Monday 28 November 2016

Book ~ "The Journey from Tollgate to Parkway: African Canadians in Hamilton" (2010) Adrienne Shadd

From Goodreads ~ When the Lincoln Alexander Parkway was named, it was a triumph not only for this distinguished Canadian but for all African Canadians. "The Journey from Tollgate to Parkway" looks at the history of blacks in the Ancaster-Burlington-Hamilton area, their long struggle for justice and equality in education and opportunity, and their achievements, presented in a fascinating and meticulously researched historical narrative. 

Although popular wisdom suggests that blacks first came via the Underground Railroad, the possibility that slaves owned by early settlers were part of the initial community, then known as the "Head of the Lake," is explored. 

This book tells the history of African Canadians in Hamilton, Ontario, once known as Head of the Lake.  It starts in the 1700s with the first African Canadians arriving.  The last chapter provides the background of some prominent African Canadians who had made a difference.

There are eight chapters:
  1. The journey begins:  slavery and freedom at the Head of the Lake
  2. Routes to freedom
  3. On course:  settling in by the Bay
  4. Eyeing the summing, 1870 - 1900
  5. Gathering Speed:   Anatomy of a community
  6. At a crossroads:  the turn of a new century
  7. Roadblocks head:  the Reverend Holland years
  8. New pathways, old destinations:  contemporary fighters for social justice

This book is well-researched and provides details of many people, right down to family members, birth dates, where they came from and their backgrounds.  It starts by telling the story of slaves arriving in Hamilton, often escaping from the States via the Underground Railroad, wanting to make a new life for themselves and fighting for their rights, equality, education, etc. as free Canadians.

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