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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - A chance encounter by her grandmother almost 50 years ago helped a Stratford high school student win a national RBC Black History Month essay contest.
Black History Month took place in February.
In her essay, Tatiana Kelly, 18, detailed how her grandmother, Florence Kelly, and her father, then four years old, ran into black activist Carrie Best in Halifax.
In 1943, Best confronted racial segregation at a theatre in New Glasgow, N.S. where she purchased tickets for the downstairs seating of the theatre that was reserved for whites only and attempted to watch a film with her son. Both were arrested and fought the charges in an attempt to challenge the legal justification of the theatre’s segregation. Although their case was unsuccessful, Best continued to fight for racial equality her entire life.
“I think it’s impressive to stand up for what you believe in and it does take a lot of courage,’’ Tatiana said when asked what impressed her most about Best. “If you’re going to make a change in the world you have to start with yourself and make that change and so she positively affected society.’’
Watch Kelly read an exerpt from her essay in the video below (story continues after video)