I am a descendent of the Black Pioneers of BC.
My family came to Canada by invitation of Sir James Douglas in 1858. Some were free slaves from Clay County Missouri. Others bought their freedom. Their Legacy is an important story for Canada.
When they arrived, they set down roots. My ancestors purchased land and farmed. They were able to keep their land and provide for their families and contribute to society.
After moving to Canada, most of my family were born and raised on Salt Spring and Victoria. This is home and it has been our home for over a hundred and fifty years. At this point in 2020, my family’s stories are very important as they are a big part of Canadian History.
We were taught by our ancestors to respect all people regardless of their race. It does not matter if you’re black or white, we are all equal and we have one thing in common: every person in this entire world has red blood!
The unnecessary killings of black people in this world today is absolutely WRONG! Those that feel they have the right to kill black people with no repercussions are literally trying to turn the clock backwards and that will never happen again.
Today is a new day! White, Black, Indigenous, Chinese – we all have red blood. It is very important that we respect and look out for each other. After all, we have been through in this world it is TIME FOR THE KILLING AND PREJUDICE TO STOP NOW!!
aka Adelene da soul poet
Bertha was born in San Francisco and raised in Vancouver. She started writing poetry at a young age after her mother told her poetry could heal and that it would one day make a difference in the world. Bertha’s grandma owned Vie’s Chicken and Steaks, a legendary restaurant on Vancouver’s Union Street that operated from the early 1940s to the late 1970s. Vie’s restaurant and much of Hogan’s Alley was lost with the construction of the Georgia Viaduct.
Learn about Adelene da soul poet here. Watch a short video about Vie’s Chicken and Steaks, narrated by Bertha. You can learn more about Hogan’s Alley here.
(Return to Racism: Do Not let the Forgetting Prevail)
Do Not Let the Forgetting Prevail
“Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.” — Martin Luther King, 1963
Visit these websites to support and learn more about the history and heritage of BC and Canada’s Black community:
“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots” – Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr.
This is not an exhaustive list of resources. If you know of other resources, please share them with us, so that we may share them with the heritage community.