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July 28, 2023

Honouring Emancipation Day 2023

Black and white photo band members in the Emancipation Day Parade. Photo noir et blanc de membres d'une orchestre marchant dans la parade d'émanicpation

Photo credits: York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, Toronto Telegram fonds, ASC06124.

On August 1, 1833, the British Parliament ended centuries of enslavement throughout the British Empire. In the preceding centuries, over 4,000 enslaved people were brought to lands now known as Quebec and Ontario, alongside indentured servants, Maroons and enslaved people of African descent in the Maritimes. Over 2,500 Indigenous Peoples were also forced into slavery during this time.

In Canada, August 1st is observed as Emancipation Day, as it is an important moment to reflect on the brutal legacy of the slave trade, to honour the ongoing contributions of historic Black communities and to re-commit to the path of Reconciliation.

This past Saturday, July 29th, the CRRF is proud;y supported an Emancipation Day celebration at the City of Toronto Archives.

The event featured renowned community advocate Rosemary Sadlier, who spent 27 years fighting to get August 1st Emancipation Day recognized in Canada, among other notable speakers from the community. It also included the Black Women in Leadership exhibition, with portraits of 40 Black women leaders by Toronto-based artists.

Let us continue to remember those who came before us and work together to build greater equity for all people in Canada. To learn more about our work or keep up with our exciting programs and initiatives, subscribe to our newsletter. You can also follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for updates.

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