Coming January 2019
A historical work of non-fiction that chronicles the little-known stories of black railway porters—the so-called “Pullmen” of the Canadian rail lines. The actions and spirit of these men helped define Canada as a nation in surprising ways, effecting race relations, human rights, North American multiculturalism, community building, the shape and structure of unions, and the nature of travel and business across the US and Canada. Drawing on the stories and legends of several of these influential early black Canadians, this book narrates the history of a very visible, but rarely considered, aspect of black life in railway-age Canada. These porters, who fought against the idea of Canada as White Man’s Country, open only to immigrants from Europe, fought for and won a Canada that would provide opportunities for all its citizens.
Praise for Cecil Foster
Cecil Foster is a wise man with a flair for storytelling and writing that enters the heart.”
—Quill & Quire (Starred Review)
“Cecil Foster kicks up one hell of a class-war fuss and proves he’s got stuff enough to show those mediocre storytellers how it’s really done… Unforgettable.” —The Toronto Star
“I don’t know when I’ve read a more evocative book about black men. Read it and you will see the world differently.” —The Vancouver Sun
“Foster brings historical depth to his work and shows that the social and political recognition of blackness and multiculturalism is itself a contingent moment in history.” —George Dei, University of Toronto