“I can’t speak to being a force for change,
but I take it and wear it proudly.”
– Measha BrueggarGosman-Lee, Toronto, date unknown
In more recent times, there are many individuals within Fredericton’s Black community who have demonstrated outstanding perseverance and excellence in their own right.
To name only a few, there’s Eldridge Eatman, a world champion athlete sprinter; Gerald Carty, one of the youngest commissioned officers in the RCAF who during WWII flew over 35 bombing missions over German-occupied Europe; Esther (Taylor) Burgess, American civil rights activist; and Measha BrueggarGosman-Lee, internationally acclaimed soprano singer.
We invite you to learn more about the following 13 individuals have contributed to the social enfranchisement of their selves and their community (each link opens to a biography):
Willie O’Ree (b. 1935) – “The fact that I was Black never came up when we played as kids. You could have been purple with a green stripe down the middle of your forehead, and it wouldn’t have mattered. It was only later, when I became older, that I learned what ‘colour barrier meant.” Watch his video interview…
Robert (1917 – 1944) and Cyril Henry (1914-1947) – Lest we forget: Private Robert Lawrence Henry and Private Cyril Ernest Henry, commemorated on pages 333 and 596 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance.
Hedley Nash (1912 – 2002) and Devorah “Dorrit” Hacker (1923 – 2007) – It was the dance that brought them together, and throughout 57 years of marriage they retained their love of dance. Watch their daughter Deby Nash’s interview…
Louis “Lou” Sterling Lawrence (1927 – 2013) – An identical twin, who was without peers as a middleweight boxer.
June (Howe) Carty (b. 1927) – “I’ve had a wonderful life. I’ve had a fabulous life! Actually, where I’m living now for seventy years, is just within a mile or two of where I was born… you couldn’t get me to move off the street because it’s been a blessed place…” Watch her video interview…
Measha BrueggarGosman-Lee (b. 1977) – “I can’t speak to being a force for change, but I take it and wear it proudly.”
Eldridge “Gus” Eatman (1880 – 1960) – The greatest athlete ever produced out of New Brunswick in his era.
Arthur “Seymour” Tyler (1897-1985) – An honoured member of New Brunswick’s Black community: “for the work he did to promote the pride, unity and dignity of his race through education.”
Edith Henry (1925 – 2016) – Became a leader in Fredericton’s disabled community, representing New Brunswick (as one of only two women) on the national wheelchair track and field team.
Gerald Carty (1925 – 2008) – Flight Lieutenant Gerald Carty flew 35 bombing missions over German-occupied Europe during the Second World War.
Manny McIntyre (1918 – 2011) – “We never worried about playing in the NHL, because we knew we were good enough to play there and we thought our chance would eventually come.”
Esther (Taylor) Burgess (1911 – 2004) – “My only crime was the color of my skin.”