First Run / Icarus Films would like to bring to your attention a new documentary that tells the remarkable, little known story of the abolitionist, suffragette and integrationist Mary Ann Shadd. Living in Windsor, Ontario, she fought for integrated education, battled segregationists and started the first integrated school in Canada. Shadd later became the first female newspaper editor and the first black female attorney in North America.
Shadd grew up free in Delaware where her father's shoemaking store was part of the Underground Railroad that helped escaped slaves flee to Canada. Moving to Canada herself in 1851, to teach escaped slaves, Shadd succeeded in opening the first racially integrated school against the wishes of a powerful opposition. Most abolitionists, Black or White, favored separate but equal communities. Shadd's support for integration embroiled her in a public dispute with Henry Bibb, the established leader in the Black community. Bibb's newspaper, the Voice of the Fugitive, attacked Shadd's ideas and character, leading Shadd to found The Provincial Freeman, thereby becoming the first Black woman in North America to own and edit a newspaper. Shadd believed that separate churches, schools and communities would ultimately undermine the search for freedom. Integration would require self-sufficiency, but it also meant living and working in cooperation with others.
BREAKING THE ICE, THE STORY OF MARY ANN SHADD recreates the experiences of the early Black community in Canada, while opening an engaging chapter on Black Canadian and African-American history.
Please contact First Run / Icarus Film (http:www.frif.com) with any questions or queries.
First Run / Icarus Films
32 Court Street, 21st Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
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