Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The Fifties in Canada

Not sure how I missed this the first time around, but I've just come across this great documentary series on the Fifties in Canada. Of course, part of the answer of why I missed it might be that it was on CPAC - not exactly a television station that usually gets folks talking. Too bad really.

But I've just watched a great episode called 'One Canada' on the lead-up to Diefenbaker's Bill of  Rights in 1960, putting it in the context of the anti-semitism of Canadian society in the era.

It's a bit simplistically done: how much would it have been to put this also in the context of American civil rights demands, for example? Surely, the international context was fundamental.

And the focus almost entirely on anti-semitism doesn't get it quite right. See this great CBC show from 1954 on Dresden Ontario and the battle over whether African Canadians there could get served at the local soda shop and get jobs anywhere in town.

But, overall, the series on the decade looks great, and reminds us, yet again, about what a complex figure was John G Diefenbaker.

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