This is the story of Charles Goodman, an Afro-American farm laborer and a member of the Exodusters. It will be your story during this activity.

My name is Charles Goodman. I can trace my family in North America back many generations. A few cousins have already migrated to Canada. Some were part of the United Empire Loyalist who fled the American Revolution of 1776. I’m told up to one third of the Loyalist were Black. Other family members and friends went to Ontario’s Elgin County via the underground railway. Me, I used to live in the Southern United States but I moved out to Kansas with my parents.

My parents were recruited by Benjamin "Pap" Singleton one of the organizers of the Exodusters, named after the Exodus story in the Bible. "Pap" Singleton told my folks if they moved west they could escape violent anti-Black groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and the new forced laws that separated Blacks from White people. We originally went to Kansas then moved on to Oklahoma. Many folks did alright then we were hit by a cycle of drought and flood. Also buying more land is getting very expensive. I am told that land up north in Canada might be better.

Henry Sneed, a former Texan, has just returned from Canada and wants to organize a large group of Exodusters to head into Western Alberta. Sneed said it could be tough to get in. The City of Edmonton has passed a bylaw saying no new Blacks should be allowed into Canada. The Canadian government sent Dr. Miller from Chicago on a speaking tour throughout Oklahoma and Kansas. Dr. Miller says Black farmers would perish in Canada’s waist-high snows. Dr, Miller even says the ground is frozen all year round; that Canadian government officials are turning Blacks away. Rumor says the Canadian government may pass a law saying Blacks may not get into Canada because the government feels they are”unsuitable to the climate and requirements”

Henry Sneed says Dr. Millar is just trying to scare us. Yes there may be some tough questions at the border but we can get across. Sneed says land is cheap and growing conditions are good. Who am I to believe?

I wonder?