(Canada Aviation and Space Museum) Retired Major Walter Peters stands in front of a Canadair CT-114 Tutor jet used by the Snowbirds at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa last February. Maj. Peters was born in Litchfield, Annapolis County,Nova Scotia in 1937, became Canada’s first black jet fighter pilot and also a member of Canada’s famed Snowbirds flight team Walter Peters was a pioneer. He was this country’s
The month of February, is annually recognized by the Canadian government as black-history month. It was in February back in 1965 that one of the first people to stand up for black rights in North America, died. Years before American Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of a bus in Alabama, in the United States in 1955, Canadian Viola Desmond refused to move from the floor seating of
February is Black History Month in Canada and that is drawing attention to a unique photo exhibition at Ryerson University in the heart of Toronto. The university has a dedicated image centre that currently features an exhibition called Human Rights Human Wrongs. The exhibition showcases original press photographs of events from the U.S. Civil Rights Movement as well as images of the independence movements in Africa.
Lanier Phillips,was an American with an amazing story tied to Canada. In 1942, Phillips was a U.S. Navy seaman whose life was changed forever by the kindness he experienced from the people of St. Lawrence, Newfoundland.
John Ware looms large in the small field of Black history in Alberta. He was a big man, a cowboy who played an important role in the early days of the ranching industry. Born into slavery in the southern United States, John Ware came to Alberta after the US Civil War and the emancipation of slaves. He died in 1905. Today he’s remembered as a larger than life figure, and
There’s Oscar Peterson Boulevard and Oscar Peterson Public School in Mississauga, Ontario; Oscar Peterson Square in downtown Toronto; and, in his hometown of Montreal there’s the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall. And, that’s not to mention the 16 honourary degrees between Canada and the United States. The man who wrote the Canadiana Suite received the nation’s highest honour when he was promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada in 1984.
Michaelle Jean A woman of many “firsts’ Michaelle Jean is now is the first woman to lead the Paris-based, International Francophonie Organisation, as Secretary-General. In Canada, she is the Most Honourable Michaelle Jean, having served as Governor General from 2005 to 2010. She was the 27th since Canadian Confederation, and the first black person to take on the roll. She was in the position when the earth quake devastated her
“How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired” is the title of the English translation of Danny Laferriere’s first book, written originally in French. It got attention in both languages. In December 2013, Dany Laferriere was elected to the Academie francaise in one ballot. He is the first Haitian, the first Quebecer, and the first Canadian to be granted the honour. Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 1953, his
Josiah Henson witnessed extraordinary cruelty in a childhood of slavery in the United States, but rose above it in Canada. His settlement, known as Dawn, in southern Ontario, was not far from Lake Erie. There is an interpretive centre there now keeping his story alive, as he tried to, with his first autobiography, called, The Life of Josiah Henson: Formerly a Slave, Now an Inhabitant of Canada, as Narrated by
In the St. Michel neighbourhood of Montreal, a small idea has become a big success. The Hope Boxing Club, started by Montreal Police Officer, Evens Guercy, has opened doors for many of the neighbourhood kids.