Myths about slavery in Canada

Since February is black history month, I am sharing this interesting piece of article I read at our local newspaper, Metro News.

Slavery never existed in Canada, right? 
 


black-history-month

Portrait of a Negro slave

FACT: Many Canadians are under the assumption that slavery never existed in Canada (or not at the same levels found in the U.S.), which is false. The first recorded slave to arrive in Canada was a six-year-old boy named Olivier le Jeune from Madagascar in 1628. Most slaves were imported from other British colonies and the Americas.

Was Canada the first country to abolish slavery before other parts of the world followed suit?

FACT: Although slavery in Canada was officially abolished in 1833 politicians enacted legislation in 1793 that would set limitations on slavery in the country. The bill meant slaves would secure their freedom at 25 if born a slave, which was no help to most since the average lifespan of a slave was 20 to 25 years.

Weren’t all black slaves who escaped to Canada from the U.S. afforded all the civil liberties enjoyed by other European Canadians?

FACT: Despite the warm and fuzzy images and scenes displayed in most current-day slave narratives, black slaves who escaped to Canada faced discrimination, violence and segregation. Unlike racist laws that were found in the U.S. (think: Jim Crow), Canada had largely unwritten racist codes, which many could argue made it more difficult for black people in Canada.

Slaves who escaped north lived out the rest of their lives in Canada

FACT: Some former slaves left Canada for the U.S. once slavery was abolished in America to escape difficulties in Canada and for chances at upward mobility afforded to them by moving to cities with higher black populations. Entire generations of black Canadians were completely lost to Canadian history by moving to the U.S.

Source By Takara SmallMetro

To read the whole article, click on the image.

16 thoughts on “Myths about slavery in Canada

    • I’m always curious about history. I remember hearing that the original people were dark skinned. I still have yet to find out the facts on this. Thank you, Brett.

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