From the pyramids to the giant obelisks of ancient Axum, whether as creators of the exquisite sculptures of Benin or scholars in the citadels of learning of Timbuktu, African peoples placed their unique stamp on the millennia. Aboard slave ships crossing the Atlantic to the plantations, farms and cities of the New World, people of African decent began a new journey through the depths of history.

This exhibit is a testament to the indomitable spirit of the ancestors, who contributed in myriad untold ways. They led the way for generations to follow.
From the pyramids to the giant obelisks of ancient Axum, whether as creators of the exquisite sculptures of Benin or scholars in the citadels of learning of Timbuktu, African peoples placed their unique stamp on the millennia. Aboard slave ships crossing the Atlantic to the plantations, farms and cities of the New World, people of African decent began a new journey through the depths of history.

This exhibit is a testament to the indomitable spirit of the ancestors, who contributed in myriad untold ways. They led the way for generations to follow.

© 2007 Workers Arts and Heritage Centre - All Rights Reserved

Legacy of Freedom

Collage made with different media: slave advertisement found in the Upper Canada Gazette in 1806, image of a black loyalist, picture of inventor Elijah McCoy who invented the automatic lubricating cup for train parts, picture of Harriet Tubman who led hundreds of slaves to freedom in Canada and an image from the book The Underground Rail Road by William Still.

Unknown
© Upper Canada Gazette,
© Ontario Black History Society,
© Moorland-Springam Research Centre,
© Ontario Black History Society,
© Porter & Coates 1872

© 2007 Workers Arts and Heritage Centre - All Rights Reserved


Legacy of Work & Sacrifice

Collage made with various pictures representing the legacy of work and sacrifice (William Arthur Smith, Railroad workers, Black workers, WWI soldiers, Carpenters, Woman ploughing, Woman carpenter and Wilson Brooks).

Unknown
© St. Catherines Museum,
© Buxton National Historic Site and Museum,
© Archives of Ontario,
© Archives of Ontario,
© United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America,
© Elizabeth (Harrison) McClure Burns and Grey County Museum,
© United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Local,
© Ontario Black History Society

© 2007 Workers Arts and Heritage Centre - All Rights Reserved


Legacy of Human Rights

Collage made with various pictures representing the legacy of human rights (Jack White, Dr. Daniel Hill Sr., John Holland, Dr. Howard McCurdy, Hugh Burnett, Donald Moore and The Honourable Dr. Jean Augustine).

Jim Millner, Unknown, Unknown, Howard McCurdy, Cheryl Burnette, Arnold Auguste, Arnold Auguste
©Jim Miller,
© Ontario Black History Society,
© Ryerson Press 1956,
© Howard McCurdy,
© Cheryl Burnett,
© Share Newspaper,
© Share Newspaper,

© 2007 Workers Arts and Heritage Centre - All Rights Reserved


Artis Lane, Celebration II... Dialogue

Artis Lane, Celebration II... Dialogue, bronze, ceramic shell, resin, c. 1993.
Artis Lane's intense spirituality is evident in her unique sculptures which seek to portray the majesty and dignity of the Black race. Born Artis Shreve in North Buxton, Ontario, Canada, Lane is an artist of great renown now living in California. She is also the great great grand niece of Mary Ann Shadd Cary.

Artist: Artis Lane
Courtesy of Artis Lane, Los Angeles, California

© 2007 Workers Arts and Heritage Centre - All Rights Reserved


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • explain how Canada’s identity has been and continues to be shaped by its global participation;
  • comment on the political and social context of African Canadians between 1900 and World War II;
  • discuss civil rights of African Canadians from 1960 to now.

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