Solidifying Our
Communities

(1900s-1940s)

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Community leaders in a variety of professions gain local and national prominence for their societal contributions, local Black men take up jobs as sleeping car porters and fulfil military positions in WW1 and WW2, and Black Hamiltonians struggle with enduring systems racial discrimination while trying to access equal education, job opportunities, and housing.

NOTE: Resources containing hyperlinks to online materials are highlighted in Bold font

“Aug. 7, 1932: Ray Lewis becomes first Canadian black athlete to win Olympic medal.” Hamilton Spectator, September 23, 2016.

“Black soldiers faced own battle.” Hamilton Spectator, May 17, 2012.

 

“Black Volunteers in the First World War.” (2018). Canadian Encyclopedia.

 

“Former Hamilton Station (Canadian National) National Historic Site of Canada.” Parks Canada.

 

“George Morton Jr., Letter Carrier & Civil Rights Advocate.” Workers’ City.

 

“Hamilton Police Historical Society & Museum - Black History.” (2021). Facebook.

 

“James Franklin.” (2015). Canadian Encyclopedia.

 

“John Christie Holland.” (2015). Canadian Encyclopedia.

 

“John Christie Holland.” African Canadian Online.

 

“Phil Edwards.” (2016). Canadian Encyclopedia.

 

“Ray Lewis.” (2021). Canadian Encyclopedia.

 

“Who is a Freemason?” Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons Province of Ontario and Jurisdiction.

 

A. Jeffers Toby, ed. (1991). Hamilton: A Black Perspective. A History of Blacks and their Contribution. Hamilton: Afro Canadian Caribbean Association of Hamilton and District. [link to resource in the Hamilton Public Library Catalogue - https://hpl.bibliocommons.com/v2/record/S125C10522]

 

Aaron Parry. (2021). Deeply Rooted: A Hamilton Black History Activity Book. Afro Canadian Caribbean Association.

 

Adrienne Shadd. ‘Little Africa’: Where Do We Go From Here?: Report to Culture Division, Community Service Services Department. City of Hamilton. [Appendix F in PDF]

Adrienne Shadd. (2010). “Little Africa’ Revisited: Tracing Hamilton Mountain’s Black Community:” Report to Culture Division, Community Service Services Department. City of Hamilton. [Appendix F in PDF]

 

Adrienne Shadd. (2010). The Journey From Tollgate to Parkway: African Canadians in Hamilton. Dundurn Press. [link to resource in the Hamilton Public Library Catalogue - https://hpl.bibliocommons.com/v2/record/S125C155096]

 

Al-X. (1995). “Hamilton’s First Family of Jazz and Blues,” View, 9.

Brian Henley. “For a Time, the Klan Reared its Ugly Head,” Hamilton Spectator, June 22, 1991.

 

Gary E. French. (1978). Men of Colour: An Historical Account of the Black Settlement on Wilberforce Street and in Oro Township, Simcoe County, Ontario, 1819-1949. Kaste Books.

 

Hamilton Public Library Special Collections. (1972). Ray Lewis Scrapbook. Hamilton Public Library. [link to resource in the Hamilton Public Library Catalogue - https://hpl.bibliocommons.com/v2/record/S125C32360]

 

Hamilton Public Library Special Collections. (1987). Stewart Memorial Church: scrapbook. Hamilton Public Library. [link to resource in the Hamilton Public Library Catalogue - https://hpl.bibliocommons.com/v2/record/S125C6073]

 

Hamilton Public Library Special Collections. (1994). Blacks: scrapbook. Hamilton Public Library. [link to resource in the Hamilton Public Library Catalogue - https://hpl.bibliocommons.com/v2/record/S125C11932]

 

“Canada’s first Black soldier to fall in action.” Hamilton Spectator, April 4, 2021.

Jessie Louise Beattie. (1956). John Christie Holland: Man of the Year. Ryerson.

