2015: Volume 8, Issue 2, pp. 15-23

La “Black Press” canadienne du 19ème siècle: 
Racines et trajectoires des pratiques communicationnelles et d’un activisme intellectuel exceptionnels gommés dans nos études en communication

Boulou Ebanda de B’béri



In this country, the intellectual activism of black Canadian journalists of the 19th century is completely absent in the history of journalism, media studies, and communication. This essay seeks to instigate discussions about this gap and provide evidence of their strong contributions to Canadian communication, journalism, and media studies histories. Indeed, how can we admit that a black woman—founder and chief editor of a weekly international publication, The Provincial Freeman, in the mid 19th century in Ontario from 1853-1857—did not even receive a little quote in the history of communication and journalism in this country? How can we admit that when we talk about feminist activism in Canadian women’s studies, Mary Ann Shadd is still unknown, despite her being a perfect model of “agency”? Without even sharing the same rights as those white counterparts in the 19th century, Shadd was able to read, write, publish, and manage a communications company with men working for her. The ultimate goal of this paper is to illustrate the important contributions of these African-Canadian activists in the 19th century to Canadian media, and ultimately include them in our academic disciplines, so that they too can become objects of popular knowledge.


Full Text: