Black History Month

Calvin Ruck, an advocate for black rights, was born in Nova Scotia to immigrants from Barbados. Between 1945 – 1958, Ruck was employed with the Canadian National Railways as a porter. The direction of Ruck’s life changed when he and his family set their sights on a home in a white neighbourhood in Westphal near Dartmouth. In an effort to keep them out of the neighbourhood, residents in the area created a petition. Ruck and his family were successful in buying the house of their dreams in 1954. However, ongoing hostility from residents made it an extremely difficult place to live.

To avoid further back-lash, African-Canadians thought it better to put up with the issues rather than challenge the offenders. Ruck eventually became a quiet resister to the racism and inequality. Barbershops would not serve Ruck’s family or the black community. To actively contest the inequality shown by the shop owners, Ruck wouldn’t leave the shop until he was served. A lot of the patrons would not enter the shop, thus affecting the shop’s income.

Ruck enrolled in a social work program and graduated from Dalhousie University in the 1970s. He also served on the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission during the 1980s. He directed his efforts at preserving, telling and commemorating the history of Black Veterans in the First World War – No. 2 Construction Battalion. His efforts resulted in his success at having a permanent Carin erected at Pictou, Nova Scotia, to the battalion’s honour in 1993. Ruck was appointed to the senate in 1998 – He is the third African-Canadian ever appointed to senate.

Calvin Ruck, an advocate for black rights, was born in Nova Scotia to immigrants from Barbados. Between 1945 – 1958, Ruck was employed with the Canadian National Railways as a porter.

The direction of Ruck’s life changed when he and his family set their sights on a home in a white neighbourhood in Westphal near Dartmouth. In an effort to keep them out of the neighbourhood, residents in the area created a petition. Ruck and his family were successful in buying the house of their dreams in 1954. However, ongoing hostility from residents made it an extremely difficult place to live.

To avoid further back-lash, African-Canadians thought it better to put up with the issues rather than challenge the offenders. Ruck eventually became a quiet resister to the racism and inequality. Barbershops would not serve Ruck’s family or the black community. To actively contest the inequality shown by the shop owners, Ruck wouldn’t leave the shop until he was served. A lot of the patrons would not enter the shop, thus affecting the shop’s income.

Ruck enrolled in a social work program and graduated from Dalhousie University in the 1970s. He also served on the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission during the 1980s. He directed his efforts at preserving, telling and commemorating the history of Black Veterans in the First World War – No. 2 Construction Battalion. His efforts resulted in his success at having a permanent Carin erected at Pictou, Nova Scotia, to the battalion’s honour in 1993. Ruck was appointed to the senate in 1998 – He is the third African-Canadian ever appointed to senate.

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