Griffin M.

Toronto, Ontario

Toronto East Regional Fair

Freedom? Canada's Tarnished History of Civil Rights

“Freedom? Canada’s Tarnished History of Civil Rights” tells the stories of two Canadian women, Viola Desmond and Patty Cannon, through the voices of seventeen 11 to 14 year-old students and an interview with an historian. Viola and Patty are two women that have interesting and impactful stories that give insight into struggle for equality of black Canadians and slaves.


What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

The most interesting thing that I learned about my topic was that Patty Cannon's story was basically unknown by even the most dedicated historians in black history. I believe that they don't know about it because it was and still is a very dark time in our history. This relates to what all Canadians should learn about our history about Patty Cannon in particular.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

I would like to teach all Canadians that every bit of our heritage is important. Every piece of our heritage is a piece of a puzzle that makes how we live, how we think and how we act different than if the event didn't happen. If we forget that piece of our puzzle then we cannot be truly what we say we are — equal.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

I would say that my life is much more sheltered from the dangers of racism war and discrimination that Viola faced. I would say that I live more comfortably then Patty or Viola because Patty was always on the run and Viola was disliked just because of the way she looked.