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'No Longer Missing from History': Women's contribution to Windsor's past celebrated

The search for forgotten female roles in Windsor's past began earlier this summer with a project titled "Missing from History: Women of the Underground Railroad." Now that the history has been uncovered, organizer Teajai Travis said it's time for celebration.

'As a people we're missing half of our story,' says Teajai Travis

Teajai Travis organized Women Missing from History to help celebrate the stories we had not heard. (Stacey Janzer/CBC)

A group of women whose stories have long been missing from the history of the Underground Railroad will finally be recognized Friday during a special event at the Sandwich First Baptist Church.

The search for forgotten female roles in Windsor's past began earlier this summer with a project titled "Missing from History: Women of the Underground Railroad." Now that the history has been uncovered, organizer Teajai Travis said it's time for celebration.

'No Longer Missing from History' will honour the women and share their stories, including those of members of his own family who played roles in the region's past.

Travis's family history stretched back to the American slave trade. He said research into their past revealed information about what his male ancestors accomplished, but few details about the women they married, save their age and religion. 

"I really want to know the story of those people, because they were travelling and surviving, building community," he said.

Much of the project was focused on Mary Bibb and her importance to Sandwichtown and the abolition of slavery.

Despite her incredible story, Bibb's contributions were overshadowed once she meets her husband Henry.

"The idea of the project is to shine a light into that shadow, pull these sisters out of the background and start to celebrate those stories," Travis said, adding without details about women "we're missing half of our story."

The event starts at 7 p.m. at the Sandwich First Baptist Church. Travis invites anyone with a story to share it at the event.

About the Author

Stacey Janzer

Stacey Janzer was born and raised in Essex County. Self-described Canadian treasure. She currently works as a video journalist at CBC Windsor. Email her at Stacey.Janzer@cbc.ca.