February isn't the only time to celebrate black history, and the importance of June 19 is a prime example of why. Juneteenth* is just around the corner, and trips like these are a great way to explore the U.S. and Canada's natural and educational history. On a memorable black history tour I took a few years ago, I explored the "follow the moss" connection between the U.S. and Canada. The route taken from Chicago to Canada was in the same direction slaves took, by following the moss on the trees until they arrived north.
1. Chicago to the Underground Railroad Sculpture in Battle Creek, MI.
2. Railroad Sculpture to the Motown Museum in Detroit, MI.
4. The Crossing at Bertie Hall along the Canadian Shore, where slaves would frequently stop to rest and hide in the basement
5. Parliament Oak School 325 where the anti-slavery act was passed by the first Parliament of Upper Canada into law in 1793
6. Brock Monumentoff at the Niagara Parkway to see the Colored Corps Plaque
7. St. Catharine's Museum at Lock 3 in Ontario
8. Burns Grave Site in Ontario where Anthony Burns was listed as the last person to be tried under the Fugitive Slave Act. His return is documented as the cause of the Boston riots in 1854. Boston abolitionists bought his freedom, and Burns later became the founder and pastor of Zion Baptist Church.
10. The Lockport Station, one of the stops on the Underground Railroad
* According to Juneteenth.com, Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of U.S. slavery. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and slaves were free. This was two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.