Hope Meets Action
How can we better understand the experiences and contributions of Black British Columbians to correct historical erasure?
This pathway, an online complement to the exhibition Hope Meets Action: Echoes Through the Black Continuum, daylights the living and ongoing history of Black belonging in what is referred to as “British Columbia.” The exhibition was created in partnership with the BC Black History Awareness Society in 2021.
Black “British Columbian” experience has long been whitewashed in the records of colonial history. From Sir James Douglas, the biracial founding governor of the colony of “Vancouver” Island, to the Black pioneers, teachers, soldiers, porters who worked the trans-Canadian railway, and activists who line our streets in protests, Black activism, labour and prosperity have been central to BC’s history.
Yet despite consistent efforts, our ongoing story in these lands has yet to be heard when told by us. As stolen people on stolen land, our history is neither simple nor stagnant. In the face of racial discrimination, Black people past and present have long contributed to the dominion known as “Canada.”
Explore the pathway. Look at images from BC Archives and learn about Hogan’s Alley. Meet Joshua Robertson, the curator and writer of the Hope Meets Action exhibition. Consider how historical moments and figures still echo around us today.