Cal Best

One of the problematic aspects of Black History Month is that the teachings are often focused on very typical black activists and historical figures. This is not to say these incredible individuals don’t deserve the attention, just that it’s also important to
highlight lesser known people and groups.

One such person is Cal Best. He was born in Nova Scotia – as James Calbert Best to be exact - in 1926. Best grew up in an activist household. His mother, Carrie Best, founded and ran a community newspaper focusing on Black issues. Best
would go on to be a lifelong activist.

After graduating from King’s College, Best worked for the Department of Labour overseeing collective bargaining of federally regulated industries. The kicker was that federal government employees were not allowed to unionize themselves or even bargain around their working conditions. Cal Best was elected the President of the Civil Service Association of Canada in 1958.

Best aimed to eliminate the labyrinth of employee situation and unite all workers in a single union with bargaining power and results to prove it. Best worked for the
Civil Service Association of Canada until it merged with the Civil Service Federation. Best is considered to be a father of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. Before his death, Car Best went on to hold higher-ranking government positions and
even acted as Canada’s first black ambassador. He may not have been too flashy, and he may not be well known in the same way as Martin Luther King – but Cal Best is definitely one of our own Canadian activist heroes.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.