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Black history month 2021

Celebrating the resilience and contribution of Canadians of Black African descent & origin.

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Black history month 2021

  1. 1. Celebrating the resilience and contribution of Canadians of Black African Descent & Origin All Saints by the Lake Anglican Parish Black History Month February 2021
  2. 2. The journey to Canada Different roads. Common destination.
  3. 3. Different roads. Common destination. • Black people have lived in Canada since the beginnings of transatlantic settlement. • A few came as explorers, more came as slaves in the 17th and 18th centuries • More came as former American slaves fleeing to Canada between 1783 and 1865 • Since 1865, many others came as free immigrants from the United States, the West Indies and Africa.
  4. 4. Exploration Mathieu DaCosta Explorer, Translator, Interpreter, Free Man Da Costa, an interpreter of African descent, is believed to have traveled throughout the Atlantic World in the late 1500’s and early 1600’s. Believed to be the first known person of African descent in the new world, he likely spoke French, Dutch, Portuguese and ‘pidgin Basque’ (a common trade language in the era of early contact between First Nations people and Europeans). In the early 1600’s, the French and Dutch competed in court for the right to his services, and in 1608 Da Costa was contracted to act as an interpreter for Sieur de Mons on voyages to Canada and Acadia.
  5. 5. Slavery • 1628: Olivier Le Jeune, first known slave in Canada • 1628-1759: Black slaves brought to ‘New France’ from British colonies in the West Indies and later from the USA with white Loyalists • Slaves served as domestic servants, farm hands, and skilled artisans • The system of gang labour, and its consequent institutions of brutality and control did not develop in Canada. • 1688: Royal permission refused for direct slave trade from Africa
  6. 6. The promise of freedom and equality • 1776: Arrival of 3,500 free Black Loyalists, promised freedom and equality in Canada by the British in exchange for their loyalty to the British crown • 1796: 600 Jamaican Maroons – runaway slaves who posed a threat to neighbouring plantations in Jamaica • Settlement was chiefly in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in segregated communities on the outskirts of towns. • Disappointed with unmet promises of land, free Blacks migrated to Freetown, Sierra Leone in Africa
  7. 7. The Underground Railroad In 1793 Upper Canada became the first territory in the British Empire to legislate the gradual abolition of slavery. That same year US Congress passed the first Fugitive Slave Law, making a flight to British territory more attractive. Known collectively as the ‘Black fugitives’ many fled to Canada, via the Underground Railroad, an extensive network of people, places, and modes of transportation – all working in the deepest secrecy to help transport slaves to freedom in the North and Canada. Harriet Ross Tubman escaped slavery in the US and returned repeatedly to the South to lead other slaves to freedom. Tubman was the most successful ‘conductor’ of the Underground Railroad, guiding more than 200 men, women and children, including her aging parents, to freedom in Canada.
  8. 8. Immigration • 1909: 1,500 African American farmers migrated from Oklahoma and settled in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta. • 1960-1995: Substantial increase in Black population. 300,000 immigrants from the West Indies and 150,000 immigrants from Africa • This major influx has greatly outnumbered the original Black population in every Canadian region except the Maritimes. • In the 2016 Census, the Black population totalled 1,198,540, encompassing 3.5% of the country's population.
  9. 9. Moving forward. • Caribbean and African immigration has had an immense impact. • Immigration has brought a very high proportion of well-educated and professional Black people to Canada, with an average standard of achievement higher than Canadian-born Blacks or Whites.
  10. 10. Racism Resistance Resilience Pushed to the margins. Breaking barriers.
  11. 11. Pushed to the margins.
  12. 12. Pushed to the margins.
  13. 13. An example of resistance: Breaking barriers to quality education • Missionary societies and provincial governments provided funding, albeit woefully inadequate, to establish schools for Black children. Combined with residential isolation and economic deprivation, poor schooling helped to perpetuate a situation of limited opportunity and restricted mobility. • Several court cases in Ontario were brought by parents to challenge the exclusion of their children from the regular schools. • Although the courts upheld the legality of segregated education, they did insist that every child must have access to an education and that therefore if no Black school existed, Black children must be admitted to the regular school. • Over time, using such tactics as tax strikes and boycotts, parents were able to close the Black schools and gain admission for their children to nonsegregated state schools.
  14. 14. Through their own struggle against injustice and their insistence upon equality in the law, Black Canadians have bequeathed an impressive structure of constitutional rights from which all Canadians benefit today. • Fair Practices and Human Rights legislation in the 1950s and 1960s • The Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982) • The Employment Equity Act (1986) • The Multiculturalism Act (1988) Establishing Justice and Equality
