Screening of two documentaries illustrating racial discrimination in Canada’s past, and the struggle to change for the better:
Simply the Best is the story of the remarkable Cal Best. Best was born into a segregated Canada, where the local movie theatre had a “Whites Only” section. He grew up to be an activist and senior civil servant who worked tirelessly to improve conditions for the Black community.
Welcome to Dresden: Jim Crow Lived Here Too documents civil rights struggles in small-town Ontario. In the 1940s and 50s, anti-Black discrimination was common in Ontario. The town of Dresden was the scene of a civil rights struggle that led to the passing of the Fair Accommodation Practices Act of 1954.
Followed by a panel discussion with Arthur Carkner, producer of Simply the Best, and Sarah Onyango, Black History Ottawa and Joanne Robinson, Public Service Alliance of Canada activist.
Offered in partnership with Workers’ History Museum and Black History Ottawa.
Runtime: 120 mins