"I Was Unable to Identify with Topsy" Carrie M. Best's Struggle Against Racial Segregation in Nova Scotia, 1942

  • Constance Backhouse University of Western Ontario


This paper reports on an eventful court case that has been buried in Canadian legal archives for fifty-six years. In 1942, Carrie Best brought an action against a Nova Scotia theatre, charging the owners with racist discrimination. Dr. Best, an African-Canadian who was a former teacher, journalist, and founder of The Clarion (a newspaper which she began publishing in 1945) has been a tireless advocate for human rights and has fought against racial discrimination and segregation in Nova Scotia. At the age of 95, she lives in her home community of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. We dedicate this article to Dr. Best and her pioneering struggle against racial segregation.
Original Research