 

John Cooper. (1999). Shadow Running: Ray Lewis, Canadian Railway Porter & Olympic AthleteUmbrella Press. [link to resource in the Hamilton Public Library Catalogue - https://hpl.bibliocommons.com/v2/record/S125C24037]

 

John Cooper. (2002). Rapid Ray: The Story of Ray Lewis. Tundra Books. [link to resource in the Hamilton Public Library Catalogue - https://hpl.bibliocommons.com/v2/record/S125C569569]

 

Johnson, Stephen. (2019). “A Cross-Burning on Hamilton Mountain.” Gathering Partnerships.

 

Kristin McLaren. “‘We had no desire to be set apart’: Forced Segregation of Black Students in Canada West Public Schools and Myths of British Egalitarianism.” Social History, 37(73), 27-50.

 

Local History & Archives Hamilton Public Library. Flickr.

 

Local History & Archives: Historical Images. Hamilton Public Library.

 

Local History & Archives. Hamilton Public Library.

 

Mark McNeil. “Hamilton teen first Canadian black soldier to die in First World War.” Hamilton Spectator, May 12, 2015.

 

Mark McNeil. “The Legend of the Washingtons,” Hamilton Spectator, March 28, 1987.

 

Natasha Henry & Adrienne Shadd. (2003). “...and still I rise:” A History of Black Workers in Ontario, 1900 to Present. Workers Arts and Heritage Centre.

Workers Arts and Heritage Centre. “African Canadian Workers: From 1900 to the Second World War.” (2007). The Virtual Museum of Canada.


Workers Arts and Heritage Centre. The Souls of Black Folk: Hamilton’s Stewart Memorial Community. Virtual Museum of Canada.

Local Newspaper Articles (Chronological)

*Physical Hamilton Spectator articles may be found in the Hamilton Public Library archives. More info: https://lha.hpl.ca/articles/hamilton-spectator-collection-0

“Escaped from Slavery: Interesting Incident in the Life History of a Man Who Still Resides in Hamilton.” Hamilton Herald, August 23, 1902.

“Henry Criel Dead: Well-Known Citizen Passes Peacefully to the Great Beyond.” Hamilton Spectator, October 17, 1904.

“Prof. Gant Dead: Best Known Colored Resident of City Passes Away.” Hamilton Herald, January 18, 1905.

“Professor Gant Dead: Well-known Barber Succumbed to Bright’s Disease This Morning.” Hamilton Spectator, January 18, 1905.

“Bicycle Thief Got One Year: Coloured Youth, With a Past, Sent to Central Prison by Police Magistrate.” Hamilton Herald, August 24, 1907.

“Mrs. J. Diggs has Joined the Great Majority.” Hamilton Herald, November 20, 1919.

“Ku, Klux, Klan Rears Head in City of Hamilton with 32 Initiations.” Toronto Globe, November 19, 1924.

“Ladies Klan Would March to City Hall: Mrs. E. Miller Declares K.K.K. Has 1000 Members Here.” Hamilton Herald, March 20, 1925.

“Ku Klux Klan: Crusaders Have No Feeling Towards the Order.” Hamilton Spectator, March 27, 1925.

“Klan Organizing in this District.” Hamilton Spectator, March 1, 1930.

“Johnson Claims Indian Descent: No Negro Blood in Him, Victim States.” Hamilton Spectator, February 18, 1925.

“G. Morton Dead: He Was Letter Carrier and on Local Staff for 36 Years.” Hamilton Herald, August 20, 1927.

“Thomas J. Holland is Called to Rest: Was Last Surviving Member of the Noted O’Bannyon (sic) Jubilee Singers.” Hamilton Herald, June 11, 1928.

“Klansmen of Hamilton Defend Their Conduct in ‘Raid’ at Oakville.” Toronto Globe, March 3, 1930.

“Former Coloured Colony on Mount Dubbed Little Africa.” Hamilton Spectator, 15 July 1936.

“Coloured Refugees Formed Settlement.” Hamilton Spectator, 15 July 1946.

 

“States Racial Prejudice Here Hurts Negroes.” Hamilton Spectator, January 16, 1937.

“Mission School, Frame Church, Toll Gates.” Hamilton Spectator, 15 November 1947.

“Negro Veteran Denied Admission to Dundurn Dance.” Hamilton Spectator, July 7, 1948.

“Racial Discrimination Motion Lost in Council.” Hamilton Spectator, July 13, 1948.