An amateur historian in Canada has highlighted a forgotten story of racial injustice, and one of the country’s earliest segregation lawsuits, in hopes of bringing recognition to civil rights pioneers. In 1914, Charles Daniels bought a pair of tickets to see King Lear at Calgary’s Sherman Grand Theatre, but when he attempted to take his orchestra-level seat, he was told by ushers to move up to the balcony level, where other black patrons were seated. Theatre staff told Daniels that his presence made the white patrons uncomfortable. Daniels protested – refused offers of a refund, and left. “The fact that this happened in 1914, in Calgary, Alberta, blew my mind. It broke the whole narrative that these kind of things only happen in the United States,” said Bashir Mohamed, a civil servant who has been scouring the provincial archives in Edmonton for the last two years, and wrote about Daniels’s case in an essay for the Sprawl, a Calgary journalism site. Daniels’s story has re-emerged amid a belated recognition across Canada of past injustices that have been largely absent from the national conversation on race. At the time, the incident at the theatre was widely covered in local papers, with… Read full this story
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