In 1926, Carter Woodson, created what is now celebrated as, Black History Month. However, he hoped that one day people would no longer celebrate Black History Month. He saw a day where it wouldn't be necessary, and it was seen as an essential part of everyday history.
In 1946, Viola Desmond challenged racial discrimination when she refused to leave the segregated Whites-only section of the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Viola Desmond was arrested, jailed overnight and convicted without legal representation for an obscure tax offence as a result. In 2010, Lieutenant-Governor Mayann Francis issued Desmond a free pardon. In December 2016, the Bank of Canada announced that Viola Desmond would be the first Canadian woman to be featured by herself on the face of a banknote — the $10 note released on 19 November 2018.
Africville was an African-Canadian village located just north of Halifax and founded around the mid-19th century. Halifax was founded in 1749, when enslaved African people dug out roads and built much of the city. Some evidence indicates that this early Black community lived a few kilometres north of the city on the southern shore of the Bedford Basin — an area that became Africville.
The Sir George Williams affair (also known as the Sir George Williams riot) took place in winter 1969, when more than 200 students decided to peacefully occupy the ninth floor of the Henry F. Hall Building at Sir George Williams University in Montreal. These students were protesting the university administration’s decision regarding a complaint of racism that had been filed several months earlier by six Black students from the Caribbean.
Sparked by incidents of racial discrimination, Carrie Best became a civil rights activist.Co-founder of The Clarion, one of the first newspapers in Nova Scotia owned and published by Black Canadians, she used the platform to advocate for Black rights.
Alexander was the first Black Canadian member of Parliament (1968), Cabinet minister (1979) and lieutenant-governor (Ontario, 1985). In recognition of his many important accomplishments, 21 January has been celebrated as Lincoln Alexander Day across Canada since 2015.
Born enslaved, Henson escaped to Upper Canada in 1830. He founded the Dawn Settlement near Dresden, Upper Canada, for American fugitives from enslavement.
Anderson Abbott, the first Canadian-born Black person to graduate from medical school, served the Union Army as a civilian surgeon in several Washington, DC, hospitals.
The Fred Christie Case (Christie v York, 1939) is a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada that allowed private businesses to discriminate on the basis of freedom of commerce. In July 1936, Fred Christie and two friends went to the York Tavern attached to the Montreal Forum to have a beer. The staff refused to serve them because Christie was Black.