  15. 15. Responsible Canadians “Since 1783 … Canadians (of Black African descent and origin)… have identified with Canada and with the Canadian dream, and although it has often been exposed as an illusion, Black people have never lost their commitment to that ideal.” “Their usual tactic of quiet diplomacy has represented not satisfaction with the status quo, but rather a Canadian commitment to constitutionalism and, a recognition that success depends upon cooperation rather than confrontation.” - James W. St. G. Walker Africana - The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience
  16. 16. Impacting life in Canada Celebrating pioneers. Contributions to government, politics and culture
  17. 17. Elijah McCoy (1844 – 1929) developed a lubricator for steam engines that did not require the train to stop. His lubricator used steam pressure to pump oil wherever it was needed. McCoy patented over 50 inventions. William Hall (1827-1904) was the first Black person, the first Nova Scotian, and the second Canadian to receive the Victoria Cross, the British Empire’s highest award for bravery. Mary Ann Shadd (1823-1893) the first Black woman publisher in Canada and attorney in North America. To promote information about the successes of Black people living in freedom in Canada, she began the Provincial Freeman newspaper, although at first, she had to have a man stand in for her as the apparent publisher. SOME IMPORTANT FIRSTS
  18. 18. Military Service Blacks demonstrated their loyalty to Great Britain and Canada in every war since the American Revolution. During World War 1 (1914-1918) their participation was initially rejected, but in 1916 they were admitted into a segregated unit, the Nova Scotia No. 2 Construction Battalion (Coloured). There was no separate unit in World War II (1939-1945), but there remained restrictions on Black participation in the air force and navy until 1943 and 1944, respectively. Overt discrimination in the military has been overcome in the general movement for racial equality since the war. The story of the No. 2 Construction Battalion is an important aspect of Canadian history and shows the passion, bravery and dedication of Black Canadians during the First World War. Source of the image and caption : National Association of Federal Retirees
  19. 19. Firsts in Government & Politics • William Hubbard: councillor, controller, acting mayor of Toronto 1894- 1907 • Leonard Braithwaite: first Black Canadian elected to a provincial legislature – Ontario – 1963 • Lincoln Alexander: first Black federal member of parliament in 1968 and lieutenant governor of Ontario in 1985 • Wayne Adams: first Black member of the Nova Scotian cabinet 1993
  20. 20. Firsts in Government & Politics • Michaëlle Jean: first Black woman to be appointed Governor General of Canada 2005 • Jean Augustine: first Black woman to be elected to the federal parliament in 1993 • Rosemary Brown: first Black woman to run for the leadership of a federal party – NDP – first Black woman to be elected to provincial legislature – British Columbia 1972 • Dominique Anglade: first Black woman to lead a major provincial party – 2020 • Annamie Paul: first Black woman to lead a major federal party - 2020
  21. 21. Judiciary • Robert Sutherland: the first Black man to study law in Canada • Julius Isaac : first Black Federal Court of Appeal Chief Justice 1991 • Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré: first appointed Black judge in the history of Quebec.
  22. 22. Sports Donovan Bailey Olympian, multiple gold medalist Charmaine Crooks First Canadian to run 800m in less than 2 minutes Otis Grant Boxer, Pan- Am Games medalist Glenroy Gilbert Olympic gold medalist Permanent Head Coach, Althletics Canada Willie Eldon O'Ree First Black player in the National Hockey League
  23. 23. Literature Olive Senior Winner of Commonwealth Writers Prize Malcolm Gladwell Author. Books on the New York Best Seller’s List Pamela Mordecai Poet, novelist, short story writer, scholar and anthologist
  24. 24. Canadian Identity “Although an exciting new Black culture is emerging as a result of immigration, common experience in Canada is encouraging a sense of shared destiny and the traditional Black community in Canada is being explored in literature and the arts in search for the sustaining characteristics of this historic people.” “While there is no single community identity, or culture among …Canadians (of Black African descent and origin)…, it is surely significant that in recent consensus questionnaires, when Canadians have been invited to designate their own ethnicity in a variety of fashions (including continent, region, or country of origin), the largest number, and a majority of the younger people, have chosen to identify as “Black Canadian.” - James W. St. G. Walker Africana - The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience
  25. 25. Sources • Africana - The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience : Editors: Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., 1999, Basic Civitas Books Publishers • VANSDA web site. Mathieu Da Costa. Last accessed on 26 January 2021 • Black Canadians, Wikipedia. Accessed on 26 January 2021 sus,3.5%25%20of%20the%20country's%20population. • Images – downloaded from the internet. Sources recorded on the notes pages of each slide, where applicable.