Secret Life of Canada·Video

5 amazing black trailblazers you should know year round

The Secret Life of Canada tells the stories of five black change-makers with legacies worth celebrating.

Black History Month may be over but the need for inclusive history is not

5 black trailblazers that changed Canada

5 years ago
Duration 4:52
As Black History Month winds down, The Secret Life of Canada wants to make sure you know about these 5 amazing trailblazers who had a major impact on Canada.

Black History Month technically ends today, but the creators of The Secret Life of Canada believe black histories should be shared year-round. In the short video above, co-hosts Leah Simone-Bowen and Falen Johnson present five historic black trailblazers with legacies worth celebrating in February and beyond.

Hear all five stories in more detail below. 

1) Rosemary Brown

Social worker turned politician Rosemary Brown (1930–2003) was Canada's first black female MPP and the first woman to run for leadership of a federal political party.

2) Jackie Shane

Jackie Shane was a pioneering singer and trans trailblazer that came to prominence during Toronto's bustling Yonge Street music scene during the 1960s. Earlier this month, she died at the age of 78

3) Eleanor Collins 

Eleanor Collins, also known as Canada's first lady of jazz, was the first black person in North America to host a nationally broadcast television series, The Eleanor Show, which began in 1954.

4) John Ware

John Ware was a legendary black cowboy who helped build Alberta's ranching industry. (Please be advised that this shout out contains strong language.) 

5) Donald Moore

In the early days of Caribbean migration to Canada, Donald Moore was a leader and critical community organizer. His story is among many highlighted in the episode The Province of Jamaica.