My dissertation, One Too Many: The Enslavement of Africans in Early Ontario, 1760 – 1834, focuses on the enslavement of African men, women, and children in Upper Canada (present-day Ontario) between 1760 and 1834. I am examining the scale and scope of the enslavement of African people in early Ontario, contextualizing this historical reality within the global phenomenon of the Transatlantic slave trade, French and British colonization of what is now Canada and the “New World”, and the American Revolution, which resulted the Loyalist exile to British North American and the forced relocation of the Africans they enslaved.
My hybrid dissertation includes the creation of an open-access database that will provide a comprehensive enumeration of enslaved Africans held in bondage, the first major scholarly effort to do so. My employment of Black digital humanities involves the the development of biographical narratives of a number of subjects of my research, to ensure that their humanity and contributions are honoured and their memory, often denied, is acknowledged.
I intend for my study to be a valuable research and educational tool. Slavery in Canada was included in the learning expectations of the Ontario Social Studies, History, and Geography curriculum for the first time in 2013. However, it is only an optional topic for grades 3 to 7. To encourage the use of my research in classrooms, I will draw on my curriculum development expertise to create instructional resources that will support the teaching and learing of slavery in Canada at the elementary and secondary levels. My goal is for my research to contribute substantially to Canadian slavery historical scholarship, public knowledge, and to the teaching of slavery in Canada.
Stay tuned for more information and updates.
York Celebrates Recipients of Prestigous Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, July 2018
Graduate Student Profile in History Matters Winter, Spring 2019
Profile in York University Magazine, Winter 2020