Celebrate Black History and the Legacy of the Underground Railroad

Top left: Ken and Noah Johnson, descendants of Elias Earls of Kentucky. Bottom left: Richard Scott, Lisa Scott, Leslie Scott, Marisse Louisy (neé Scott) and Janice Griffith, descendants of Elias Earls of Kentucky. Right: Darryl Hogan, descendant of Sam and Jane Harper of Kansas. © Yuri Dojc

From art exhibitions to special guests, Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives (PAMA) invites you to discover Black History throughout February and beyond. Audiences of all ages are welcome to engage in their own cultural heritage and celebrate diversity through these upcoming events.

North is Freedom: The Legacy of the Underground Railroad
A Photographic Journey by Yuri Dojc

February 16 – June 30, 2019

This photographic essay from Canadian photographer Yuri Dojc celebrates the Canadian descendants of freedom-seekers who escaped slavery in the United States in the years before the American Civil War. Their stories are both personal and historical. These Canadians are attuned to their histories and proud of their ancestors’ courage.

“This project shows we are all one family…I am as much black as I am white. I am of African slaves as I am of Irish immigrants. I am multiracial, and we are all cousins.”
– Carl Stevenson, fifth generation descendant of John H. Meads of Baltimore

This exhibition is sponsored by TD Canada Trust and created in partnership with the Owen Sound Emancipation Festival.

Arlene Duncan, descendant of Benedict Duncan and Samuel Adams, Maryland © Yuri Dojc

A Mississauga Connection Added for the PAMA show

Arlene Duncan is a multidisciplinary performer whose family has been in Canada for at least 3 generations. Her great-great grandfather Benedict Duncan fled Maryland on his own and farmed in what is now Mississauga for some years before moving his family to Oakville where he was the sexton of St. John’s United Church.

Samuel Adams was an escapee and blacksmith who built the Turner Chapel in Oakville, Ontario. He eventually garnered wealth after inventing a machine that lifted flat construction stones from the lakebed.

“I’m proud of the spirit of courage, pride and self-determination that led my ancestors to venture out into the unknown and carve out what would become a new life for them selves and their future descendants. It’s wonderful to see the descendants of these courageous freedom seekers – and how like a pebble in the water we’ve all sprung from that one decision: to no longer remain enslaved.”
– Arlene Duncan of Oakville, Ontario
Descendant of Benedict Duncan and Samuel Adams

Programming Highlights for All Ages

Guest lecture with Award-Winning Author Karolyn Smardz Frost
Saturday, February 16 | 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Registration is Required

Family Sunday FUNday: Sunday, February 17

Annual Family Day Event (free admission)
Monday, February 18 | 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Winter Exhibitions Reception (free admission)
Sunday, February 24 | 1:30 – 4 p.m.

Connections Art and Book Club in partnership with Brampton Library
featuring The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Thursday, March 7 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

PAMA is a place to explore and learn about Peel Region’s culture and heritage, as well as use conversation, questions and stories to help make new and fascinating connections to the surrounding community. Throughout the year, PAMA offers a variety of workshops and programs for all ages, families and adults. With so many different programs to choose from, PAMA has something for everyone. Operated by the Region of Peel, PAMA is located at 9 Wellington St. E.in Brampton. Visit pama.peelregion.ca to learn more or call 905-791-4055.