Black settlers part of the much more ‘complex history’ of northern Ontario – by Erik White (CBC News Sudbury – February 25, 2021)

New book to highlight the number of multi-racial couples in Cobalt in the 1910s

According to the census, there were 75 Black people living in northern Ontario in 1911. Connie Visser’s grandfather was one of them.

Those roots are still here. The 76-year-old still lives where she grew up in Kerns Township outside of New Liskeard and is one of the 5,000 Black people who live in the north today.

Her grandfather moved from southern Ontario to the Temiskaming district in 1902, but she isn’t sure why.

But Visser doesn’t think much about her family’s pioneering role as some of the first Black settlers. “Most people around here have come from somewhere else,” she says. She says her mother never spoke much about it either.

“Like anybody that saw her knew she was brown, but I don’t think she had too much trouble with prejudice,” says Visser.

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