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Canada's Underground Railroad

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    Canada's Underground Railroad

    Anyone catch the CBC show they aired regarding this last night? It was about Canada's role in helping slaves from the US, escape to Canada. They showed how slaves escaped via the infamous underground railroad, oftentimes only to face the same segregation and bigotry in Canada...albeit, of course, they were *legally* free. But their churches were often informally segregated, schools were segregated, communities were segregated. It was really sad. To be free in the eyes of the law, is not the same as to be equal.

    The show mentioned two Canadian abolitionists in particular, Alexander Brown (i think?) and something Ross. Ross was eventually hung. Alexander Brown, the other Canadian, used to pretend to be a bird-watcher, would visit the slave states in the US, stay at the plantation houses of slave-owning masters, and secretly arrange for their slaves to escape towards Canada, via Ohio. It was really interesting. If any slaves were caught while trying to break free, they would be shackled and chained, dragged back to their 'owners', and most often than not, whipped and chained brutally...to set a lesson for the others.

    Now something i don't understand... in eastern Canada, there are a lot of descendants of former slaves, from the US as well as slaves who were brought by ships from the Caribbean and Africa. Why is the African Canadian population currently larger in eastern/central Canada than it is in western Canada ? Even though slaves from the US must have escaped towards Canada's prairie provinces as well - right? i don't understand historically, how this could have happened.... is it partially because western Canada is more conservative and racist, and eastern is more liberal and somewhat less racist (in general)?

    #2
    As I have recently learned from my sociology class there were many blacks from the US, mostly from California,that went to British Columbia and settle there. (in the late 19th century) Many more blacks came from Britain, the Carribean, Africa. They formed large communities specifically in Strathcona in East Vancouver. The community began to decline, many people started to move into other neighbourhoods and a bunch of them went back to the US

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      #3
      i have never been to BC so unfortunately can't comment on how many African Canadians live there. Thanks for the info. You are right, many former slaves returned to the US after the emancipation laws were enacted there.

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        #4
        http://www.nationalgeographic.com/railroad/j1.html

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