Considered to be a major figure in the creation of the nowadays Canada, Mary Ann Shadd is a pioneer helping her country; not only in themes about racism, but also in educational reforms. Born in Wilmington, in 1823, she spent her life aiding everyone, from offered her family's shop as a shelter for fugitive slaves, to works as a teacher or tries the suffrage for women. Descending from a family of free African-American abolitionists, she was not the only member of her family in being a pioneer, also her nephew, Alfred Schmitz Shadd, was one of the first black teacher "among the 433 teachers employed in the territories' 366 school" (A. Thomson 1317), and, in addition, a black doctor. The aim of this paper is to bring to light how Mary Ann Shadd and Alfred Schmitz Shadd contributed in the prosperity of their country comparing both of them, and in the pages that follow, it will be argued that these African-Canadians tried to obtain their purpose, though, they had to deal with adverse situations.
First of all, as something essential to keep talking about this issue, it is necessary to fall back in the historical background. From the beginnings of the "Promised Land", black men were mistreated serving as slaves and, by extension, recognized as a lower race. But, it should be noted that Black American women were undervalued for a doubly-disadvantage; apart from their race, there also exists the fact of their sex, female being in a patriarch society, women have been always considered in a lower status than men. The historical roles of African-American women have been determined by their leading functions in the family, that is their African heritage, "The importance of motherhood as vital to the survival of the group, a strong work orientation, the relative independence of women, as well as the value of extended family network." (Bystydzienski 2). Black American women were forced to go to America in order to serve as slaves, although, thanks of their African heritage they had constituted an important role in the survival of their race.