On Dec. 10, 2020 we saluted the Shadd’s Daughters Project: an oral history project of women journalists, educators, activists, and lawyers from the U.S and Canada who are carrying on Shadd Cary’s legacy as a pioneer in these areas. This event featured artistic performances of oral history excerpts embodied and expressed through dance.

B&W portrait in green and gold frame

About Mary Ann Shadd Cary

Mary Ann Shadd Cary (1823-1893) was an antislavery activist, educator, and lawyer as well as a newspaper publisher, editor, and journalist. She was the first Black woman to publish a newspaper, The Provincial Freedom, when she moved to Canada. Shadd Cary is also known for publishing the pamphlet, A Plea for Emigration; or Notes of Canada West, in Its Moral, Social, and Political Aspect, which encouraged African Americans to emigrate to Canada rather than remain in the United States. Learn more.

Program


1) Welcome and Toast by Dr. Gabrielle Foreman, Dr. Shirley Moody-Turner, and Dr. Kristin Moriah with Dr. Jane Rhodes
2) Torch Bearer Performance by Emilie-Andree Jabouin
3) Introduction to Oral History Project by Dr. Lynnette Overby
4) Mary Ann Shadd Cary Video 
5) Introduction to Shadd’s Daughters by A.T. Moffett
6) Presentation of Shadd’s Daughter’s Performance Clips

The Educators

  • Shannon Prince with Brittnee Habbib
  • Rosalyn Green with Alexis Edmonds
  • Susan Browne with Lynnette Overby

Community Organizers

  • Raye Jones Avery with Ikira Peace
  • U.S. Senator Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman with Tumi Nkomo
  • Bebe Coker with Amber Rance

The Journalists/Editors

  • Eternity Martis with Syreeta Hector
  • Lynnette Overby with Gabrielle Shuber

Law

  • Paulette Sullivan Moore with Ashley Sullivan-Kirksey Davis
  • Camille Nelson with Tereka Tyler-Davis

Videographer: Sierra Watkins • Narrator: Michelle Peeble

7) Q&A Moderator by Dianna Rumberto

8) Over the Line Poem Reading by Christian Wills
9) Closing by Dr. Gabrielle Foreman and Dr. Kristin Moriah

 

Presenters


Kristin Moriah is an Assistant Professor of English at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. As a Colored Convention Project’s satellite partner, she is a symposium co-organizer and will edit a collection on Mary Ann Shadd Cary.

Lynnette Overby is Professor of Theatre at University of Delaware and Artistic Director of SOL. She serves as co-editor of Dance: Current Selected Research and was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Dance Education Organization.

Dr. Jane Rhodes is trained as a mass media historian and focuses on the study of race, gender and mass media; the history of the black press; media and social movements; and African American women’s history. Dr. Rhodes is the author of Mary Ann Shadd Cary: The Black Press and Protest in the Nineteenth Century.

Dianna Ruberto is a PhD candidate in the Urban Affairs and Public Policy Program at Univ. of DE, a graduate assistant for the Community Engagement Initiative under the advisement of Dr. Lynnette Overby, and a Imagining America’s Publicly Active Graduate Education Fellow to advance publicly-engaged scholarship in the Arts, Humanities, and Design.

Rosalyn Green currently serves as President of the Delaware Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. (AAHGS). She is a retired pharmaceutical research chemist and teacher with a B.A. in chemistry from Hampton University and an M.A. in Secondary Teaching from Wilmington University.

Paulette Sullivan Moore, Esq. became Delaware’s first black female lawyer upon passing the Delaware State Bar examination in 1977. In 1990, Ms. Moore achieved another historical “first” when elected New Castle County Recorder of Deeds — becoming the first Black person elected to a county-wide office in Delaware’s largest county.

Emilie-Andree Jabouin is a graduate student at Ryerson University. Her interests include Black Canadian and immigration history, archives and memory, print and visual media analysis, theatrical performance, and social and liberation movements.

Shadd’s Daughters and Dancers


Shannon Prince​ is the curator of the Buxton National Historic Site & Museum and a descendant of the early fugitive families that came to Canada. Shannon is involved in joint Underground Railroad projects in Toronto, Cincinnati and several historical organizations in Pennsylvania.

