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New stamps commemorate black Canadians

<p>They made history, and now they're postage. Stamps depicting pioneers Rosemary Brown and Abraham Doras Shadd were unveiled in Cole Harbour, N.S., Sunday.</p>

They made history, and now they're postage.

Stamps depicting pioneers Rosemary Brown and Abraham Doras Shadd were unveiled in Cole Harbour, N.S., Sunday.

Dolly Williams, the Nova Scotia representative for the Congress of Black Women of Canada, said the stamps are being unveiled in a few locations across Canada and she wanted one of them to be Halifax.

“It’s part of Black History Month celebrations,” she said.

The keynote speaker at the unveiling luncheon at Cole Harbour Place was Lieutenant Governor Mayann Francis.

Both Brown and Shadd were born outside of Canada but both made history here.

Brown was born in Jamaica. She became the first black woman to be elected to public office in 1972 in B.C. She served in that province's legislature until 1986. She was also the first black woman to run for the leadership of a national political party — the NDP — in 1975.

Shadd was born in Delaware in 1801. He was involved in anti-slavery activities including the underground railroad before moving to Ontario in 1853. The shoemaker and father of 13 was elected the first black politician, a town councillor, in Ontario in 1858.

“It’s a great time to do this during Black History Month, because people don’t realize what blacks have done in this country,” Williams said. “Even here in Nova Scotia, you talk about Citadel Hill — people are not aware Jamaican Maroons were a part of building that hill.”

 
 
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