Black History Month and Canada’s Flag (50th anniversary)
Posted: February 15, 2015| Author:Zócalo Poets|Filed under:English, IMAGES|Comments Off on Black History Month and Canada’s Flag (50th anniversary)
On this day, the 50th anniversary of Canada’s Flag, we reflect on the contributions of Black people to Canadian society through elected or appointed office…
There is a journey of commitment and hard work for all those who choose public life, and Black Canadians have persevered – and excelled. From William Peyton Hubbard we reach Michael Thompson; from Zanana Akande we come to Margarett Best; from Keith Forde there is an unwavering line that leads to Devon Clunis.
Here are some Black “Firsts” in Canada:
. Saint-Firmin Monestime (1909-1977): Haitian-born doctor and first Black mayor of a Canadian municipality (Mattawa, Ontario, 1964-1977)
. Lincoln MacCauley Alexander (1922-2012): Toronto-born lawyer and elected first Black member of Canada’s federal parliament (1968-1980)
. Leonard Austin Braithwaite (1923-2012): Born in Toronto of West-Indian parents, he was elected the first Black member of a Canadian provincial legislature (Ontario, 1963-1975).
. Rosemary Brown (1930-2003): Jamaican-born Brown was the first Black woman elected to a Canadian provincial legislature (British Columbia, 1972-1986), and also the first Black woman (and only the second woman) to run for leadership of a Canadian federal political party (the NDP, in 1975).
. Jean Augustine (born 1937, Grenada): In 1993 she was elected the first Black woman member of Canada’s federal parliament (1993-2006), and also the first to serve as a federal cabinet minister (2003).
. Michaëlle Jean: Born in 1957, the Haitian-Montrealer was the first Black Governor-General of Canada (2005-2010).