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Black Abolitionist Archive – the Canadian connection

Communication holds together the people within a defined social structure.  Slavery as a social institution in the early years of this country, kept people isolated.  The practice of using human beings as chattel was brought to the Americas as a matter of course in the early years of its colonizing.  At that time, no one seemed to pay much attention to the idea that there was something very wrong with this practice.  Soon, however, communication in the form of abolitionist newspapers began to encourage the need for dramatic change.

Black Abolitionist newspapers published between approximately 1827 and the early 1900s, helped a disenfranchised people feel in touch with those who were working hard to win their freedom.  These newspapers were not just part of the American experience, however.  The struggle here soon spilled over into Canada, especially after Great Britain abolished slavery in 1834.  After August 1st of that year, any person setting foot on British soil was automatically free, and the Black Press in Canada soon began reporting about those who escaped to the freedom of Canadian territories.

Published by organized free men of color, these newspapers helped develop a new culture in the U.S. and Canada, one that continues today.  Like a tap-wired, underground connection, these publications offered hope, community, and structure in an otherwise confusing and chaotic time.

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Last updated 02/18/2019 by P. Higo
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