Our History

Telling the stories of our ancestors has been a life mission for our Executive Director.

In 2020, Dr. McCarthy Brandt defended her PhD dissertation, titled Segregated in Life and in Death, A Black Woman’s Critical Exploration and Narrative Account of Early African Descended Communities and Graveyards in New Brunswick.

After completion, Dr. McCarthy Brandt realised she had to continue her work, and the non-profit REACH in NB was formed.

Atlantic Voice Documentary on the Forgotten Graves of NB

Read the article and listen to the documentary

Dr. Mary McCarthy-Brandt is a Fredericton-based writer, educator, and historian dedicated to preserving the histories of Black New Brunswickers. Over the past decade, she has emerged as a prominent public commentator and has promoted greater awareness of the historical and current contributions of Black New Brunswickers. McCarthy-Brandt is a sixth-generation New Brunswicker whose family’s roots predate the founding of the province in 1784. A PhD graduate of the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, her scholarly research focused on segregated and forgotten graveyards in New Brunswick. She also served for six years as the president of the New Brunswick Black History Society.  


McCarthy-Brandt has been featured in the provincial and regional media for her research locating and restoring abandoned black cemeteries and her knowledge of the Black experience in New Brunswick. She chairs REACH NB (Remembering Each African Cemeteries History in New Brunswick) which collaborates with the Provincial Archives to locate and document forgotten and abandoned gravesites. In 2015, McCarthy-Brandt won a human rights case against Shoppers Drug Mart for an incident of racial profiling. Her writing was featured in the collection Black Writers Matter(University of Regina Press 2019), an anthology of African-Canadian writing on contemporary issues. She was also featured in Chatelaine Magazine as one of “33 Black Canadians Making Change Now” for her work identifying systemic and anti-black racism. 

Proclamation of Emancipation Day In New Brunswick