Coming May 7th 2017
Smile Sharing is now acceptin....
Smile Sharing sponsored a Family and Community BBQ in Brampton organised by
the Mbrace Community organisation. At Smile Sharing we believ....
SMILE SHARING IS EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE
OCTOBER AS “KINDNESS IN ACTION”
“We read to know we are not alone.” - C. S. Lewis
ABOUT OUR BOOK CLUB
Each month Smile Sharing wil....
Smile sharing would like to wish Grade 10 ,TL Kennedy student Dejon Saundersâa blessed andfruitful 2015 Canadian Prospects Summer Basketball Camp....
Financial peace isn’t the acquisition of stuff. It’s learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money ....
The Smile Sharing Community Awards are a chance to celebrate and reward people who work tirelessly in support of their community and help ini....
In October of 2014 Smile Sharing began working with schools in the GTA . One of the schools it supports is Louise Arbour Boys Club (LASS). Th....
SMILE SHARING ESSAY WINNER 2015
"Smile Sharing would like to say a huge congratulations to this yearâs essay winner: "
Jada with her 1st place cash prize
The overall quality of essays this year was excellent but Jadaâs essay stood out as an overall winner. Jadaâs essay made the case for the former slave Richard Pierpoint to be considered as a Canadian National Hero. In her essay she writes;
âRichard Pierpoint will always be a prominent black figure in Canadian history. Richard was a true symbol of strength and fearlessness and he impacted Canada in a very positive way; therefore Richard Pierpoint deserves to be considered a national heroâ.
The full essay is available atClick Here. Entry forms for the Smile Sharing Essay competition in 2016 will be available on this website from November 2015.
The Smile Sharing Family
March 6th, 2015
For centuries, black people all across the world have concurred cruelty and prejudice to become the inspiration of the generations to come. Throughout the month of February, we celebrate one of the richest and most successful cultures that our world has to offer. This month allows people of all races to reflect on the achievements and struggles of the brave black men and women who fought for our freedom. During the 1960s, the Civil Rights Movement in the United States sparked a revolution in which Martin Luther King Jr and Malcom X rose from the concrete to challenge the racist laws that existed during that time. Due to the greatness of leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr, Malcom X and Rosa Parks; we often forget about the great African-Canadians who lived during that time. Unfortunately, there are numerous black heroes who do not receive enough recognition for their remarkable contributions to Canadian history. In fact, most textbooks exclude African-Canadian inventions and achievements as if they are not even a part of our history. Nevertheless, a true hero does what is right without searching for rewards or approval from others. A hero is a brave individual who is not afraid to stand up for what they believe in no matter what the consequences may be. For these reasons and more, Richard Pierpoint will always be a prominent black figure in Canadian history. Richard was a true symbol of strength and fearlessness and he impacted Canada in a very positive way; therefore Richard Pierpoint deserves to be considered a national hero.
Richard was born in Senegal, West Africa in 1744 (Historica Canada par.1). Sixteen years later in 1960, he was taken from his hometown. Richard was shipped to America in order to be sold and eventually work as a slave (Historica Canada par.1). Richard was not his birth name; he was stripped of his African name and he was given the name Richard Pierpoint by the British officer who purchased him during the slave trade (The Star par.2). For many long years, he awaited his freedom while facing the harsh reality of being a slave with bravery and honour. In 1776, Britain was desperate for troops to fight in the American Revolution and so they called upon the slaves to assist them during the war (The Star par.3). Richard was a part of a group of slaves who fought during the war because Britain promised to release them after the war was over. He served with the other slaves as a member of Butlerâs Rangers in Fort Niagara, New York (The Star par. 3). After the war was over in 1783, Britain kept their promise and Richard was rewarded with the freedom to settle in Niagara, Canada (Historica Canada par.2). Pierpoint spent twenty harsh years in captivity however he was finally a free man and he would go on to change life for African-Canadians forever.
Richard led many protests against the government; the first one was a petition to create a black community in Canada. He was free from slavery and although this may be true, racism still existed in Canada. Be as that may, Richard had faced adversity all his life and he was not going to back down from anything. During this time, Canada accepted slaves that fought in the American War and they were rewarded land by the government. In 1774, Richard Pierpoint was one of many individuals who signed a petition called The Petition of Free Negros (Historica Canada par.3). This petition called for the government to grant the former slaves land that was close in proximity in order to develop a sense of community among these black Canadians (Historica Canada par.3). These former slaves were misunderstood and judged because of their skin colour therefore they did not feel comfortable in areas where they were a visible minority. Richard was isolated from his fellow African-Canadians and this made him feel unaccepted and alone because he was the only black person in his community. He fought tirelessly to ensure that there would be a community for blacks to unite however the government rejected his petition (The Star par.4). The government vetoed the idea of the community however Richard Pierpoint showed resilience by challenging the unfair laws the government made to exclude black people. Richard stood up for his fellow black war veterans and the petition may not have been successful but it was both heroic and bold.
