So much people don’t know about Black folk in Alberta. Five Stories:

1) Joseph Lewis (1772-1820)

“Fur trader and voyageur Joseph Lewis, also known as Levy Johnston, arrived in the Indigenous territories now known as Alberta and Saskatchewan circa 1799”…
Joseph Lewis - Black Fur Traders in Canada, by Bertrand Bickersteth (2020):

“Joseph Lewis worked in the fur trade in the western part of Rupert’s Land..He is likely the first Black person on record in the territory that became Saskatchewan and Alberta”…
“The Story of Joseph Lewis:
Diversity is Alberta’s strength” by @Paulatics:

“When you picture voyageurs..our textbooks, our miniseries..novels.. heritage parks, don’t tell the stories of black fur traders in the Canadian West..They’ve just been erased”…
2)Hidden Figures: Annie Saunders (ca 1836-98):

“Annie Saunders is an early embodiment of the entrepreneurial spirt among Black settlers on Indigenous territories now known as the province of Alberta..nearly 30 years before Alberta became a province”…
Assembling Auntie: Illuminating a long-forgotten pioneer, by @cdfoggo:

“There is much that has changed about Pincher Creek in the 130 years since Annie Saunders dragged her laundry sack along its dusty lanes, but surely much that has not” @AlbertaViewsMag…
3)John Ware (ca. 1845-1905):

“Ware was born an enslaved Black man on a cotton plantation in the United States circa 1845..He survived enslavement, anti-Black racism and discrimination to become among Alberta’s best known cowboys and ranchers” #ucalgary…
The Secret Life of Canada: S2: Shout Out to John Ware:

“Meet John Ware, the Black cowboy who helped build Alberta's ranching industry and became a legend for his skill as horseman.
Please be advised this episode contains strong language” @CBCNews…
Scotiabank Backbeat | Cheryl Foggo's We Were Here (John Ware Reimagined) via @YouTube
4)Violet King (1929-82)

“Born in Calgary to descendants of the Black pioneers of Alberta,..King was a woman of many ‘firsts.’..only woman in her graduating class..first Black person admitted to the Alberta Bar..first Black woman lawyer in Canada #ucalgary…
Love this Violet King/Alberta counter-narrative:

Outshining others to secure a position:

“‘People told me it wasn’t a good idea for a girl to be a lawyer, particularly a coloured girl — so I went ahead,’ Violet King said on May 5, 1956.” @WhigStandard…
Deficit thinking requires rebuttal. This truism: some among us “have to work twice as hard to get half as far”:

Beyond a Single Story: Black Lives and Hidden Figures in the Canadian Academy | Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences @ideas_idees…
Alberta's first black lawyer [Violet King] remembered by childhood friends:

“King-Henry graduated in the top four of the University of Alberta’s law program in 1953 alongside future Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed.” @CTVNews…
5) Calgarian Virnetta Nelson Anderson (1920-2006):

“migrated to Calgary in 1952 after her husband, Ezzrett ‘Sugarfoot’ Anderson, was recruited by the Calgary Stampede..1974 she was elected to Calgary City Council..first Black alderwoman in..the province”…
Virnetta Anderson Hall:

“Municipal reception hall renamed in honour of former alderman's legacy,” City of Calgary Newsroom (Sept 15, 2020). #yyc #yyccc…
"There weren't many Black faces in Calgary in those years, but my parents encouraged me to embrace that and stand out; 'being unique and different is a good thing,' they'd say."

Calgary's 1st Black city council member to be honoured in municipal building…
6)Unfamiliar w/ the hidden history of anti-Black racism & civil rights struggles in Alberta?

Bashir Mohamed: Calgary’s Unknown Civil Rights Champion:

“We Want No Dark Spots in Alberta”

In 1914 “Charles Daniels refused to give up his seat” @sprawlcalgary…
Uncovering Calgary’s submerged stones of Black life.

Albertan rediscovers theatregoer's fight against segregation 104 years ago:

“Charles Daniels faced racism when he tried to see a play in Calgary in 1914. His story is finally being told” #yyc @CBCNews…
Calgary filmmaker explores what could be Alberta’s first civil rights case

“Calgary historian and filmmaker @cdfoggo believes Alberta’s first civil rights case was filed in Calgary in 1914. Foggo explores the case and the man behind it in a new film” #yyc…
'Not just in the US': amateur historian highlights Canada's forgotten racism:

“In 1914, Charles Daniels bought a pair of tickets to see King Lear at Calgary’s Sherman Grand Theatre..when he attempted to take his orchestra-level seat, he was move”…
7)What’s at stake in denying anti-Black racism in Alberta?

