An award-winning author, Karolyn Smardz Frost is the only archaeologist in Canada holding a PhD in Race, Slavery and Imperialism. She is an adjunct professor at both Acadia University and Dalhousie Universities in Nova Scotia, where she and her husband now make their home. In January 2018, Karolyn Smardz Frost was honoured by the Ontario Black History Society with the Mathieu Da Costa Award for her lifetime contributions to researching, teaching and publishing in the field of African Canadian History. Her landmark biography of freedom-seekers Thornton and Lucie Blackburn, I’ve Got a Home in Glory Land: A Lost Tale of the Underground Railroad (2007), was the first book on African Canadian history to win the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction. In 2016, Karolyn co-edited A Fluid Frontier: Slavery, Resistance, and the Underground Railroad in the Detroit River Borderland (2016), which won the Michigan Book Prize. Karolyn’s 2017 volume, Steal Away Home (HarperCollins Canada) tells the story of Cecelia Jane Reynolds, who at the age of fifteen fled her Kentucky by way of Niagara Falls. It received the Speakers Award for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario; the J.J. Talman Prize for the best book on Ontario history over the past three years; was a finalist for the Atlantic Book Award; and was nominated for the Heritage Toronto Award. In 2010, Karolyn was one of five finalists for TVO’s “Best Lecturer in Ontario” Award, and in 2012-12 she was appointed the Canadian Bicentennial Visiting Professor at Yale University Her most recent co-written book is The Underground Railroad: Next Stop Freedom! Published first in 2002, a new edition was released by Dundurn Press in 2022.
In the new year, public talks and workshops will be offered by the Museum as part of the Community Outreach programming that compliments the Residency.