Monday, December 19, 2011

Karolyn S. Frost

Dr.Karolyn S. Frost
Photo:C. Ferguson/AfroCanadaViews
Dr. Karolyn S. Frost
By Francine Buchner

Karolyn S. Frost is an archeologist, history professor and historian whose field of expertise is in Black History, an expertise that is fastly becoming extinct. “We are a small network of historians working tirelessly to bring stories alive,” admitted Frost, referring to some of her fellow colleagues, Afua Cooper, Bryan Walls and Bryan and Shannon Prince.  Frost is Canadian and her book, I’ve Got a Home in Glory Land: A Tale of the Underground Railroad, uncovers yet another untold Canadian black history story about the Blackburn family that Frost literally dug up in the soils of Toronto, as part of the “Digs for Kids” program, an Archeological Resource Centre initiative. “The story of the Blackburns dies within a generation because they could not read and write,” explained Frost. “This is the first time an unknown slavery story from birth to death has been told.”

Frost put it into context, saying the Underground Railroad was written by Whites and framed in storybooks as a “reaction” of those enslaved, taking a risk, but the truth is they were leaving anyway. “I don’t have a black experience, but I have black ancestors,” said Frost, who looks white, but the blood of black enslaved persons runs through her veins. Her great-grandmother was a black slave from Virginia, U.S.A who married her slave owner, a confederate officer.
Frost is a 2010 Top 10 Finalist for TVO’s Best Lecturer Competition and a winner of the Governor General (GG) Award for Non-Fiction.

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