Black Canadian History

Notable Leaders

Alvin Curling
Dr. Alvin Curling
Ontario

Alvin Curling was first elected to the Ontario Legislature in 1985, winning the Scarborough North constituency (now Scarborough Rouge-River).

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Anne Clare Cools
Senator Anne Clare Cools
Quebec

Senator Anne Clare Cools was educated at Montreal’s Thomas D’Arcy McGee High School and McGill University, from which she holds a Bachelor of Arts.

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Austin Clarke
Austin Clarke
Ontario

Austin Clarke was a reporter in the Ontario communities of Timmins and Kirkland Lake before joining the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a freelance journalist.

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Donald H. Oliver
The Honourable Donald H. Oliver
Nova Scotia

The Honourable Donald H. Oliver was a graduate of Acadia University and Dalhousie University Law School, he was summoned to the Senate of Canada on September 7, 1990.

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Dudley Laws
Dudley Laws
Ontario

Dudley Laws (May 7, 1934 – March 24, 2011) was a Canadian civil right activist and executive director of the Black Action Defence Committee.

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Ellen Louks Fairclough
The Right Honourable Ellen Louks Fairclough
Ontario

Ellen Louks Fairclough, was a member of the Canadian House of Commons from 1950 to 1963, she was the first woman ever to serve in the Canadian Cabinet.

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Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman
Ontario

Harriet Tubman, a runaway slave from Maryland, became known as the “Moses” of her people and the “conductor” who led hundreds of slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad.

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Harry Jerome
Harry Jerome
Saskatchewan

Harry Jerome was a Canadian track and field runner. In 1970, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

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Herbert Henry “Herb” Carnegie
Herbert Henry “Herb” Carnegie
Ontario

Herbert "Herb" Carnegie was a Canadian ice hockey player. After his professional hockey career was over, he became a successful businessman working in the investment industry.

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Jean Augustine
The Honourable Jean Augustine
Ontario

Jean Augustine is a trailblazing politician, social activist, and educator. She was the first African-Canadian woman to be elected to the House of Commons.

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Josiah Henson
Josiah Henson
Ontario

After reaching Canada, Henson formed a community where he taught other ex-slaves how to be successful farmers.

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Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré
Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré
Quebec

Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré received her law degree from the Université de Montréal and a doctorate from the Université de Paris.

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Lincoln Alexander
The Honourable Lincoln Alexander
Ontario

The Honourable Lincoln Alexander served with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War, between 1942 and 1945.

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Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson
Quebec

Oscar Peterson was a Canadian jazz pianist and composer. He was called the "Maharaja of the keyboard" by Duke Ellington, but simply "O.P." by his friends.

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Rosemary Brown
Rosemary Brown
British Columbia

Rosemary Brown was first elected to the British Columbia legislature in 1972, she served until her retirement in 1986. She also ran for the leadership of the federal New Democratic Party in 1974.

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Viola Davis Desmond
Viola Davis Desmond
Nova Scotia

Viola Davis Desmond was an African-Canadian who ran her own beauty parlor and beauty college in Halifax.

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Willie O’Ree
Willie O’Ree
New Brunswick

On January 18, 1958, Willie O’Ree stepped on the ice at the Montreal Forum to play his first game in the NHL for the Boston Bruins — and made history.

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