Approximately 800 blacks from California migrate to Vancouver Island on invitation from Governor James Douglas, who is himself half-black.
Over half return to the US after the end of the American Civil War.
Approximately 500 blacks live in British Columbia.
A comic strip called “Hogan’s Alley” represents a rowdy New York City working class neighborhood.
Fielding Spotts Jr. is one of the first blacks to move from Vancouver Island to Strathcona as the center of economic power shifts to Vancouver.
Approximately 1,000 blacks from Oklahoma migrate to Alberta encouraged by advertisements for the availability of farm land by the Canadian government.
In Strathcona, a narrow lane running from Main to Jackson between Union and Prior is called Hogan’s Alley. Its residents are black, Asian, Italian and Chinese.
Nora and James Hendrix travel to Vancouver looking for work after their vaudeville revue is stranded in Seattle.
Approximately 300 blacks live in Vancouver.
Most black men in Strathcona are employed by railroad companies as Sleeping Car Porters – one of the few jobs available due to racial discrimination.
The black community, including Nora Hendrix, raise money to purchase their own church – the Fountain Chapel at 323 Jackson.
Porters with CN Rail apply to become members of the Canadian Brotherhood of Railroad Employees. Their application is rejected on racial grounds.
The Fountain Chapel choir performs at the Avenue Theater at 711 Main.
The Fountain Chapel congregation ensures a fair trial for Fred Deal, a railroad porter charged with killing a Vancouver Police Constable.
The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters is formed in the US.
The Pullman Porter Club is established at 804 Main.
Ernie King, age 6, arrives with his mother from Alberta.
The City declares eastern Strathcona as industrial. As this makes mortgages or money for renovations difficult to get, the neighborhood begins to deteriorate.
Leona Risby and husband Jim Gibson arrive from Alberta with children Leonard and Thelma and live for a time at 826 E. Georgia.
Leonard Gibson, age 5, earns his first wages tap dancing at the Elks Club.
Nora and James Hendrix move to 827 E. Georgia.
Leonard Gibson, age 10, tours with American performer Eddie Cantor.
Fielding Spotts Jr. dies at age 79, one of the last of the original black pioneers.
Barbara Howard, age 17, becomes the first black female athlete to represent Canada in international competition at the British Empire Games in Australia.
Newspaper articles began associating parts of Strathcona, like Hogan’s Alley, as standing for “squalor, immorality and crime.”
Leonard Gibson, age 14, performs at the Mandarin Gardens at 98 E. Pender and Buddy White’s Cabin Inn at 544 Main.
Approximately 400 blacks live in Vancouver.
Frank Collins becomes President of the Canadian branch of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. The union fights discrimination in jobs and housing.
Twin brothers Robert and Ronnie Crump, age 4, move to Vancouver from Alberta with their family. They live at 333 Powell and later at 863 Keefer.
Approximately 600 blacks live in Vancouver.
The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters sign a contract with CP Rail, the first time a union organized by black men signs an agreement with a Canadian company.
Leonard Lane, age 24, moves to Vancouver from Saskatchewan when he is drafted into the army.
Leonard Gibson substitutes last minute for another dancer for the Katherine Dunham Dance Company and wins a scholarship to dance school in New York.
Vie and Robert Moore open Vie’s Chicken & Steaks at 209 Union.
Barbara Howard becomes the first visible minority hired by the Vancouver School Board and teaches physical education at Strathcona School.
Jimi Hendrix, age 7, lives with his grandmother Nora Hendrix and attends school at the Dawson Annex.
Leona Risby opens the Country Club Café at 247 E. Georgia. Her children Leonard, Thelma and Chic perform Afro-Caribbean jazz and tap floorshows.
The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters survey bars that discriminate against blacks. Managers respond by revoking discriminatory policies.
Approximately 700 blacks live in Vancouver.
The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters sponsor charity dances at the Hastings Ballroom at 828 E. Hastings.
The Fountain Chapel congregation demands an inquiry into the police beating and subsequent death of Clarence Clemons, a black longshoreman.
Leonard Gibson choreographs “Bamboula”, a CBC series showcasing Caribbean music and dance. The inter—racial cast is ‘too risky’ for sponsors and the show is cut.
Robert and Ronnie Crump, age 16, known as the ‘Crump Twins’, are featured in The Province newspaper for their renown as entertainers.
Ernie King opens the Harlem Nocturne Cabaret at 343 East Hastings. Leonard Gibson stages floor shows and introduces the limbo.
The City declares Strathcona an urban blight and ceases to maintain the neighborhood sidewalks, roads, and services.
Leonard Lane attends the founding meeting of the British Columbia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People.
Jimmy Hendrix lives with his grandmother Nora Hendrix after being discharged from the US army.
Strathcona residents unite to fight the City’s urban renewal plans to raze homes and replace them with high-rise towers for low-income housing.
The City plans a freeway through Strathcona, Chinatown, and Gastown. To fight the plan, residents form the Strathcona Property Owners and Tenants Association.
Jimi Hendrix plays the Pacific Coliseum and acknowledges his grandmother Nora in the audience.
Ernie King founds the Sepia Players Theater Company.
Jimi Hendrix dies in London.
The Militant Mothers, including Carolyn Jerome, demand a pedestrian overpass be built so their children don’t have to cross railroad tracks to get to school.
The City abandons its policy of urban renewal. But they approve a new Georgia Viaduct that destroys two blocks of Hogan’s Alley and many homes and businesses.
Vie’s Chicken & Steaks closes.
Nora Hendrix dies, two months before her 100th birthday.
The Fountain Chapel closes and the church is sold.
Nora Hendrix’s former home is restored and receives heritage designation.
Barbara Howard, age 91, is inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame.
Greater Vancouver has a population of over 20,000 blacks who now hold no claim to Strathcona apart from memories, photographs, art and creative literature.
Historical chronology courtesy of Vancouver Moving Theatre
Written by Savannah Walling
Originally printed in Spirit Rising Festival and East End Blues & All That Jazz program guide (February 2011).