Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12 to 15
- Grade: 7 to 10
"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.
About the authors
Adrienne Shadd is a historian, writer, curator, and researcher. She is the author of The Journey from Tollgate to Parkway: African Canadians in Hamilton; author-editor of the children’s books Freedom and Early Civilizations of Africa; co-author of We're Rooted Here and They Can't Pull Us Up: Essays in African Canadian Women's History; and co-editor with Carl James of Talking About Identity: Encounters in Race, Ethnicity and Language. She has curated several important exhibits, including ... and still I rise: A History of African Canadian Workers in Ontario; Black Mecca: The Story of Chatham’s Black Community; and “I’ll Use My Freedom Well,” a new exhibit at the Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site in Dresden. Freedom won the Gold Medal Moonbeam Children's Book Award for Multicultural Non-Fiction. Adrienne lives in Toronto.
Afua Cooper's doctoral dissertation on Henry Bibb is a pioneering work on the life of the 19th-century abolitionist. She teaches African-Canadian history at the University of Toronto and is co-author of "We're Rooted Here and They Can't Pull Us Up": Essays in African Canadian Women's History (University of Toronto Press, 1994). In February 2002, Afua curated "A Glimpse of Black Life in Victorian Toronto: 1850-1860" for the City of Toronto Museum Division. An award-winning poet, her fifth book of poetry, Copper Woman and Other Poems, is being published by Natural Heritage in the spring of 2006. Her most recent book is The Hanging Of Angelique: Canada, Slavery and the Burning of Montreal, published by HarperCollins Canada in January 2006.
Karolyn Smardz Frost is an archaeologist, historian, and award-winning author. Now an adjunct professor at Acadia and Dalhousie, she is the former bicentennial visiting professor at Yale University and served as senior research fellow for African Canadian History at York University’s Harriet Tubman Institute. Her biography of freedom-seekers Lucie and Thornton Blackburn, I’ve Got a Home in Glory Land: A Lost Tale of The Underground Railroad, won the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction. She co-edited The Archaeology Education Handbook: Sharing the Past with Kids; Ontario’s African-Canadian Past; and the landmark Canada–U.S. collaborative volume, A Fluid Frontier: Slavery, Resistance and the Underground Railroad in the Detroit River Borderland. Karolyn’s most recent book is the award-winning Steal Away Home, which tells the tale of fifteen-year-old Cecelia Jane Reynolds who arranged her own flight to freedom and found a new home in Toronto. She lives in Nova Scotia’s beautiful Annapolis Valley.
Other titles by Adrienne Shadd
Other titles by Afua Cooper
Black Writers Matter
Dear Canada: Hoping for Home
Stories of Arrival
Cher Journal : Terre d'accueil, terre d'espoir
The Hanging Of Angelique
The Untold Story of Canadian Slavery and the Burning of Old Montreal
My Name Is Phillis Wheatley
A Story of Slavery and Freedom
My Name Is Henry Bibb
A Story of Slavery and Freedom
And Other Poems