When I first heard of the Underground Railroad, I pictured tracks laid across the floor of a dirt tunnel, with men and women scurrying through the ground, escaping from their old lives and heading towards freedom. By reading through this article on Black History Canada, I finally realized that the Underground Railroad was merely a name given to the paths that provided slaves with hope for a better future away from where they were captives.
“It was not an actual railroad but a secret network of routes and safe houses that helped people escape slavery and reach free states or Canada.” –Black History Canada
The website explained, “The organization used railroad terms as code words. Those who helped people move from place to place were known as “conductors” and the fleeing refugees were called “passengers” or “cargo.” Safe places to stop to rest were called “stations.” Conductors were also abolitionists—people who wanted slavery abolished. They were Blacks and Whites, men and women. Many of them were Quakers or Methodists.” Disguising these words allowed the slaves to flee without alerting their owners of their plans.
Between the years 1780 to 1860, the Underground Railroad was able to give approximately 30 000 people a new life with the right to live as every person should be: free.
In my other document of learning, I mentioned about where we came from in terms of what it was like back when diversity was not accepted and slavery was normal. I talked about how we are heading towards a world where diversity is embraced and people are treated equally, no matter what their skin tone or ethnicity may be. This article about the Underground Railroad relates to my previous post because the purpose of this “railroad” was to lead the people away from slavery and towards a place that they could live with the right to be free. In my opinion, the Underground Railroad demonstrates a positive change that happened in Canada, and I felt that it went well as an example of what I was trying to explain in my previous document of learning.
This article from Black History Canada helps inform us about the significant events and trends affecting immigration to Canada from 1815 to 1914 (section B3 in Prescribed Learning Outcomes), and how immigration influenced Canada’s identity in terms of land of opportunity and a safe haven fro slavery (section B4 in Prescribed Learning Outcomes).