Windsor Black Historian Wants More Education About Local Black History


A Windsor Black historian and author is pushing for more education about the local Black history in Windsor and Essex County.

President of the Essex County Black Historical Research Society, Irene Moore-Davis, says many residents may be surprised to learn that several streets are named after slave owners.

She points to streets and building such as the Francois Baby House, the Duff Baby House, Baby Street, Askin Street, Labadie Street--all named after slave owners.

"If you think about Matthew Elliott  in Amherstburg, he had 60 slaves and a lot of them were slaves he picked up in raids when he was working for the British in the Revolutionary War," she says.

Although Moore-Davis is not pushing for the streets to be renamed, she would like a plaque to indicate the history of the name to educate the public.

"There are a number of people in the African-Canadian community, as well as allies who feel the street names should be changed, I actually don't. I think when we do that, we actually bury the history. What I would like is more conversation around the truth of our history of our community," she says.

Moore-Davis also thinks it is naive for Canadians to think racism didn't and doesn't exist here.

"So much of the discourse that I have heard lately in Canada and here in Windsor has been around isn't it terrible what is going on in the states, we are so different from them though, we have no history of racism here and that kind of thing drives me crazy," she says.

Moore-Davis says people need to be honest about our history.

She says talks are underway with City Councillor Fabio Costante, who represents the ward where some of the streets are located, about how to educate people about the street names.