SMU student contributes profiles to African-Canadian war heroes celebration

Until November 18, visitors to the Patrick Power Library can get a look at one Saint Mary’s student’s contribution to a national effort to commemorate Canada's contributions to the First World War.

James During (right, beside his profile of Pte. George Downey) is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in History. He researched and wrote biographies of five African-Canadian soldiers for an exhibit in Parks Canada’s “‌Hometown ‌Heroes" initiative, which commemorates the stories of Canadians who fought in the Great War, with exhibits at National Historic Sites nationwide. A permanent display of James’ work can be found at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, with the Patrick Power Library hosting a copy.

James’ research focused on members of the No. 2 Construction Battalion, the only black battalion in the Canadian Forces during World War I. The battalion, largely comprising African-Nova Scotians, also included black soldiers from Ontario, Western Canada, and the United States.

James conducted research at the Nova Scotia Archives and the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia.

 James During

James During