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The Fight for Legitimacy: Black History and the War of 1812

The Fight for Legitimacy: Black History and the War of 1812

 

 
 
On June 18, 1812, U.S. President James Madison declared war on Great Britain.
 
Most of the War of 1812 was fought in Upper and Lower Canada and on the Great Lakes. British regulars were reinforced by Native Canadian allies, as well as by the militia – irregular troops made up of Upper and Lower Canadians, including African Canadian volunteers.
The war lasted from 1812 through 1815 and caused widespread destruction, particularly at Niagara, the Detroit River region, and along the St. Lawrence River. The Town of York (modern Toronto) was twice invaded. The reprisal attack by the British on Washington DC resulted in the burning of the Capital Building and the torching of the President’s home (then painted white to cover the burn mark).
 
In 2012, Canadians and Americans are commemorating the War of 1812 Bicentenary with the re-telling of many of the big stories. However, the stories that depict the core complexities of the situation often become silenced.
To unearth these silenced narratives, the City of Toronto’s 1812 Bicentennial team has organized a speaker series at Fort York on October 4, 11, 18 and 25, 2012 entitled The Untold Stories.
 
On October 11, the theme of The Fight for Legitimacy: Black History and the War of 1812, will dispel the common impression   that Blacks all fought on the side of the British, and that the Black allies of the British were well accepted.
Lifewas not that simple.
 
Invited speakers are Dr. Henry Bishop, co-curator of the nationally travelled exhibit “Africville: A Spirit That Lives On” (1985) and Curator for the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia, and Dr. Melissane Schrems from St. Lawrence University, whose research focuses on the local Black History on the War of 1812 in New York state and the Mashpee Wampanoag Indians on Cape Cod in the 18th and 19th centuries.
 
The Untold Stories speaker series will be held at Fort York on October  4, 11, 18 and 25, 2012 at 7pm, and will have a cover charge of $10 plus tax. The Fight For Legitimacy: Black History and the War of 1812, takes place on October 11. To learn more about the Untold Stories series and other activities related to the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 in Toronto, visit www.toronto.ca/1812.
 
All are invited to attend.  
 
 
 
For more on the City’s Bicentennial Commemorations:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Date: 
Oct 11, 2012 - 07:00pm - 10:00pm