Mary Ann Shadd Cary and a copy of The Provincial Freeman from the 1850s (Government of Canada)

Portraits of Black Canadians – Episode 11

Mary Ann Shadd Cary

Today, we bring you the story of Mary Ann Shadd Cary. She moved to Canada from the United States in 1851 and eventually began editing The Provincial Freeman, a weekly newspaper first printed on March 24, 1853. This made Shadd the first Black woman in North America to publish a newspaper, and one of the first female journalists in Canada. During the Civil War she moved back to the U.S. and began work as a recruitment agent for the Union Army. Later, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked as a teacher. Years later, Shadd pursued law studies at Howard University and in 1883 became one of the first Black women to complete a law degree.

Duration 2:56

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