Across the country and throughout time, Blacks have played pivotal roles in the unfolding of Canadian history. Woven into the fabric of the country itself, they have made serious contributions to this great nation.
In the early 1600s, African navigator Mathieu De Costa used his knowledge of Mi'kmaq languages to enable communication between the Europeans and Aboriginals. Arriving in 1605, he was the first Black to come to what would become Canada.
Over two centuries later, Sir James Douglas recruited 800 former American slaves and freemen to settle in Victoria, BC, where they staved off the threat from an America that would gobble up land and stretch up the west coast from California to Alaska.
Josiah Henson escaped half a lifetime of slavery and came to Dresden, Ontario through the underground railway. He established a highly successful business, met Queen Victoria, had dinner with the prime minister and became friends with the Archbishop of Canterbury. He was also an unofficial ambassador for Canada.
And, more currently, Blacks have made great strides in Canadian sports, entertainment and politics, as well as business, academia, the judiciary and a broad range of public service. So take a seat and discover the surprising and satisfying history that is finally making it in the mainstream.
Reviews of How the Blacks Created Canada:
"Sir James Douglas was a mullato of elegant mien whose enlightened governorship of British Columbia was a major influence in maintaining that wild frontier within Confederation. The elegant governor who first thought up the idea of a trans-Canada highway, was just one example of the Black influence on Canadian history. This is an unusual book because it concentrates on the achievements of the many
Black Canadians whose contributions to the country's economic and cultural development have been overwhlemingly positive, but not---until now--nearly adequately recognized. Fil Fraser, who for a time was a one-man Canadian film industry and went on to pioneer some mighty inspiring television productions--is the multi-talented guide to this fascinating world of litle known but essential contributors
to the Canadian mosaic."
--Peter C. Newman,best-selling Canadian author and commentator.
ďSome books we want to read. Some books we need to read. Fil Fraserís astonishing How the Blacks Created Canada is both Ė a wonderful read as well as an abject lesson in who we are. The author creates a remarkable, unbroken line from Mathieu Da Costa, who led Champlainís explorations, to Governor-General Michaelle Jean, who is still breaking new ground in this complicated country. Thank you, Fil Fraser, for opening our eyes and for offering those eyes a feast of words filled with delight and new information.Ē
--Roy MacGregor, Globe and Mail columnist and Author of "Canadians: A Portrait of a Country and Its People"