Hamilton·Video

Wilma Morrison 'fought passionately' for the preservation of black history in Canada

Ayodele Adewumi lost his friend, Wilma Morrison, to COVID-19 on April 23. His friend was Wilma Morrison, the St. Catharines woman he describes as a modern day Harriet Tubman.

Wilma Morrison died on April 23 due to COVID-19

Wilma Morrison 'fought passionately' for the preservation of black history in Canada

News

10 months ago
2:01
Ayodele Adewumi lost his friend, Wilma Morrison, to COVID-19 on April 23. 2:01

Ayodele Adewumi's friend, Wilma Morrison — the St. Catharines woman he describes as a modern day Harriet Tubman — died on April 23, due to complications from COVID-19.

She was 91-years-old.

Adewumi says "she was a mentor. She was a teacher and she was a great historian," but as a Canadian, he says "growing up as a black person in Canada. She never really felt quite accepted."

Adewumi directed Wilma, a 2016 film about Morrison and her work as "a selfless woman who fought passionately for the preservation of black history in Canada."

The film told the story of her experiences growing in Ontario and the discrimination she faced because of the colour of her skin and because of her gender. The film looks at her fight to save the historic British Methodist Episcopal church on Peter Street in Niagara Falls.  

Adewumi says Morrison "single handedly" made sure the church was designated as a national heritage site "because the church is the only evidence of black people being around here for over 200 years."

He said "I see Wilma as the Harriet Tubman of  our era. Harriet Tubman brought the people from the States to Canada. But Wilma told the story of the people." 
The R. Nathaniel Dett British Methodist Episcopal church is a national historic site on Peter Street in Niagara Falls, Ont. as it was a place where newly arrived Underground Railroad refugees found help. (Parks Agency Canada)

 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?

now