"Tales of pioneer hardship and deprivation have been told many times. Yet still we remember in wonder, that people accomplished so much with so little; that men and women with simple tools, their bare hands, and their own inventiveness cleared the land, drained the swamps, made their own clothing and provided their own food. Through all these difficulties God was with them and they wanted their children educated intellectually and spritually." from Norfolk Street United Church history

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Celebrate Emancipation Day at Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site on July 30



DRESDEN, Ontario, July 26, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Join us at Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, for Emancipation Day - an annual celebration of hope and freedom commemorating the end of slavery in the British Empire. This year, we also celebrate the United Nations International Year for People of African Descent, to promote greater respect and awareness among Ontario's Black community and all Ontarians, of the diverse heritage and culture of people of African descent.

Everyone is welcome for this fun and educational day featuring traditional African music, story-telling and lectures. Admission is free - thanks to the support of the RBC Foundation.

Schedule of activities:

Tales of Freedom - 10:35 a.m. and 1:35 p.m.
Canadian Blues icons Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley share their talents through soulful Underground Railroad narratives.

A Year to Celebrate - 11 a.m.
Acclaimed best-selling author Dr. Afua Cooper celebrates the International Year for People of African Descent with a discussion on "Emancipating the Dream: Black Canadians after the First Decade of the 21st Century."

With Every Heartbeat - 11:30 a.m. and 2:20 p.m.
Muhtadi and The World Drummers captivate audiences with drums and rhythms from around the globe.

BBQ Lunch and African Fashion Show - 12 noon

Mass Melody - 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Members of the First Baptist Church of Toronto Choir entertain and inspire with Underground Railroad folktales and uplifting Negro spirituals.

A Tale of Two Cabins - 12:45 p.m.
Shirl Spicer, Museum Manager with the Montgomery County Department of Parks, speaks about the Josiah Henson Special Park in Rockville, Maryland, providing new insights into Henson's life.

I Have a Story to Tell - 1:15 p.m.
Maymette Dolberry engages young and old alike with fascinating tales drawn from her rich cultural background.

From Tollgate to Parkway - 2 p.m.
Adrienne Shadd speaks about her latest novel, The Journey from Tollgate to Parkway, chronicling the history of Blacks in the Ancaster-Burlington-Hamilton area, and their struggle for justice and equality.

This event is part of the Ontario Heritage Trust's program to commemorate the International Year for People of African Descent, made possible with funding from the Government of Ontario. The Trust is an agency of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario's heritage.

For more information on the Ontario Heritage Trust's activities commemorating the United Nations International Year for People of African Descent, visit www.heritagetrust.on.ca.

About Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site

Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site commemorates the life of Josiah Henson, a former slave, who escaped to Canada via the Underground Railroad. Henson rose to international fame after Harriet Beecher Stowe acknowledged his memoirs as a source for her novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin. Settling in southwestern Ontario, Henson worked to improve life for the Black community and helped to establish the Dawn Settlement. He would go on to become an internationally recognized abolitionist, preacher and conductor on the Underground Railroad.

Located in Dresden, approximately three hours west of Toronto, Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site has parking and is fully accessible. The site is owned and operated by the Ontario Heritage Trust.


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