Black History Month

Mary Ann Shadd, who was an educator, abolitionist, author, publisher and journalist, was born in Wilmington, Delaware – 1823. The eldest of 13 children, she was educated by Quakers throughout the North Eastern States. Shadd followed in the footsteps of her activist parents who were part of the Underground Railroad. She later left for Canada. Settling in Windsor, Shadd wrote an educational booklet, outlining the advantages of Canada for settlers.

Shadd set up an integrated school in Windsor that was open to all who could afford to attend. She moved to St. Catherine’s and then to Toronto, where she met and married widower Thomas Cary.

To promote the successes of black people living in freedom in Canada, she started the Provincial Freemen Newspaper becoming the first black woman in North America to publish a newspaper.
Before returning to America, Shadd obtained Canadian citizenship. Shadd was the only woman to attend the First Convention of Coloured Freemen held outside the U.S. She later moved to Washington D.C. where she taught and pursued law. Shadd was the first woman to receive a law degree from Howard University.

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