Lincoln MacCauley Alexander. Canada’s first black member of parliament for Hamilton West. It was 1968. That year was only 44 years ago. It seems unimaginable that there was not a black person in parliament earlier. It seems unimaginable that there is not more people of colour and diversity in parliament now. Parliament and those who govern us should be a reflection of those they serve. Canada is a diverse nation.
Alexander was born January 21, 1922 in Toronto to Mae Rose, a Jamaican mother working as a domestic and a father, Lincoln Alexander Sr. from St Vincent and the Grenadines, who worked as a porter with the Canadian Pacific Railway. The Hamilton Spectator writes, “Consider what Ontario was like in 1922. White-dominated, English-centric, conservative in thinking, conformity in action. Yet, over the next 90 years, Alexander lived a life that was proud, determined, trailblazing and ultimately fulfilling, despite the many societal obstacles placed in his way. He became the epitome of honour, a paradigm of duty and a man of elegance during a time of backlash, anger and disappointment.”
A violent altercation between his mom and dad caused his Mom to move with her sons to Harlem in New York City when the young Alexander was a teenager. At age 17, he returned to Canada, and in 1953, following studies in economics and history, then law, he became a lawyer.
In 1985, he became the first black man to take the Vice-Regal position. During his appointment, he worked on race relations, racism, education and youth issues.
On October 19th, 2012, Alexander died peacefully in his sleep.
Source : People’s choice movement