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“As the founder of The Provincial Freeman newspaper, Mary Ann Shadd (1823-93) was the first Black woman to edit and publish a newspaper in North America. The American-born educator and abolitionist moved to Windsor, Canada West (now Ontario), where she established a racially integrated school in 1851, followed by The Provincial Freeman in 1853. We asked Adrienne Shadd, a historian, and her daughter, Marishana Mabusela, both the great-great-great and great-great-great-great-nieces, respectively, of Mary Ann Shadd, about their connection to their famous ancestor. Their answers emphasized how the growing impetus to tell the stories of Black Canadians, particularly Black women whose lives were doubly concealed, can make a difference in a single generation.
"‘Mary Ann Shadd was one among many accomplished ancestors and family members,’ says Mabusela. ‘Seeing her receive such public recognition given what she went through at a time when women – particularly Black women – were not respected, gives me confidence to accomplish my dreams despite the obstacles.’”
Marishana Mabusela is a Senior Consultant at Lord Cultural Resources.View All News