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UNB hosts expert on the Black Canadian experience for annual Black History Month Public Lecture

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Feb 20, 2020

Category: UNB Fredericton

The University of New Brunswick’s fourth annual Black History Month Public Lecture, taking place on Thursday, Feb. 20, will be delivered by Dr. Barrington Walker, history professor and expert in Canadian Black history, immigration and the law at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Dr. Walker’s talk, titled “The Honourable Leonard Braithwaite: Black Canadians and Civic Belonging in Postwar Ontario,” will spotlight the life and work of Leonard Braithwaite, one of the first Black Canadians elected to a parliamentary body in Canada. His talk is presented by the UNB Fredericton history department and sponsored by the Royal Society of Canada as part of its Open Academy program.

In his lecture, Dr. Walker will suggest that Mr. Braithwaite was an agent of change who made major impacts on Black Canada and the political and social histories of Ontario, and was a key figure in the province’s (contested) shift from a post-slavery settler colony with a long history of racial exclusions to a racially unmoored concept of Ontario’s polity, of civic belonging in the province.

It is this move that Dr. Walker suggests is part of Mr. Braithwaite’s modernizing or ‘multiculturalizing’ influence upon Ontario and the nation.

Dr. Walker is Wilfrid Laurier University’s new senior advisor: equity, diversity and inclusion and a distinguished scholar of Modern Canada who focuses on the histories of Blacks, race, immigration and law. He is the author of Race on Trial: Black Defendants in Ontario’s Criminal Courts and has edited two collections: The African Canadian Legal Odyssey: Historical Essays and The History of Immigration and Racism in Canada: Essential Readings.

The lecture will be held on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. in the Exhibit Room of the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, 23 Dineen Dr., Fredericton.

All are welcome to attend. 

Media contact: Hilary Creamer Robinson