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He Overcame Oppression to Achieve His Goals

"The Hon. Lincoln Alexander"

Lincoln Alexander had every reason to become a bitter person. Because he was black, he had to work twice as hard to achieve half as much as the average young man his age.

Lincoln's parents came from the Caribbean around 1918, to Toronto, where blacks were banned from many places. His dad became a railway porter, his mother a maid. Lincoln was born a few years after their arrival. In 1940, the young Lincoln moved to Hamilton and took a job in a war plant.

But like most young men of the time, he wanted to serve his country. He joined the air force and became a corporal. After the war, he earned his BA from McMaster University but, because he was black, his job offer was factory work, not office work.

Undaunted, Lincoln went back to school, earned a degree in law, and began practising. Later, he ran for federal politics, lost on his first try, won the next five elections and became Canada's first black cabinet minister in 1979. On September 20, 1985, he was sworn in as Ontario's 24th Lieutenant Governor.

His Honour Lincoln Alexander. .. a determined individual who overcame oppressive odds to achieve his goals. . . another Canadian Achiever.

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