Find out more about black Canadians who contributed to the building of Canada and who are making their mark every day.
From our archives
Danger, hardship, heroism and tragedy. All are features of black immigration to Canada in the nineteenth century.
The story of black immigration to Canada began 400 years ago with the arrival of the French at Port Royal. John Graves Simcoe, the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, signed the Act Against Slavery in 1793.
Many black people came to Canada by their own means. But the Underground Railroad, an informal network of people and places organized to help black people escaping slavery, was an important feature of immigration to Canada in the nineteenth century.
It’s estimated that between 20,000 and 40,000 black people arrived in Canada during the first half of the nineteenth century. Some consider that the number could be as high as 60,000.
Radio Canada International has produced a series of vignettes spotlighting some of the black Canadians that have marked the country’s past, as well as those that are marking Canada’s present.
Researchers: Nataly Lague, Audrey Flat
Editors: Suzanne Shugar, Audrey Flat
Translator: Nataly Laguë
Sound recording, sound effects, sound mixing: Angela Leblanc
Producer; casting, music selection: Suzanne Shugar
Executive Producer: Raymond Desmarteau
A Radio Canada International production
Portraits of Black Canadian – Episode 27
The abolition of slavery was commemorated in 2004.
Portraits of Black Canadian – Episode 26
Black History Month
Every February Canadians celebrate the history of Blacks in Canada.
Portraits of Black Canadian – Episode 25
The athlete's meteoric rise to fame is one of Canada's remarkable success stories.
Portraits of Black Canadian – Episode 24
The author spotlights issues involving race and ethnicity interethnic people.
Portraits of Black Canadian – Episode 23
Poet, actor, stage director, and first black Afrcan elected to the Canadian Parliament.
Portraits of Black Canadian – Episode 22
George Elliott Clarke
The author describes the rich oral narratives and cultural traditions of Blacks in Nova Scotia.