Videos offer Black perspective on slavery leading up to Emancipation Day
Slavery was abolished in the British Commonwealth and Empire -- including Canada – in 1834 and for the first time on Aug. 1st, the Canadian government will recognize Emancipation Day nationwide.
In the days leading up to it, a YouTube campaign draws on the amazing stories of Black history, as told by some prominent African Canadians.
On Aug. 1st, 1834 the Slavery Abolition Act came into effect and freed about 800,000 people from enslavement in British colonies, says author Lindsay Ruck.
"The history books have been written by the ancestors of colonists," Ruck said. "What we're taught and read and hear is very selective. It's nowhere near a history that reflects everyone, but until we acknowledge it we'll never be able to fully live in a Canada that represents everyone who lives in it."
She says it's important to have these conversations, even if an apology has been made.
"An apology is not an eraser," Ruck said. "More needs to be done, especially for future generations. If you don't know where you're from you can't move forward as a country together."
The Delmore Buddy Daye Learning Institute has prepared some educational videos for people to watch leading up to Emancipation Day.
The videos will include storytellers like Sen. Wanda Thomas Bernard, Pastor Rhonda Britton, singer Keonte Beals, and Lataevia Beezer of CTV Atlantic.
"I hope they find each video interesting, maybe be inspired by some of these stories and maybe get them thinking about what they want to do to recognize Emancipation Day," Ruck says.