||March 4, 2011
Black History Month in Review
For various reasons, including a week at
Winterlude in Ottawa that I will write about next week, I didn’t write about
February Black History Month. But today I will review some
of the February activity.
In North Bay the African – Canadian
Culture Club at Nipissing University had its 4th Annual event at the
Nipissing Theatre on February 29th. The North Bay
and District Multicultural Centre sponsored a Black History Month “Education
Through Entertainment” event on February 11 at the Nipissing Theatre.
Entertainment, dance, fashion & refreshments were featured.
Fergie Jenkins Stamp
A stamp commemorating the remarkable
Ferguson Jenkins from Chatham was launched in February.
Fergie played Major League Baseball for 18 seasons beginning in 1965 and had 6
twenty game seasons among other achievements.
He is the only pitcher with over 3000 strikeouts and under 1000 career
walks. At the end of his career he was traded to the Texas
Rangers as an over the hill player and he won 25 games and was Comeback Player
of the Year.
||New stamp recognizing
Ferguson Jenkins during Black History Month 2011
Fergie was an all round athlete and
played for the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team on occasion in the off
season. He was the first Commissioner of the Canadian
Baseball League and has served as a analyst on Major League Baseball T.V.
He has also been a leader in numerous
charitable organizations including the Ferguson Jenkins Foundation. He was the
first Canadian to win the Cy Young Award and the only Canadian in the Major
League National Hall of Fame and has numerous other awards including the Order
of Canada.(shown on the stamp) The stamp is his latest
honour. I saw him on the CBC in an interview with Peter
Mansbridge and was most impressed. For further information
log on to fergiejenkins.ca .
Dr. Carrie Best Stamp
The black human rights pioneer from New
Glasgow Nova Scotia also had a stamp produced for her last Month.
New stamp recognizing Carrie Best during Black History
Carrie was among other things a Director
of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. She lived her life as a poet,
author, journalist and activist until her death in 2001. She
received several honorary doctorates, the Order of Canada & the Queen Elizabeth
medal. The stamp is recognition of her overall achievement.
William Hubbard First Black Canadian Councillor
Mark Maloney who is writing a history of
Toronto Mayors wrote a Black History Month article in the Toronto Star about the
remarkable William Hubbard, a son of slaves. In the early 1870s as a young man
he saved the noted Toronto Abolitionist, newspaper man & Father of Confederation
George Brown from an accident. Brown became a friend and
A few years later at age 51 Hubbard ran
as a councillor and lost. He won the following year and
again 14 times. He became a member of the 4 member Board of
Control. Over the years he was responsible for the passing
of over 100 civic initiatives including better transit, fire protection and
publicly owned hydro and water systems. He never ran to be
Mayor according to author Maloney.
His achievement was remarkable in a city
where discrimination was rampant into the 1940s. A painting of William Hubbard
hangs in the Mayor’s Office in City Hall and he has been recognized in other
ways over the years.
Canada’s First Black Mayor Dr. S.F. Monestime
Dr. Monestime the Haitian doctor who
settled in Mattawa 60 years ago this year and became Canada’s first black mayor
for years was recognized in 2009 on Mattawa’s 125th birthday.
Dr. Monestime who died in 1977 was
remembered on the 100th anniversary of his birth in 1909 when the
Mattawa Council Chamber & Mattawa’s Main Street were named after him for his
work as a Doctor, Mayor, provincial politician & founder of the Algonquin
The book I wrote commemorating his life
– Where Rivers Meet – has sold widely. Copies are still
available in Mattawa & at Gullivers Books & Toys and One Stop Books in the North
Bay Mall & elsewhere including online at
www.pastforward.ca. The original article I wrote on him
is included in my new book Voices From the Past – available at the locations
Heritage Perspective Home Page