Black History… Universal Inspiration

Welcome to the Amherstburg Freedom Museum

The Amherstburg Freedom Museum tells the story of African-Canadians’ journey and contributions, by preserving stories and presenting artifacts that educate and inspire. The museum was founded by Amherstburg resident Melvin “Mac” Simpson, on the belief that social, economic and educational issues would be better addressed by a society with greater knowledge and pride in its own history.

After over 40 years of service, and with generous support from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government sources, the Amherstburg Freedom Museum continues to be a national symbol of courage, determination and freedom.

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#DYK Canada’s new $10 bill featuring #ViolaDesmond officially enters circulation #HERstory

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#OTD in 1924, the Windsor Art and Literary Club was formed for women to not only socialize and do needle work, but also to read and review books at their meetings. This group was under the leadership of Mrs. Emily Levi and Mrs. Laura Hyatt and as part of their club identity, they chose the colours rose and grey and the Forget-Me-Not to represent them. This club promoted social uplift and literary advancement and had the motto "Keep your face always toward the sun and the shadows will fall behind." Among their good deeds, they did extensive work for the Red Cross, particularly during WWII, donated to youth and hosted dances for them as well. #DYK professional boxer Joe Louis attended one of their youth dances? Additionally, they organized recitals and bazaars to promote the artistic community. #localhistory #YQG

NOTE: This image labels most of these women by their husband's name, rather than by the woman's first name, which was a common practice at the time. Members included: Mrs. Morris DeShield, Mrs. Armstead Taylor, Mrs. James Hyatt, Mrs. Albert Taylor, Mrs. Idella Watkins Small, Mrs. Leon DeShield, Mrs. Rachel Providence, Mrs. O.P. Chatters, Mrs. James Gibson, Mrs. James Robbins, Mrs. Elmer Kennedy, Mrs. Florence Monteau, Mrs. George Kersey, Mrs. L. Aiken.

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Africans taken to North America (1600-1850)


Africans perished on slaving ships


People freed by the Abolition of Slavery Act in the British Colonies (1834)


Enslaved people who escaped to freedom in Canada

Our Mandate

To tell the stories of Amherstburg’s role in the Underground Railroad, and
African-Canadians’ journey and contributions to Canada and the region.

2017 Fundraising Campaign Goal $60,000
Volunteer Recruitment Campaign
Family History Binders Digitized
make a donation Become a Volunteer

Visitor Reviews

  • Outstanding experience! Definitely take the guided tour- the tour guides are very knowledgeable, and are excited about the history. The building has been lovingly restored, and the museum is filled with one of a kind artifacts. This is a must see in historic Amherstburg!

    Cherie Brooks
  • My family and I visited this museum today and WOW! We were greeted by the biggest smiles, the most bubbly personalities, and the kindest tour guides, Lorene and Sky. From start to finish, this tour was EVERYTHING! Lorene was very knowledgeable and answered every question asked. This is by far, one of the most informative and enjoyable tours that I have ever taken. Thank you for the wealth of information.

  • Thank you for all that Black History you have given me...most of it was never passed on in school even though I attended a fairly progressive one...I am so glad that I found your site.

  • "I'm not sure who runs the Amherstburg Freedom Museum but they do a wonderful job and I enjoy their FB postings all the time. Someone there deserves lots of high praise."

  • Wow! You all are on a roll at the Amherstburg Freedom Museum. I am really enjoying these profiles you are sharing.

  • Nothing today could possibly display in horrific detail the stories that happened so long ago, but museums such as this can shed light on it. And also show the good involved in such turbulent times. Because of the secret nature of the Underground Railroad, there are few places that survive for those of us today to see. So a place such as this is quite frankly a priceless gem.

  • This is Richard Browning Leveque, grandson of Melvin and Betty Simpson. I just wanted to say though that seeing all these wonderful posts from my grandparents Museum and memories and excerpts of black history have been so enjoyable and enriching. Continue doing what you're doing to educate and grow people on a better understanding of black history in Essex County. So proud to be part of this wonderful lasting Legacy.

    Richard Browning Leveque
  • “EXCELLENT!” I accompanied my youngest daughter here on a School Trip. It was FANTASTIC to say the least! Plentiful knowledge, and an AWESOME tour. SO MUCH history here! I HIGHLY recommend visiting this Museum. Definitely worth the stop!

    Mike H
  • This was a very enlightening experience.  Our docent is very knowledgeable and thoughtful.  Thank you,

    Gwen Davis, Richland, MS
  • Awesome time with my Tour Group! Awesome History! Came from Indianapolis, In. Thank you for the great tour!

    Annette Johnson

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