Google Doodle honours pioneering Black Canadian journalist-activist Carrie Best

Dec 17 2021, 8:38 pm

Google honoured Carrie Best, historic Nova Scotian journalist and activist, in a Google Doodle on Friday.

Born in New Glasgow, NS, in 1903, Best is remembered for laying the foundation for journalism in Nova Scotia, and being the co-founder of the first Black-owned newspaper in the province.

Her biweekly paper, The Clarion, was launched in 1946, and made a major mark in Canadian civil rights history after the story of Black Canadian civil rights activist and beautician Viola Desmond was featured in it.

Desmond, also from Nova Scotia, had Best’s support and solidarity after she refused to leave a racially segregated, whites-only area of a cinema in 1946.

Nova Scotia Archives

The incident happened at the Roseland theatre in Best’s hometown of New Glasgow, where Best, too, had experienced racial discrimination just three years prior, reported Google. She was arrested for sitting in the whites-only section and proceeded to sue the theatre, but lost her case.

“Encouraged by her parents to take pride in her heritage, she decided from a young age to refuse racial stereotypes and immerse herself in historical and literary works written by Black Canadians and African-Americans,” reads the description pairing Best’s Google Doodle.

Aside from playing a key role in arguably the most well-known case of racial discrimination in Canadian history — and publishing her reports on other subjects in print, Best also contributed her voice to Canadian radio by developing her own radio show focused on poetry, music, and activism, called The Quiet Corner. She firmly stood for human rights and fought for BIPOC Canadians‘ rights every step of the way.

Best passed away aged 98 in 2001 in New Glasgow.

In May — 75 years after Best’s momentous coverage of Desmond’s story in The Clarion — a national survey revealed that 78% of Black Canadians believed racism is a “severe” problem, and 70% said they experienced racism regularly.

Imaan SheikhImaan Sheikh

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