Brittnee Habbib is a professional African contemporary dancer, a producer and the co-founder of Girl Power’d, a hip hop gymnastics program meant to build the self-love and confidence for young girls who identify as Black.

Rosalyn Green currently serves as President of the Delaware Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. (AAHGS). She is a retired pharmaceutical research chemist and teacher with a B.A. in chemistry from Hampton University and an M.A. in Secondary Teaching from Wilmington University.

Alexis Edmonds is a sophomore at the University of Delaware and has been dancing for over 15 years. A Cab Calloway School of the Arts Alumni, she enjoys all art forms, especially dance, music and visual art.

Susan Young Browne is a native Delawarean and lifelong educator. She taught at Ellendale Elementary School, John Wesley in Milford; Lockwood Elementary School in Hartly; Booker T. Washington Elementary school in Dover, and completed her teaching career at Fairview Elementary School in Dover. In 1977 she retired, after completing 30 years of service to children.

Gabrielle Shubert, a seventh grader, has worked with Christina Cultural Arts Center, Stage Lights Dance Academy, Wilmington Ballet, and the University of Delaware Sharing Our Legacy Dance Theatre. Gabrielle enjoys dancing because she is able to express herself through art and share her passion with others.

Eternity Martis is an award-winning journalist and editor based in Toronto whose work on race and gender has been featured in Huffington Post, Vice, The Walrus, Hazlitt, Salon, and many more. She’s the author of the bestselling memoir They Said This Would Be Fun: Race, Campus Life, and Growing Up.

Syreeta Hector is a dance artist and educator in Toronto, Ontario, and has worked for internationally recognized companies like Adelheid Dance Projects, Danny Grossman Dance Company, Political Movement, and Toronto Dance Theatre. Website: syreetahector.com

Raye Jones Avery serves on the boards of Kuumba Academy Charter School, Wilmington Urban League, Wilmington Center for Education Equity and Policy and is president of the DE Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. Currently, she is exploring spirit-led creative ventures in music and writing.

Ikira Peace is an arts-integration professional and arts activist, specializing in youth work, social-emotional practices, spiritual teaching, holistic health coaching, dance movement therapy, and creative arts. She graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in Interpersonal Communications, Dance, and Organizational and Community Leadership.

Senator Elizabeth Lockman (central and west Wilmington, DE) is vice chair of the Senate Education Committee and serves as co-chair of the Redding Consortium for Education Equity for improved outcomes for students in Wilmington and Northern New Castle County.

Tumi Nkomo is a South African-American choreographer, performer, dance educator, and the artistic director of Nyane Khosi Dance Theatre. She has been dancing professionally since 2005, and co-founded Nyane Khosi in 2012 in New York City.

Bebe Ross Coker has been a lifelong advocate for social issues including welfare recipients, public education, desegregation, and the civil rights, and has been the recipient of numerous awards for service to the community.

Amber Rance is a recent graduate from the University of Delaware with a degree in Health behavior Science and Disability Studies. As a student in the Sharing our Legacy Dance Theatre (SOL), the most rewarding part was creating a meaningful impact by teaching dance and history to many different audiences all over the world.

Paulette Sullivan Moore, Esq. became Delaware’s first black female lawyer upon passing the Delaware State Bar examination in 1977. In 1990, Ms. Moore achieved another historical “first” when elected New Castle County Recorder of Deeds — becoming the first Black person elected to a county-wide office in Delaware’s largest county.

Ashley SK Davis is a dancer, choreographer, actor, teacher, and social change artist. Ashley serves as the Executive and Artistic Director of Pieces of a Dream, Inc., a Wilmington, DE dance company that explores topics such as domestic violence, homelessness, and the 1968 National Guard occupation of Wilmington.

Camille Nelson has long been an outstanding member of the legal community and is currently the dean of the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. She has taught Contracts, Criminal Law, Torts, Critical Race Theory, Comparative Criminal Law, Transnational Law, Criminal Procedure, and Professional Responsibility.

Tereka Tyler-Davis is a passionate, Toronto-based performing artist working in various styles including Samba, Vernacular Jazz and Afro-Caribbean Contemporary and Burlesque. She is an advocate for comprehensive arts education for youth and has worked with various non-profit arts programs as an instructor and mentor.


Additional Shadd Cary Resources