They Call Me George: The Untold Story of Black Train Porters and the Birth of Modern Canada

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Biblioasis, 2019 - HISTORY - 296 pages

A historical work of non-fiction that chronicles the little-known stories of black railway porters - the so-called "Pullmen" of the Canadian rail lines. The actions and spirit of these men helped define Canada as a nation in surprising ways; effecting race relations, human rights, North American multiculturalism, community building, the shape and structure of unions, and the nature of travel and business across the US and Canada. Drawing on the stories and legends of several of these influential early black Canadians, this book narrates the history of a very visible, but rarely considered, aspect of black life in railway-age Canada. These porters, who fought against the idea of Canada as White Man's Country, open only to immigrants from Europe, fought for opportunities and rights and won.

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About the author (2019)

Cecil Foster was born in Barbados in 1954. He emigrated to Canada in 1978. He has been a reporter for various newspapers, including The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail, as a transportation expert and business columnist. He has been editor of Contrast, Canada's first Black-oriented newspaper and he was also senior editor for The Financial Post. Cecil has also worked for the CBC in radio and television, and has written the expository Distorted Mirror: Canada's Racist Face, which was published in 1991. Cecil is also well known for his novels, among them No Man in the House, published in 1991, Sleep On, Beloved, published in 1995, Dry Bones Memories in 2001, Where Race Does Not Matter: The New Spirit of Modernity in 2004 and Blackness and Modernity: The Colour of Humanity and the Quest for Freedom in 2007. Foster has become one of the country's most important writers, his fiction has been popular with both critics and the public alike.

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