Bryan Prince is a descendent of slaves who came to Canada prior to the American Civil War and has a profound interest in the history of slavery and the Underground Railroad – particularly in the Canadian involvement. He is a long time Board member of the Buxton National Historic Site & Museum and has served as a consulting editor with England’s Adam Matthew Publications digital project Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice; member of the Ontario Bicentenary Commemorative Committee on the Abolition of the Slave Trade; the International Underground Railroad Heritage Program; Ontario’s Cultural Development initiative for Underground Railroad sites and sits on the Executive Committee of York University’s Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples.
He has authored many works which include the books I Came As A Stranger, A Shadow On The Household, One More River To Cross, My Brother's Keeper: African Canadians and the American Civil War, the script for the television documentary A Thousand Miles to Freedom and was historical consultant for the PBS television documentary Underground Railroad: The William Still Story. His chapter, entitled The Illusion of Safety: Attempts to Extradite Fugitive Slaves from Canada, will appear in an upcoming book A Fluid Frontier: Slavery, Freedom and the Underground Railroad in the Detroit River Borderlands which is co-authored by several historians from Canada and the U.S. He has contributed chapters to other publications, including the journals of the Ontario Historical Society and the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society as well as for several travel and tourism magazines. He is also one of the producers of the concert series Road To Freedom which has been performed along with the Karen Schuessler Singers, Denise Pelley, Shannon Prince, Stephen Holowitz and band in several Ontario cities.
Bryan and his wife, Shannon who is Curator of the Buxton Museum, have lectured extensively across North America and are among the organizers of an annual Canadian/U.S. Black History and Genealogy Conference that brings together distinguished scholars from across the continent. Together they were awarded “Citizens of the Year” by Blenheim and District Chamber of Commerce in 2008 and were the 2011 recipients of the YMCA of Chatham Kent’s Peace Medallion and the 2011 Underground Railroad Free Press international prize for “The Advancement of Knowledge”. In 2002, Bryan received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award for work in Canadian Heritage and in 2005, was given the Honor Book for the Society of School Librarians International’s Best Book Award – Social Studies, Grades 7-12 as well as the Children’s Nautilus Book Award (Non-fiction) for I Came As A Stranger; The Underground Railroad. In 2009, the Globe and Mail called A Shadow on the Household “a superb piece of scholarship” and named it to the year’s top 100 "best and most influential books." In 2010, he received Rotary International’s Paul Harris Fellowship award. In 2014, Bryan and Shannon were nominated and awarded Chatham's Citizens of the Year, by the Chamber of Commerce.
The Princes and their family are farmers and make their living on the land in Buxton, where their ancestors once found freedom.