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George Garraway

George Garraway would create history for the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) and Black people across North America. He was the first porter to work as a conductor in Canada. To achieve this honour, Garraway and the Toronto chapter of the BSCP had to convince the leadership of the international union in the United States to support them. In a press release issued April 30, 1955 the union celebrated: “A fight to end the colour bar in employment on Canadian railroads has scored its first success. Mr. George Garraway became the first Negro hired as a Sleeping Car conductor with the Canadian Railway…”

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Image 1: Newspaper articles announcing the employment discrimination complaints and subsequent hiring of George Garraway as the first Black conductor with the CPR. R12294, Vol. 21, File 1. Library and Archives Canada

Image 2: “A fight to end the colour bar in employment on Canadian railroads appears to have scored its first success.” R12294, Vol. 20, File
16. Library of Archives Canada/Canadian Labour Congress

A press release issued in 1955, documenting the story of the hiring of George Garraway. Courtesy of Latanya, Sonya and Stanley Grizzle Jr.

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