Release of New Virtual Exhibition and Walking Tour about Black History in Fredericton

(Fredericton, NB – July 26, 2023) In proud recognition of National Emancipation Day, on August 1 at 12:15 pm the Fredericton Region Museum, with the support of the Digital Museums of Canada investment program, will officially launch a new virtual exhibition: Our Black Heritage: Early Black Settlers of York-Sunbury Counties (NB) 1783 – Present and walking tour of downtown Fredericton. We are honoured to have worked in partnership with a long list of dedicated institutions and volunteers to make these two projects possible.

Since the arrival of Black Loyalists in 1783, there have been settlers of African descent who have contributed greatly to the development of New Brunswick. Working ever so silently, without recognition or applause, families and communities have banded together to contribute in significant ways to the social enfranchisement of themselves and their neighbours.

This virtual exhibition was developed with the support of the Digital Museums Canada investment program. It tells the story of York-Sunbury Black settlers (1783 to the present) who have struggled against servitude and oppression. Through artefacts, archival documents, individual and family stories, extracts from oral histories, newspaper accounts, and photographs, we invite you to explore the historical roots of racism and oppression in Canada. Learn about the ways in which individuals of colour have responded with determination and perseverance.

Historian Jennifer Dow has been deeply involved in this project since it’s inception in 2019: “This is a history I have carried with me throughout my life yet until now has remained untold.” she said: “I am exhilarated to witness the unfolding of my ancestors’ narratives, and to now see them embraced by a wider spectrum of hearts and minds.”

Our Black Heritage Walking Tour of Fredericton

As an extension of this project, the Fredericton Region Museum in partnership with REACH (Remembering Each African Cemetery’s History), is offering a unique and original Black History Walking Tour of downtown Fredericton – hosted by historian Jennifer Dow. This tour will debut on August 1 (following the launch of the virtual exhibition) – and will continue to be offered every other Thursday evening commencing August 3rd at 6pm. The tour will commence at the Fredericton Region Museum. Funding for this initiative has been generously provided by the City of Fredericton.

In this new virtual exhibition and walking tour, learn about the stories of such individuals as Nancy, Nathaniel Lad, George Lawrence, Sabinah Grant, George Rexford Leek, Solomon Kendall, Georgiana Jaques, John Hamilton, Jack Paterson, Lucy Hammond, Ira Gosman, Matilda Winslow, Robert and Cyril Henry, Hedley Nash, Louis Lawrence, Eldridge Eatman, Seymour Tyler, Edith Henry, Gerald Carty, Manny McIntyre, Esther Burgess, and many more. Our Black Heritage stands as a profound testimony to their strength of character. It has been a long journey of mixed feelings and emotions.

We are grateful to the financial and professional support provided by Digital Museums Canada. The Digital Museums Canada investment program helps build digital capacity in Canadian museums and heritage organizations and gives Canadians unique access to diverse stories and experiences. Digital Museums Canada is managed by the Canadian Museum of History, with the financial support of the Government of Canada.

The official launch of both the Our Black Heritage virtual exhibition and walking tour will take place on Tuesday August 1 at 12:15 pm. All are welcome to attend. The Fredericton Region Museum is open Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm, and Sundays 12 noon to 5pm. We are also now open Thursday evenings until 8pm (in conjunction with the Garrison Market).

For more information, please contact:
Jaxon Baker,
Acting Executive Director
Fredericton Region Museum
or phone 506-455-6041