It was an early start to the day last Monday for retiree Bev Salmon. She woke up earlier than usual to soak in the celebrations marking U.S. President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.
Later in the evening, she joined some significant personalities in Canada’s Black community to reflect on what the landmark occasion meant to her.
“Like most people, I never thought I would live to see a Black president in the White House,” she told Share. “He’s a compassionate and a marvellous inspiration who has all the qualities that we would like to emulate.”
Speaking at the Canadian Black Caucus community event at St. James Cathedral, Salmon attached qualities to the letters of the American president’s full name that defines what he means to her.
“The ‘B’ is for brave, ‘A’ for ambitious, ‘R’ for responsible, ‘A’ for aristocratic, ‘C’ for courage, ‘K’ for knowledge, ‘O’ for outstanding, ‘B’ for brilliant, ‘A’ for adoring, ‘M’ for meditative and ‘A’ for admired,” said the former Metro Toronto councillor, who lived in Detroit for four years when her late husband, Dr. Douglas Salmon, was doing his surgical residency.
Trailblazers Zanana Akande, the first Black woman elected to the province’s legislative assembly and Canada’s first female Black Cabinet Minister and Dr. Howard McCurdy also spoke at the event.
Denied access to bowl or play pool and golf at public courses because of his skin colour, McCurdy – who was recently appointed a Member of the Order of Canada – led a campaign as a teenager in the 1940s for an anti-discrimination by-law in his Amherstburg hometown.
The Obama celebration was organized by community worker, Gwyn Chapman.
BY RON FANFAIR