They Call Me George: The Untold Story of The Black Train Porters

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Racism is certainly front and center in our country today, as we are reminded daily on the news. We have had quite a history of rampant discrimination, but we seldom think of our good neighbors to the north, Canada, as having a similar history. The treatment of Black workers on the Canadian Railway was representative of the treatment of Blacks and Asians in the country as a whole. Black porters, unlike white workers in similar positions, were prevented from moving up the ladder to conductors or other positions. Black porters were simply stuck. Their working conditions and pay were really quite deplorable. Meaningful changes, as in the U.S, didn’t occur until the 1960s.

Author Cecil Foster has clearly done his homework and his fine research is fully on display in this very comprehensive study of endemic racism of the time. He does branch out from the porters’ story and brings in other examples of the problem to round things out. The writing is a bit didactic and this reads often like an academic text. Some very interesting individual stories, such as hockey player, Herb Carnegie, break up the textbook feel. This is a worthwhile read for history buffs.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher Biblioasis
Publish Date 14-May-2019
ISBN 9781771962612 Buy this Book
Issue July 2019
Category History


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