Irene Moore Davis opens antique trunkIrene Moore Davis displays an artifact at the Amherstburg Freedom Museum. Allen Watkins used this trunk to transport his children to freedom.

Film launch to celebrate Black history of Sandwich

The Essex County Black Historical Research Society and Leddy Library will launch a new project celebrating the rich Black history of Sandwich on Monday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m.

“Across the River to Freedom” encompasses three short documentaries, an interactive website, valuable curriculum resources, and a unique Sandwich Black history walking tour. Building on the success of the 2020 film The North was our Canaan, the project aims to preserve historical narratives and educate the community about the remarkable stories and descendants of historic Sandwich.

It features inspiring stories and highlights the lives and legacies of Henry and Mary Bibb, Caroline Quarlls and Allen Watkins, and Lucie and Thornton Blackburn, who are all recognized as Persons of National Historic Significance for their resilience and activism.

Written and produced by local historian Irene Moore Davis and Leddy librarian Heidi Jacobs, the films extend the historical narrative by sharing the voices of descendants residing in Sandwich and reaffirm the commitment of the Essex County Black Historical Research Society and Leddy Library to heritage preservation and community education.

The launch event will take place at Mackenzie Hall, 3277 Sandwich St. All members of the community are cordially invited to attend and participate in this celebration.

To ensure your spot at this event, RSVP to by Jan. 26.

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