Natasha Henry is a teacher, an educational curriculum consultant, and a speaker specializing in the development of learning materials that focus on the African Diaspora experience. Author of Emancipation Day: Celebrating Freedom in Canada, she is also the education specialist for Breaking the Chains: Presenting a New Narrative of Canadaâ€™s Role in the Underground Railroad, a project of the Harriet Tubman Institute at York University.
When the passage of the Abolition of Slavery Act, effective August 1, 1834, ushered in the end of slavery throughout the British Empire, people of the African descent celebrated their newfound freedom. Now African-American fugitive slaves, free black immigrants, and the few remaining enslaved Africans could live unfettered live in Canada â€“ a reality worthy of celebration.
This new, well-researched book provides insight into the creation, development, and evolution of a distinct African-Canadian tradition through descriptive historical accounts and appealing images. The social, cultural, political, and educational practices of Emanipation Day festivities across Canada are explored, with emphasis on Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, and British Columbia.
"Emancipation is not only a word in the dictionary, but an action to liberate oneâ€™s destiny. This outstanding book is superb in the interpretation of "the power of freedom" in oneâ€™s heart and mind â€“ moving from 1834 to present." â€“ Dr. Henry Bishop, Black Cultural Centre, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Henry digs deep to bring the reader face-to-face with the social realities of life in Canada during these tumultuous years and the development of distinct African-Canadian traditions.
"The book will be an eye opener for many who are unaware of black history in Canada."