This October marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Mary Ann Shadd Cary, the first Black woman in North America to publish a newspaper. Her newspaper, The Provincial Freeman, fought for the abolition of slavery and the rights of women and helped people escaping enslavement adjust to life in Ontario. In Mary Ann’s words, she had “broken the editorial ice.” She hoped her example would inspire more Black women to write and publish.

Discussions with Shadd family descendants, academics and journalists celebrating Mary Ann Shadd Cary’s ground-breaking achievements and legacy will be available on Toronto History Museum’s YouTube channel in November.


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