Monday 30 July 2018

“All Aboard the Freedom Train” Tuesday night. Toronto. 10.30 PM Union Station

Jean Augustine (left). Rita Cox (far right) at last year's ride
When Conductor Rita Cox blows the whistle a thousand people will take a ride on Toronto’s Freedom Train.

Rita Cox, a longtime Toronto Caribbean community leader, is getting ready to blow her whistle and yell “All Aboard the Freedom Train” as Toronto gets set to mark Emancipation Day.  For the sixth year in a row there will be a special midnight TTC train that will take hundreds of people to the Sheppard West Station on July 31st to celebrate the August 1st date.
It all begins July 31st at 10:45pm at Toronto’s Union subway station. “We will be boarding the Underground Freedom Train at 11:30pm and travelling straight to Sheppard West subway station (previously Downsview station), arriving there at 12:15am on August 1st,” explained organizer Itah Sadu. “ The date is internationally acclaimed as Emancipation Day.” 
“This year’s sixth annual Freedom Train ride will be an incredible journey and experience about the Underground Railroad and the history of Emancipation Day,” She told the Caribbean Camera. “Opening ceremonies will begin at 10:45pm at Union subway station and half-an-hour later Dr. Rita Cox, our honourary conductor, will give the call to board the train.”
People will gather by the Brookfield Rotunda TTC entrance on the main floor of Union Station.  Last year over 1,000 people took the train to Sheppard West Station.
Inline imageAs people board the train there will be drumming, spoken word and songs will be sung, along with a tribute to the resilience of the many who travelled along the Underground Railway, seeking freedom in Canada. During the ride there will be a moment of silence called over the train’s intercom.
Rita Cox is often dubbed “Canada’s Icon”.  Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, the Master
 Storyteller, Author and Retired Librarian is a member of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival’s Festival Management Committee.  She has won numerous awards, including the 1996 Canadian Library Association Public Service Award and the Black Achievement Award. In 1997, Dr. Cox was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada for her outstanding work in storytelling and literacy. She is also the recipient of honourary degrees from York and Wilfrid Laurier universities.

Also on board Tuesday night will be: Dr. Edith Lorimar, producer Fatima Mohamed and Master Drummer Muhtadi Thomas and Muhtadi International Drumming,

Everyone is welcome to join us on this Underground Freedom Train Ride to celebrate Emancipation Day. People will need a regular TTC ticket for admission and come prepared for being part of a very unique subway ride. Sixth annual Underground Freedom Train Ride t-shirts are available for purchase at A Different Booklist store, prior to the ride. Further information - available at A Different Booklist 416-538-0889 or by following on twitter @FreedomTrainTOR.