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Leisure and Recreation

Not only did leisure and recreational activities foster a sense of community spirit among Alberta’s Black community, but a few individuals were also considerably successful at various sports and gained renown not only in Alberta, but also across Canada. During the first few decades of the 20th century, communities hosted large picnics complete with recreational activities. People were encouraged to participate in a wide range of games and to compete against friends and family. Recreational activities encouraged a healthy lifestyle and created fun, convivial opportunities whereby individuals could escape temporarily from the doldrums of labour.

All-Black baseball teams united communities both on and off the field in Edmonton and Amber Valley. Meanwhile, individuals yearning for greater competition excelled in sports such as boxing and track and field, gaining national recognition.

In particular, this section will examine how certain sports affected both the urban and rural Black communities of Alberta. In spite of challenges and setbacks, Alberta’s Black pioneers exerted profound influences on modern-day athletic standards and styles, while exemplifying perseverance and hard work.


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            For more on Black settlement in Alberta, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.

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