1903, was the church organist.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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