Up and running again – Thu Sep 11, 2014

To all of you who read my blog in the past, I’m back online again.  I’m now in my second and (hopefully) final year of my Master’s degree in Public History at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.  This year I will be blogging about my Master’s Research Project which will take the form of a documentary film and a short reflexive essay.

As in the past, I am studying Black history in Canada.  This film will focus on a Black American abolitionist named Mary Ann Shadd Cary who came to Canada in 1850 and stayed for thirteen years.  As well as being a fighter and public speaker for the abolitionist cause, she also spoke out about women’s rights.  She published four books and pamphlets, taught school, and later in life got a law degree and practiced as a lawyer in Washington DC.  She recruited Black soldiers to fight in the American Civil War.  She launched a newspaper in Canada called the Provincial Freeman, and was the editor of that paper.  While in Canada, she married Thomas Cary and they had two children.  She was smart, educated, and outspoken.  She was opposed to racial segregation and got into public arguments with some of her contemporaries about it.  Without even considering her race and gender, she was unlike the average North American person of her time.

This blog will track my progress through my research and my film making.  To begin with, I have already begun reading and organizing notes on an archive of her papers.  This week I hope to make progress on that, with the hope of finding the beginnings of the narrative that will form the basis of the film.  I am also in the process of organizing a trip to southern Ontario to do some filming before the snow flies.

So stay tuned.  This work already shows signs of being an interesting project.


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