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Black history buffs can show their stuff at Jeopardy!-style event in Blenheim, Ont.

Chris Prince is hosting a Black History Month themed Jeopardy event at Red Barn Brewery in Blenheim, Ont. on Thursday from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Cara Nickerson/CBC - image credit)
Chris Prince is hosting a Black History Month themed Jeopardy event at Red Barn Brewery in Blenheim, Ont. on Thursday from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Cara Nickerson/CBC - image credit)

The Buxton National Historic Site and Museum is teaming up with Red Barn Brewery in nearby Blenheim, Ont., for its Black History Month Jeopardy! night on Thursday, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Chris Prince, a North Buxton, Ont., farmer and former radio host, will run the event, which is based off of the classic quiz game show.

"There ain't no way I could be [former Jeopardy! host] Alex Trebek, so if people are coming to the event expecting to see Alex…. It isn't going to be that good, but I'll do my best because those are some huge shoes to fill," he said.

Prince said there will be a wide range of answers for contestants to uncover the questions to, like "This famous orator gave an amazing speech entitled 'I have a dream.'"

He said he will cover all aspects of Black history and pop culture, including local Black history taught at the Buxton Museum.

Red Barn Brewery
Red Barn Brewery

Price said he grew up with the museum — his mother, Shannon Prince, is the museum's curator.

"Buxton Museum is like the centre of our community," he said.

The town of North Buxton was established as an Underground Railroad settlement in the early 1800s, Shannon said, and was home to Abraham Doras Shadd, father of Mary Ann Shadd, the first Black female newspaper publisher in Canada and prominent anti-slavery activist in the 19th century.

Shannon said the museum owns Abraham Doras Shadd's cabin and an 1853 barn where he "provided education for the people in the community from 1861 until 1968."

All proceeds from the event will go to the Buxton Museum's future programming.

"We have our 100th Homecoming celebration which is happening in September. So we are hoping to maybe use some of the funds for that," she said.

Buxton Museum's Homecoming is a yearly event that started in 1924, according to the museum's website. The original North Buxton settlement had around 2,000 residents who came to Ontario via the Underground Railroad and many of those residents returned to the U.S. or moved on to other places in Canada.

Homecoming invites those residents back to North Buxton to "celebrate their heritage through music, conferences, and a variety of activities in the community."

"The fact that we're still existing as a small Underground Railroad settlement, that we're still here, attests to that legacy that has been entrusted to us by our ancestors," Shannon said.

www.buxtonmuseum.com
www.buxtonmuseum.com

Prince said he is the seventh generation of his family to live and farm the land in North Buxton.

"It gives me great pride to do so, and yeah, it's an honour to be a part of this community," he said.

Denny Vervaet, owner of Red Barn Brewing, where the event is being held, said he started his brewery with his wife and brother-in-law with the intention of partnering with community groups like the Buxton Museum.

"It has always been our dream to be a community hub," he said, adding Red Barn Brewery will partner with Buxton Museum again on Valentine's Day, when they will have jazz musician Jamaal Cody play.

"It's going to be a really kind of cool lounge experience with jazz and it's just gonna be a really sombre night," he said.

Tickets are still available for both events and Vervaet says there will be prizes for the Jeopardy! winners.

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

CBC
CBC