Unveiling of Bust of Lincoln Alexander, Canada’s First Black MP and Former Ontario LG, at Queen’s Park Generates Buzz

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Bust of Lincoln Alexander, Canada's 1st Black MP and former Ontario LG, unveiled at Queen's Park



This past Sunday, Queen’s Park in Toronto witnessed the unveiling of a significant bust of Lincoln Alexander, Canada’s first Black member of parliament and former lieutenant governor of Ontario. A powerful figure in Canadian history, Alexander’s impact resonates through the halls of the legislature as his statue takes its place.

The Legacy of Lincoln Alexander

Born in Toronto, Alexander went on to represent a Hamilton riding as an MP for 12 years between 1968 and 1980, making history as the first Black politician to hold such a distinguished position in the Ontario legislature. Sculpted by the talented Toronto artist Quentin VerCetty, the bust serves as a symbolic commemoration of Alexander’s remarkable journey and the lasting impression he left on Canadian politics and society.

Many Titles Under His Name

VerCetty, in a heartfelt interview with CBC Radio’s Metro Morning, expressed his admiration for Alexander, describing him as “one of the greatest Canadians.” He emphasized Alexander’s varied accomplishments as a war veteran, lawyer, and community activist, solidifying his status as one of the most decorated Canadians of all time.

First Black Lieutenant Governor

In addition to his role as an MP, Alexander held the position of Ontario’s lieutenant governor from 1985 to 1990, marking the first time a Black individual occupied a viceregal position in Canada. Even after his time in politics, Alexander continued to make significant contributions, serving as the chancellor of the University of Guelph for 16 years and using his influence to advocate for Black Canadians.

A Chance Encounter

VerCetty recounted a poignant encounter with Alexander during his youth at Lincoln M. Alexander Secondary School. His encounter with the renowned figure left a lasting impact and sparked a sense of hope and possibility within him. The encounter inspired VerCetty to pursue his education, eventually leading him to a successful career as an artist with a strong sense of purpose.

Afrofuturism and Inspiration

The sculpture of Alexander was crafted with elements of Afrofuturism, a genre that combines history, science fiction, and fantasy to convey the experiences of Black communities. It features subtle details from Alexander’s life, including nods to his love for the iconic movie franchise, Star Wars. VerCetty’s ultimate hope is for the sculpture to inspire viewers to reflect on their potential for greatness and how they can embody their own legacy.

In a world where representation and recognition are vital, the unveiling of Lincoln Alexander’s bust in the Ontario legislature creates a space for inclusivity and shared history. It serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring impact of influential figures and the importance of commemorating their achievements for future generations. The honor bestowed upon Alexander through this sculpture stands as a testament to the spirit of progress and the profound effect of individuals who defy the odds to leave an indelible mark on their communities and the world.



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