GBHS Presents “It Was Dark There All The Time” Book Reading and Talkback

The Guelph Black Heritage Society presents “It Was Dark There All the Time – Sophia Burthen and the Legacy of Slavery in Canada”, a book reading and talkback with curator and historian Andrew Hunter. 


Curator and historian Andrew Hunter’s urgent new book contradicts the myth of Canada as a haven from enslavement, connecting its history with the U.S. and Great Britain as benefactors of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.  As Canadians grapple with the ongoing exposure of the country’s history of racism, colonialism, and genocide, Andrew Hunter’s “It Was Dark There All the Time: Sophia Burthen and the Legacy of Slavery in Canada” scrutinizes Canada’s pre-confederation slave trade, in turn illustrating how systemic discrimination is a formative piece of Canada’s identity.


Part biography of Sophia Burthen, who lived most of her life as an enslaved person in the 19th century, Hunter interweaves Sophia’s life story with a compelling account of how the consequences of enslavement  have unfurled over the past 250 years. In highlighting this oft-ignored history, Hunter’s narrative calls on the descendants of white settlers to do more to help end systemic racism.