Canada's Sports Hall of Fame Canadian History and Society: Through the Lens of Sport Virtual Museum of Canada

Home | Cultural and Racial Diversity | Black athletes

Black Athletes Introduction


Black Canadian athletes often transformed discriminatory attitudes towards visible minorities by achieving excellence on the field of competition. As captain of the Canadian Olympic track and field team, Dr. Phil Edwards challenged Nazi-fuelled racism at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin with his leadership and athletic prowess, capturing bronze in the 800-m event. The first female black athlete to represent Canada, sprinter Barbara Howard captured medals at the British Empire Games in 1938 and later became the first black teacher to be hired by the Vancouver school board. The only Canadian ever inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, Ferguson Jenkins never forgot the barriers his father had faced only a generation earlier as an athlete in the era of racial segregation. These and the outstanding achievements of many other black athletes have enriched Canada's sport heritage immeasurably, affirming the power of sport to promote equality, diversity, and the universality of human potential.

Previous Next