Exodus: Black Loyalists in the Black Atlantic
University of New Brunswick
Recent interest by scholars in the problematic voids in Canadian historiography has revived study in the Maritime region of Canada and the Black Loyalists as the first mass influx of Black people into the region. Previous scholarship by James St. G. Walker and Barry Cahill investigated Black Loyalist motivations, while Amani Whitfield explored the bounds of Black Loyalist freedom. I use the dispersed volume of primary and secondary sources to redefine the Black Loyalist cohort within the context of the Black Atlantic framework to expand the concept of Black agency within the temporal and geographic domains of the American Revolution and subsequent loyalist settlement of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The evolution of Black Loyalist society represents the shifting window of opportunity that encompassed the broader Atlantic Basin, creating a liminal relationship between Black Loyalists, their descendants, and the white power structure, sealing a legacy on four continents.