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Carrie and Cal Best: Black History in Ottawa

STORY BY: Arthur Carkner
YEAR: 1948

Arthur adds an Ottawa tie-in to the well-known story of Viola Desmond. She was denied seating in a Nova Scotia movie cinema. This also happened to Carrie and Cal Best, the publisher and editor, respectively, of the first black newspaper in Canada, the Clarion. Carrie recognized that activism requires a means of communication in order to give it voice. Cal went on to co-found the largest union in Ottawa, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, and to become Canada's first black Ambassador, responsible for bringing Vietnamese refugees to Canada. The documentary about them, Simply The Best, can be borrowed from the Ottawa Public Library. Thanks for sharing, Arthur.

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