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Symposium on Black Migration and British Columbia

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Wednesday, February 17th, 2021
2:30 PM to 4:15 PM

In 1858, an estimated 800 men, women and children of African descent came to British Columbia. Questions include why they came, what was their impact, why many left, where they traveled and many others. This symposium presents continuing research that reveals informative insights on this period of Black history.


Speakers:Dr. Adam Arenson, Professor of History at Manhattan College. Dr. Arenson’s recent work considers African North Americans crossing the U.S.-Canada border during and after the American Civil War, and how their stories change our histories of immigration, Reconstruction, citizenship, the Great Migration, and African Americans Generally.


Sherry Edmunds-Flett, doctoral candidate in History, Simon Fraser University. Ms. Edmunds-Flett is Executive Director of LINC Society in Mission, BC. She has a graduate degree in African Area Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her Ph.D. thesis is on the history of African Canadian women in British Columbia from 1858-1938.


Dr. Stacey Smith, Associate Professor of History, Oregon State University. Dr. Smith specializes in the history of the North American West, with an emphasis on the Civil War and Reconstruction eras. Her newest book project, An Empire for Freedom, explores African Americans’ migrations to the Pacific Coast and their struggle for equality in the U.S.’s expanding continental empire.


Moderator Dr. Dana Elizabeth Weiner, Associate Professor of History, Wilfrid Laurier University. Dr. Weiner studies and teaches about grassroots politics, social reform and debates over rights in early U.S. history including the development of race in the United States, slavery, the intersection of politics with women’s and gender history, activism, the Civil War era and the changes experienced as the US unified, expanded and divided in its early centuries of existence.

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