With the relaxation of employment barriers due to the war, African Canadians began a more concerted struggle for civil rights. The attitude had become, “if they can hire us in wartime, they can hire us anytime!” As a result of the pressure put on the provincial Ministry of Health and nursing schools by such groups as the Hour-A-Day Study Club of Windsor and the Toronto Negro Veterans Association, Black women were finally admitted for training and gradually employed in hospitals across Ontario by the late 1940s-early 1950s.

In the days before the street protests of the 1960s, African Canadians wrote letters, held meetings, sent delegations to Queen’s Park and Ottawa and staged sit-ins to protest their treatment. They aligned with progressive labour, religious and civil liberties groups.

As a result of these actions, the Fair Employment Practices Act (1951) outlawed discrimination in employment and the Fair Accommodation Practices Act (1954) made discrimination in public accommodations illegal. When companies flouted the law, Blacks directly tested their right to eat in restaurants, sit in movie theatres, skate at local rinks or rent the housing of their choice. Some companies were prosecuted and fined as a result. They started to get the message.
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