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Told through manuscripts, letters and dramatic reconstructions, this is the story of the incredible exodus of thousands of African Americans to Canada in the 1850s. Based largely on the journal of Henry Bibb, a slave from Shelby County, Kentucky, it gives a vivid picture of the suffering of slave life. There were more than 4 million African slaves laboring in the richest agricultural economy in the world. Henry Bibb was to become the first former slave to publish a newspaper in Canada.
Many of the slaves came up through the Ohio River, through Ripley, Ohio where they were helped by Quakers, Christians, and free blacks. Some crossed the Great Lakes to Manitoba. Alexander Ross, a young Canadian physician posed as a birdwatcher and risked his life in the American south to help escaping slaves. John Brown began his famous campaign in Canada to overthrow slavery, which ended in bloodshed at Harper's Ferry and became known as the first shot in the Civil War. The film describes how the publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin in 1852 roused anti-slavery passions in the States.
Elise Harding-Davis, curator at the North American Black Historical Museum, and Dr. Afua Cooper, author and historian, are among the experts providing perspective.
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