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Some of the Famous Black Canadians

You might immediately think of Harry Jerome when talking about the subject of famous black Canadians. As a matter of fact, Jerome was named as Mr. Canada and the fastest man in the world as well before Donovan Bailey or Ben Johnson. He’s birthplace was in Prince Albert, Sask., and lives in Vancouver. He has participated in the 1964 Olympics and won a bronze model and then two years later, he snagged gold at the 1966 Commonwealth Games.

Yet another popular black Canadian is Portia White. She is born in Truro, Nova Scotia. At a young age, she started singing for her father’s African Baptist church choir and later performed as concert singer worldwide. She’s a teacher in profession in rural Halifax schools. With the support given to her by the Ladies’ Musical Clubs and Nova Scotia Talent Trust, it is not too long for her to see her great potential.

One of the biggest appearances that she has made was at the opening of Charlottetown’s Confederation Center for the Arts in 1964. This was the time when Queen Elizabeth II made an attendance as well.

Also included in this list is Elijah McCoy who was born to escape slavery in Kentucky in Colchester, Ontario in 1843. Despite having a degree in engineering in Scotland, upon his return to Canada, McCoy wasn’t able to land any job than a railway fireman.

Being a mechanic in the 1870s, he eventually noticed that machines ought to stop every time it needed oil. As a result, he created a device to oil machinery while it is still working and because of that, no machine or engine was complete without a McCoy Lubricator.

William Hall made a history in 1857 for being the very first black Canadian sailor and also, the first famous black Canadian to be given the Victoria Cross. He’s born in Horton Bluff, N.S and joined the Royal Navy even when he’s just a teen. Apart from joining the Royal Navy, he was additionally decorated for his bravery during Crimean War.

Mary Ann Shadd was another black Canadian and the very first woman publisher to ever exist in North America. She is the founder of Provincial Freeman or an abolitionist newspaper with Reverend Ringgold Ward in 1853. In 1823, she was born in Delaware but then made a decision to move to Canada in 1851 where she opened an integrated school.

After she survived the American Civil War, she returned to her real passion, teaching; from there she became the first woman to enroll in Howard University law school.

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