Moreover, in 1812 Britain went to war with the United States. Britain called upon all of their colonies including Canada to send troops to help Britain defend itself against the Americans. Canada discriminated African-Canadians during this time; consequently there were many restrictions in order to prevent blacks from fighting for their country during times of war (Black History Canada par.3). Richard was too old to fight at this time however he would not just sit back and watch the government reject blacks once again. He petitioned the military so they would recruit African-Canadian soldiers in order to create an all-black division in the Canadian military. At first, the government did not like the idea of sending a group of young black men to represent our country. However there were not enough white volunteers coming forward, so they approved Richardâs idea to create the Coloured Corps of Canada (The Star par.5). The unit consisted of about 30 black men who came to Canada to escape slavery (Black History Canada par.4). The military still appointed a white man over Richard despite all of his military experience and other qualifications (The Star par.5). He was clearly more qualified for the position but the government would not trust a group of black soldiers to fight unless they were supervised by a white man. Richard was the ultimate gentleman so he did not complain about this; instead he became a private eye so he could still contribute to the war effort (The Star par.5). The War of 1812 was a very long and hard fought war and the Coloured Corps contributed in ways that nobody thought they could. The group of black soldiers fought during the Battle of Queenston Heights and they were successful during the other battles which took place in Niagara (Historica Canada par.4). There would not have been enough soldiers to defend Canada if Richard Pierpoint did not push for black volunteers to be given the opportunity to fight. He petitioned the unjust way that the black volunteers were treated and he ultimately won his case. Richard is unquestionably an important Canadian hero because he did not let anyone or anything discourage him and he spoke up for those who did not have a voice.
After the war, Richard was unhappy living in Canada because of racism and other issues therefore he requested to be sent back on a ship to his home country of Senegal (Historica Canada par.5). The government did not honour his request to go back home but they granted him some land in Garafraxa, Canada (Historica Canada par.5). Although Richard wanted to return home, he did not spend his time feeling sorry for himself. Instead he took his land and he became a positive leader in the black community there. Richard displayed his remarkable heroics by uplifting his community and leading them into the right direction.
Although Richard was getting older, he was still very ambitious and eager to help improve life for black people living in Canada. Richard would not accept prejudice or bigotry in the country that he learned to call home. After all, he was once a slave himself therefore he could relate to the struggles that African-Canadians faced as a result of racism and hate. Richard may have gained his freedom after the War of 1812, but slavery was still very much alive during that time. Black people were still treated more like animals than humans; they were still being forced out of their home countries in order to face grueling labour work and torture. Although slavery was not yet abolished, the renowned Underground Railroad was established. The Underground Railroad was a secret system of routes which allowed runaway slaves to escape to safer places like Canada and certain parts of America. Richard did not want other people to go through what he and his peers had to deal with when he was enslaved, therefore he helped enslaved men and women move through the Underground Railroad (Historica Canada par.5). During this time, Richard Pierpoint had the pleasure of working with well-known heroes such as Harriet Tubman to free thousands of blacks who were still suffering as slaves. In summary, Richard was a noble man who was one of the many dedicated black leaders who worked diligently in order to achieve freedom and justice for the slaves.
It is important to consider Richard Pierpoint to be a national hero because of the way he generated a change in the way Canada viewed black people. Many people try to argue that Richard was not born in Canada and this is true. Richard was not a Canadian by birth, but he earned his status as a citizen and he deserves to be considered a national hero. Richard was never a stranger to hard times as he was extraordinarily able to survive through slavery for twenty years. He is a national hero because he stood up for the rights of every black person who was ever treated poorly just because of their skin colour. He is a national hero because he used peaceful methods like petitions in order to get his message across rather than resorting to violence. His failed attempt to get the government to establish a black community did not deter him from being an advocate for people of colour. The obstacles he faced motivated him to conquer much more important issues that black people were facing during that time. He came up with the idea of the Coloured Corps which finally allowed black men to have their own troop. Richard also helped many slaves gain their freedom. For most of his life, Richard was just a slave; he was black and because he was black, he was told that he was different and because he was different, he did not belong. Richard did not accept the labels that society put on him and he did not back down from any challenge. He was determined to improve the standard of living for his people and no one, not even the Canadian government could stop him. Richard Pierpoint may not be in any of the history textbooks that Iâve read during my time in school but he is one of the greatest heroes that Canada has ever seen.
To conclude, Richard Pierpoint is a prominent black hero because he survived slavery, stood up against the government multiple times and he helped rescue black people from slavery. Richard Pierpoint should be recognized during Black History Month because of his perseverance and dedication. He spent twenty years of his life stuck in the slave trade however he spent the rest of his life trying to help people in any way that he could. Richard is the definition of a hero and his legacy should never be forgotten. Racism still exists today, but we must learn from Richard and stand up for our rights. Richard died in 1837 when he was 93 years old however his influence and his impact live on (Historica Canada par.5). Martin Luther King once said âthe ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.â Richard is truly a great man because he always faced adversity instead of trying to run from it. Even at the age of 68, Richard was fighting for the rights of others which is truly amazing. Richard Pierpoint was a slave, but by the time he died; he was a legend.