Portraits

Being Black in Canada

CBC | When Luke Ignace thinks about the things he misses most about his home in the Bahamas, he can’t help but think about his barber. Read his story and many more CBC reports related to Black History Month in their special section entitled Being Black in Canada.

RADIO CANADA INTERNATIONAL | Marc Montgomery | For the first time, the NHL will be adapting the thrust of its February campaign of “hockey is for everyone” to a focus of celebrating Black History Month. The league (NHL) and the players association (NHLPA) have joined to mark the new campaign focus with special websites have set up to highlight the achievements and contributions of black players throughout the years. Canadian Willie O’Ree…

New collector coin honours civil rights icon

RADIO CANADA INTERNATIONAL | Marc Montgomery | In a small incident that has since become legendary, North America’s first fight for black rights will be honoured once again by the Royal Canadian Mint. In 1946, years before the Rosa Parks incident in the U.S., Canadian businesswoman Viola Desmond, refused to give up her seat in a “whites only” section of a movie theatre in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Arrested and charged with…

New stamp honours first black letter carrier

RADIO CANADA INTERNATIONAL | Lynn Desjardins | February is Black History Month in Canada and this year, Canada Post is marking the occasion by issuing a stamp depicting Albert Jackson, likely the first black mail carrier in Canada. Jackson was born into slavery in the United States in the 1850s. His mother escaped with seven children including Albert who was a toddler at the time and came to Canada via the…

Profile: Lincoln Alexander

In 1945, Cpl. Lincoln Alexander was refused service at a Vancouver bar because he was black. Forty years later, the son of West Indies immigrants was appointed Ontario’s 24th lieutenant-governor, the first black Canadian to be appointed to a viceregal position in Canada. Born in Toronto in 1922, Alexander accomplished several firsts for Canada’s black community. During WWII, he was one of the few blacks who were allowed to enlist in…

Francisca Mandeya’s journey from Zimbabwe to Nunavut

‘It’s surprising how we always want to look for difference where there’s actually a lot of similarity’ By Sima Sahar Zerehi, CBC News Francisca Mandeya gets teary-eyed when speaking about her three kids. She came to Nunavut as a refugee from Zimbabwe just over a year ago but she couldn’t bring her children with her. “Sometimes life doesn’t give you a choice,” said Mandeya. “I was in a position that I…

Wrestler Cleopas Ncube sets his sights on Rio

Cleopas Ncube was born in Zimbabwe. His family left Africa because of the political situation and moved to Canada when Ncube was a child. He credits much of his success to his mother who he describes as an endless fountain of hope.

Diversity on stage good for all: opera star Mark S. Doss

Racism “is a barrier. It’s a difficulty. It’s something that has to be broken down. And, once it’s broken down, it’s much more beneficial to all of society,” says Mark S. Doss, a Grammy-award-winning opera singer based in Toronto. Doss has performed in 87 different roles in more than 60 opera houses around the world. Opera singer Mark S. Doss says some operas lend themselves to ‘updating’ and more diversity in…

Faith and laughs keep Cicilia Laurent going at 120

Cicilia Laurent has just one birthday wish. The Haitian-born resident of Laval, Quebec, who turned 120 years old on Sunday, wants to meet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and ask him a special favour. She wants Trudeau to allow her two great-grandsons in Haiti to visit her in Canada so she can see them again. Laurent, who celebrated her birthday at festive ceremony at the Haitian consulate in downtown Montreal…

Portraits of blacks in Canada

From our archives Danger, hardship, heroism and tragedy. All are features of black immigration to Canada in the nineteenth century. The story of black immigration to Canada began 400 years ago with the arrival of the French at Port Royal. John Graves Simcoe, the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, signed the Act Against Slavery in 1793. Many black people came to Canada by their own means. But the Underground Railroad, an…

RCI • Radio Canada International
Luc Simard – Director of Diversity and Relations. Radio-Canada

Your opinion on Black History Month

Black History Month is only celebrated in North America and in the UK. Do you think it should be celebrated all over the world?

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