"The Underground Railroad: Next Stop, Toronto! stands out as an engaging and highly readable account of the lives of Black people in Toronto in the 1800s. Adrienne Shadd, Afua Cooper and Karolyn Smardz Frost offer many helpful points of entry for readers learning for the first time about Black history in Canada. They also give surprising and detailed information to enrich the understanding of people already passionate about this neglected aspect of our own past."- Lawrence Hill, Writer The Underground Railroad: Next Stop, Toronto!, a richly illustrated book, examines the urban connection of the clandestine system of secret routes, safe houses and "conductors." Not only does it trace the story of the Underground Railroad itself and how people courageously made the trip north to Canada and freedom, but it also explores what happened to them after they arrived. And it does so using never-before-published information on the African-Canadian community of Toronto. Based entirely on new research carried out for the experiential theatre show "The Underground Railroad: Next Stop, Freedom!" at the Royal Ontario Museum, this volume offers new insights into the rich heritage of the Black people who made Toronto their home before the Civil War. It portrays life in the city during the nineteenth century in considerable detail. This exciting new book will be of interest to readers young and old who want to learn more about this unexplored chapter in Toronto's history.
Adrienne Shadd is a researcher, writer, curator and editor living in Toronto. She is co-author of We're Rooted Here and They Can't Pull Us Up: Essays in African Canadian Women's History, co-editor of Talking About Identity: Encounters in Culture, Language and Identity with Carl James and recently has curated exhibitions entitled "...and still I rise" in Hamilton, Ontario, on the experience of African-Canadian workers in the twentieth century.