Lincoln Alexander, Canada’s 1st Black MP, would have turned 100 today and is still touching hearts

Lincoln Alexander is remembered as Canada’s first Black member of Parliament and federal cabinet minister, and Ontario’s first Black lieutenant-governor.

However to these whose lives he touched, Alexander, who may have turned 100 Friday, he’s much more.

Evelyn Auchinvole remembers how Alexander helped Hamilton’s first Black church with its first charter, getting it a charitable tax number, and his making a song.

“I grew up in Stewart Memorial Church with him making a song within the church choir carrying the bass notes along with his big, deep voice,” said Auchinvole, a church historian and archivist.

“As he stepped forward into public existence, we felt that same, I’ll say, lifting up via association.”

Alexander was born Jan. 21, 1922, however spent so much of his life in Hamilton. He represented Hamilton West within the Space of Commons as a Conservative MP for 12 years starting in 1968. He used to be appointed minister of labour in 1979, and in 1985 was once sworn in as Ontario’s lieutenant-governor and served in the position till 1991.

Despite The Fact That he died Oct. 12, 2012, in Hamilton. But he is nonetheless touching lives.

“In my travels around the province, i’m incessantly stopped by individuals who recall vividly what it was like as a young individual to have Lincoln Alexander pause to shake their fingers, look them within the eye, and rejoice their attainable,” Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Ontario’s current lieutenant-governor, stated in an announcement Thursday.

WATCH | Lincoln Alexander reflects on his first 12 months as an MP:

Lincoln Alexander, Canada's 1st Black MP, would have turned 100 today and is still touching hearts

Lincoln Alexander displays on his first year as a Member of Parliament

2 years ago

Duration 2:09

Lincoln Alexander, 12 months into his first term as an MP, talks about what he has learned. 2:09

Alexander’s folks immigrated to Canada from the West Indies. He moved to Hamilton after serving within the Royal Canadian Air Force in the course of the 2D International Conflict, and attended McMaster College in Hamilton and Osgoode Corridor regulation faculty in Toronto.

Lincoln Alexander, parliamentarian and public servant


‘It is not your responsibility to be average’: here is why we rejoice Lincoln Alexander’s legacy

Throughout his political profession, Auchinvole stated, Alexander “brought to the table a various voice that have been missing in Canadian politics.”

In 1992, Alexander used to be additionally appointed a Better Half of the Order of Canada and to the Order of Ontario.

He Is been honoured in other ways. Several basic colleges, a limited-access highway in Hamilton and a law college in Toronto bear his name. The Ontario executive additionally recognizes Lincoln Alexander Day on Jan. 21.

A role type for Black group

As a Black woman and now as a scholar at the Lincoln Alexander College of Legislation at Ryerson College, Safia Thompson stated she could really feel the restrictions society puts on folks very similar to herself. 

“i did not actually be aware what it supposed to soak up space in puts like law faculty or the prison occupation, and that i at all times had to search for that prototype, and Lincoln Alexander is strictly that … he more or less displays us … being a racialized particular person and greatness are not collectively unique concepts,” Thompson mentioned.

Lincoln Alexander, Canada's 1st Black MP, would have turned 100 today and is still touching hearts

Toronto school scholar Safia Thompson says Alexander helped inspire her to pursue law school. (Submitted by Safia Thompson)

Thompson moderated a digital Lincoln Alexander Day event that was hosted through the regulation school Friday and integrated Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alexander’s granddaughter, Erika.

“Listening To approximately Mr. Alexander and the paintings he did and being the primary at many things, occupying roles and being the first individual from the Black community, is what impressed me to need to do the similar,” stated Thompson.

“His center of attention wasn’t simply on helping the Black community, however his center of attention was once on fighting for racial justice and racial fairness for all folks.”

WATCH | Alexander as Canada’s first black lieutenant-governor:

Lincoln Alexander, Canada's 1st Black MP, would have turned 100 today and is still touching hearts

Lincoln Alexander, Canada’s first black lieutenant-governor

36 years ago

Duration 2:31

The son of West Indian immigrant parents is sworn in as the Queen’s representative in Ontario. 2:31

Tania Hernandez attended Afro-Canadian Caribbean Association of Hamilton’s (ACCA) experience final Sunday commemorating Alexander and Martin Luther King Jr., the U.S. civil rights activist born Jan. 15, 1929, who used to be assassinated in 1968.

“It used to be very inspiring and really educational, and it brought the community in combination,” she mentioned in regards to the adventure honouring the 2.

“Both men were luminaries for civil rights justice and just pretty human beings.”

Numerous events are being held Friday to have fun Alexander’s life and legacy.

Hamilton’s Cable 14 will air ACCA’s adventure at 5 p.m. ET. There May Be additionally the province’s annual Lincoln M. Alexander Award ceremony, which honours 3 adolescence who have proven robust leadership in getting rid of racial discrimination.

The NBA’s Toronto Raptors additionally honoured Alexander, sharing a video celebrating his legacy. 

For extra stories in regards to the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success tales within the Black neighborhood — take a look at Being Black in Canada, a CBC undertaking Black Canadians can be pleased with. you’ll read more tales here. 

Lincoln Alexander, Canada's 1st Black MP, would have turned 100 today and is still touching hearts


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