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Author Topic: "Freedom's Land" on CBC
Boom Boom
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posted 14 October 2005 12:25 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Just watched the second half of "Freedoms Land" on CBC Newsworld, which included a bio of Alexander Milton Ross. I thought it was excellent, what CBC does well. Comments?

from: http://tinyurl.com/clayz

This is the story of how Canada and the Underground Railroad became the focal point of the anti-slavery movement in the tumultuous decade leading up to the American Civil War. The Underground Railroad, part metaphor, part fact, enabled thousands of black refugees to flee the oppression of the only nation in the western world that still condoned the practice of slavery.

It is a system that penetrated ever deeper into the slave states because of men like Alexander Ross, a young Canadian physician, who risked his life to bring the "freedom train" to the very gates of the slave plantations. In Canada, Henry Bibb joins the fight, establishing Voice of the Fugitive, the first Black-owned newspaper in Canada. He uses his new freedom to beat down racial prejudice in Canada and to strike back at his former oppressors south of the border. Using manuscripts and letters to create dramatic reconstructions, this film tells the stories of these remarkable men and dramatically portrays the unique role Canada played in helping to end a barbaric system that subjugated more than five million men, women and children.

(The show mentioned that when John Brown's office or hideaway was ranshackled, they found evidence that the movement to abolish slavery in the south was being directed from Canada, on British soil. Eventually the South decided they had no alternative but to secede and sixteen months later the civil War began. The bio showed photos of hundreds of blacks joining the Northern forces at the beginning of the Civil War. Astonishing footage. It's also on DVD. )

Google brings up more on Ross:
http://www.historycomesalive.ca/canadians/ross.htm

For decades, millions of enslaved Americans thought of Canada as the Promised Land. The Underground Railroad, a clandestine organization of routes and safe houses run by hundreds of courageous people, brought tens of thousands of fugitive slaves to freedom.
One of the courageous people, Alexander Milton Ross, was a Canadian from Belleville. Dr. Ross traveled extensively through the deep south during the 1850's using his international reputation as an ornithologist to gain access to many plantations where he secretly held meetings to organize and facilitate the escape of hundreds of enslaved people. His friendship with such famous abolitionists as Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and John Brown allows this performance to delve into the inspirational story that is the Underground Railroad.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
voice of the damned
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Babbler # 6943

posted 14 October 2005 02:39 PM      Profile for voice of the damned     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The show mentioned that when John Brown's office or hideaway was ranshackled, they found evidence that the movement to abolish slavery in the south was being directed from Canada, on British soil.

I see. And WHICH country's textile mills were buying all that southern cotton again?

[ 14 October 2005: Message edited by: voice of the damned ]


From: Asia | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
rinne
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posted 14 October 2005 03:20 PM      Profile for rinne     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"I see. And WHICH country's textile mills were buying all that southern cotton again?"

Hush, you know we don't like to see ourselves that way! O.K. seriously, it is a good question and at the same time it doesn't have to take anything away from those who worked to end slavery.

It is interesting to me that as a society we have created this identity of fairness and justice which upon examination proves less than true yet the power of this idea continues to lead us toward those very virtues.


From: prairies | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
voice of the damned
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posted 15 October 2005 02:04 AM      Profile for voice of the damned     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Hush, you know we don't like to see ourselves that way! O.K. seriously, it is a good question and at the same time it doesn't have to take anything away from those who worked to end slavery.

Heh heh. My original response was a little unneccesarily sarcastic, I must admit. Thanks for the gentle reply.

And indeed anyone, British, American, who worked to abolish slavery, British, American, black, white, etc who fought for the abolition of slavery deserves commendation.


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chubbybear
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posted 15 October 2005 02:16 AM      Profile for chubbybear        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And in case any USians don't know, John Graves Simcoe, Lieutenant (Leftenent, hee hee) Governor of Upper Canada, was the first to abolish (well, gradually abolish) slavery in Upper Canada in 1793.
From: nowhere | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
siren
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posted 15 October 2005 02:34 AM      Profile for siren     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I watched Freedoms Land on CBC. My first thought was, "Thank goodness the CBC is back." What other TV source would provide us a peek into our history without hype, just as a matter of programming?

I thought they dealt with the racism and prejudice in Canada very well. They pointed out the segregation in Canadian schools, hostility when a Black person wanted to sit and eat in a restaurant, etc.

They had a perfect clip from Henry Bibb's newspaper column lamenting that Canadians were mimicking the worst, small minded prejudices of their American neighbours (shamelessly paraphrased). Which is something we face today in the form of Harper type "conservatives". I am very glad the CBC programme did not shy away from the ugly aspects.


From: Of course we could have world peace! But where would be the profit in that? | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged

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