Brief history – Lincoln MacCauley Alexander

 

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

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