Ruth’s Story

Ruth Barrow illustration


You won’t be stopped. You won’t. How will you help other people if you can’t help yourself? How will you run a newspaper?

You know a few cases where this has happened before, so you sit down and you write to the Governor-General of the Province of Canada: Sir Edmund Walker Head himself.

“The School Act of 1843 clearly state …” you write, “that it shall not be lawful … to exclude from any Common School the children of any class or description of persons resident within the School district.”

Next, your blistering pen seeks Mr. Egerton Ryerson, the Superintendent of Education.

Mr Ryerson answers: “I have done what I could to remedy this problem, but with only partial success …” He can’t fully end segregation, but you’ve got admittance to the school now.

“Your style,” he adds, “reminds me of the newspapermen of our day.”

Nice compliment!

When you finish schooling, though, you see the need for teachers who can help students like you. Maybe becoming a teacher is a better way to help your community. But then, you want your voice to be heard, especially now that Mary Ann Shadd’s newspaper has closed.

Should you become a writer?