Above/featured: Hogan’s Alley: Main Streeet at Union Street.
When a wae lad was I, I viewed Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood through the various lenses of my parents, the people on our block, and the surrounding community. That is, I viewed the area as primarily Chinese, in school and on the streets.
As an important teacher, history can often be painful. But an important and unspoken responsibility as city resident and national citizen is recognition and acknowledgement of these past lessons. I learned years later about the destruction of the African-Canadian community with the construction of the Viaduct, which not coincidentally almost eliminated Chinatown. The Viaduct is a remnant of the planned 1960s highway project in the city of Vancouver, but final removal of the viaduct is coming in the next few years.
February as Black History Month has been officially recognized in Canada since 1995. To honour the rich history by African Canadians in the province, British Columbia has also officially recognized Black History Month.
With the present focus on Nora Hendrix, below are specific examples of Nora’s presence in Vancouver to represent partly the history of African Canadians in the city; there’s much more at Black Strathcona.