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Oral Histories Project – Request for Participation

Every family has a story worth telling. Family stories can tell us a lot about life in Essex County over the years. They can help us to form a complete narrative about the lives and contributions of African Canadians throughout the generations.

Too often, important pieces of our African Canadian history are locked away in people’s attics or basements, or worse yet, retained only in the memories of our elders. Let’s do all we can to collect these stories while we still can.

We want to hear your family’s story! It is an important piece of Black history. It’s an important piece of Essex County history. It’s an important piece of Canadian history!

Family histories will be used to better understand African Canadians’ contributions to building our society.

Interviews will be recorded, some, with a specific topic or theme, with each participant receiving an electronic copy of his/her interview.

If you are interested in setting up a time to be interviewed, or to recommend an appropriate member of your family for participating, please contact:

o Irene Moore Davis, at or (519) 890-4316

o Nancy Allen, at or phone 519-252-7143

o Phil Alexander, at or phone/text: 519-919-5033 

The “Gathering our Stories” project explores the experiences and memories of families having some connection to the underground railroad and with Essex County roots. During this year (and starting soon!), a team will record life story interviews with a number of Essex County residents. Publications, digital records, conferences, educational material, and museum exhibitions are expected to result from these stories.

​Stories of our families are treasures that can be passed along to future generations. As the Amherstburg Freedom Museum, Northstar Cultural Community Centre and Essex County Black Historical Research Society continue partnering for Canada’s 150th anniversary celebration, we’re encouraging African Canadian families with Essex County roots to share their family histories.