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Black Liberation and the Closing of Ontario's Last Segregated School

Funké Aladejebi
University of Toronto

Located in Essex County, Ontario, school section #11 (S.S. #11) maintained its predominately Black student population until 1965, when parents and school board members negotiated its eventual closure.  Parents of S.S. #11 enlisted the help of the South Essex Citizens Advancement Association (S.E.C.C.A) to demand for educational changes and better schooling conditions for Black Canadian students. Although Black parents of S.S. #11 battled for years for improved school facilities and inclusive educational practices in the region, by the 1960s, that frustration turned into political action as parents presented a brief to the Harrow School Board in Essex County demanding school integration. Placed against the backdrop of Canada’s growing interest in human rights and social progress, this paper argues that the story of S.S. #11 was one not only of discrimination and prejudice in Canada, but also one that articulated Black political activism and liberation in the twentieth century.  

Workshop attendees should read and be prepared to discuss Dr. Aladejebi's paper. To obtain a copy, please contact Dr. Lisa Pasolli ( by January 24. 

Department of History, Queen's University

49 Bader Lane, Watson Hall 212
Kingston ON K7L 3N6




Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.