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Ontario’s Black History

The Story

In this final of a 1979 four-part CBC Radio series on Black History in Ontario, Prof. Daniel Hill has a wide-ranging discussion with host Bill McNeil. Topics range from ghettos and segregation to the hardships faced by destitute black refugees arriving in Canada on the Underground Railroad. They also discuss the abolitionists who welcomed and helped refugees, and the Ontario Black History Society and the work it has done to bring public awareness to the contributions of black Canadians.

Medium: Radio
Program: Voice of the Pioneer
Broadcast Date: April 22, 1979
Guest: Daniel Hill
Host: Bill McNeil
Duration: 8:45

Did You know?

• Daniel Hill, historian and sociologist, championed human rights in Ontario for most of his life. In 1962, he was appointed the first head of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC), where he spent more than a decade building the institution and promoting progressive human rights legislation in the province.

• Born in the U.S., Hill came to Canada with his wife in 1953 to pursue an MA and PhD in sociology at the University of Toronto. The interracial couple settled in Toronto and raised three children: singer-songwriter Dan Hill, writer and journalist Lawrence Hill and poet Karen Hill.

• After his time at the OHRC, Hill founded the first human rights consulting firm in Canada. In 1981, he published The Freedom Seekers, the first history of early black life in Canada for a popular reading audience. Hill helped found the Ontario Black History Society and worked as Ontario ombudsman from 1984 to 1989. He was awarded the Order of Ontario in 1993 and was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 1999.




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