Today we celebrate #LincolnAlexanderDay on what would have been his 100th birthday.
Lincoln Alexander, an Honourary Patron of Heritage Mississauga, left an indelible mark on the history, heritage, and landscape of Mississauga and the country.
Alexander has long been considered a trailblazer and was the first Black Canadian member of Parliament (1968), Cabinet minister (1979) and Lieutenant-Governor (Ontario, 1985).
Educational institutions have adopted his name including Lincoln M Alexander Secondary School in Mississauga and Lincoln Alexander School of Law at Ryerson University.
Alexander was a dedicated human rights advocate and in 2000 was appointed chair of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, an organization dedicated to ending racism and racial discrimination in Canada.
In his speech before the House of Commons as MP of Hamilton West on September 20, 1968, he stated:
“I am not the spokesman for the Negro; that honour has not been given to me. Do not let me ever give anyone that impression. However, I want the record to show that I accept the responsibility of speaking for him and all others in this great nation who feel that they are the subjects of discrimination because of race, creed or colour.”
He was subsequently re-elected four times, serving a total of 12 years.
Born on January 21, 1922 in Toronto, Lincoln Alexander’s story reflects the fortitude and determination shown by so many immigrant parents that have come to Canada and who strive to build a life of opportunity for their families and contribute to making this country a better place.
Lincoln Alexander has left an inspiring legacy that instills a sense of pride in all Canadians.