“May 12, 1922, Lulu Anderson tried to buy a ticket to ‘The Lion and The Mouse’ at the former Metropolitan Theatre on Jasper Avenue..member of the Black staff denied Lulu entry”
8)Lulu Anderson
“Anderson stood up for racial justice in 1922.. when racial violence was commonplace. Alberta theatres often presented minstrel shows performed by white people in make‐up or ‘blackface’ that ridiculed people of African descent”…
9)Civil rights champion Ted King. 1925-2001

“night school at the @UCalgary and attained an accounting diploma”

“president of the Alberta Association for the Advancement of Coloured People from 1958 to 1961..advocated for..rights of Black Canadians” #yyc…
10)Let me conclude w/ this thought about the ahistorical “racism denial industry”:

Racism in Canada thrives and pretending otherwise nourishes it, say people who live it

“There are 3 Alberta civil rights cases you've probably never heard of” #yyc #racism…

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More from @MalindaSmith

17 Oct
This is what continuing colonialism & systemic racism look like in everyday practice, while the rcmp *watch* &, unsurprisingly, things spiral out of control

“Non-natives [white fishermen] removing lobster traps set by Indigenous fishermen in western N.S.”…
We’ve watched in real-time this “ugly confrontations over a First Nation's commercial lobster fishing operation”, ignorance over treaty rights, rcmp inaction fuelling downward spiral.

“Lobster protests: Nova Scotia RCMP arrest two at wharf in Weymouth”…
Whose accountable for inaction?

The dispute over lobster fishing in Nova Scotia is now totally out of control:

“things got completely out of control after non-Indigenous fishermen trapped two Mi'kmaw fishermen inside a lobster pound and burned their van”…
Read 18 tweets
16 Oct
Pleased to participate in this necessary consultation on Addressing Racism Experienced by Indigenous Peoples in Canada’s Health Care System | La contre le racisme subi par les peuples autochtones dans les systèmes de soins de santé du Canada. #JoyceEchaquan
Meeting opened in a good way by Elder Dr Cook, Inuk Elder David Serkoak. #JoyceEchaquan
Meeting Co-Chairs Dr. James Makokis (Saddle Lake Cree Nation physician) and Dr Raven Dumont-Maurice (Santé des Premières Nations et des Inuits du Québec). #JusticeforJoyce
Read 7 tweets
30 Aug
On memory & forgetfulness: I’ve studied or lived through the rise & fall of many statutes, monuments, walls, etc. Ask: who & what do these represent then & now? “History” isn’t singular, not static.

Falling Down: History's Toppled Statues And Monuments…
2) Toppling Monuments, a Visual History. @nytimes:

“History is littered with the shattered remains of toppled statues, and more are toppling now in the American South”…
3)”in 1776..after the Declaration of Independence was ratified..a moment that was immortalized in a mid-19th-century painting, soldiers and civilians tore down a gilded statue of Britain’s King George III in Manhattan”

Toppling Monuments, a Visual History…
Read 43 tweets
21 Aug
1)Thread on the diversity of the Black pop in Canada. This heterogeneity often obscured by anti-Black racism, stereotypes & biases that reduce the fact of Blackness to what Desmond Cole names, explores & disrupts in _The Skin We're in_. Some key @StatCan_eng reports/resources👇🏿👇🏾
2)The @StatCan_eng team in CELIS/Centre for Ethnocultural, Language & Immigration Stats is led by consultative Asst Dir Dr Jean-Pierre Corbeil. They draw on a Working Group on Black communities in Canada: me, Afua Cooper, Carl James, Myrlande Pierre, Scot Wortley Frantz Voltaire.
3) Few good statistical profiles of the Black community in Canada pre-CELIS' work in the context of the UN Decade for People of African Descent, 2015-24 & BHM.

Statistics Canada. Blacks in Canada: A Long History. By Anne Milan and Kelly Tran. Spring 2004.…
Read 21 tweets
1 Jul
On being “a Karen” (don’t)
#Karen understands her social position/power w/in systemic racism.Vidéos show how pwr operates in realtime

‘I will call the cops!’ White woman threatens to call police on Black man for blowing leaves…

“Karens” understand threat—calling police on Black ppl, —see it as institution for preserving social power, privilege, comfort.

Black family says white woman called police over dispute about their right to build a patio. #Karen…

Cell phone videos capture today the ugliness of everyday racism and the ubiquitous use of the n-word by “Karens”.
Black folks long shared these stories & often encountered disbelief, denial, by too-many white folks, still. Unlearning racism will be hard👇🏿
Read 21 tweets
19 Jun
Dear @NavdeepSBains, @StatCan_eng, @univcan, @CAUT_ACPPU:
Equity reqs disaggregated visible/racialized minority (race-based) data for all @CRC_CRC, #DimensionsEDI, #HigherEd👇🏾

Race, Ethnicity, &Gender of Full-Time Faculty at >3,400 Institutions @chronicle…
2)@NavdeepSBains, @univcan, @StatCan_eng, @CAUT_ACPPU: Commitments to equity ring hallow w/out simultaneous commitment to the systematic collection of disaggregated data & tracking progress. The adage holds: “if it doesn’t get measured it doesn’t get done”
3)Proposal: Time for @StatCan_eng, @univcan, @CollegeCan & @CAUT_ACPPU to collab in developing common nat’l survey w/disaggregated equity data that can be used in all universities, colleges, institutes. Also more cost effective than each institution developing diff survey #cdnpse
Read 8 tweets

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