Just as the lindy hop and jitterbug broke loose of traditional dance forms, so too, African Canadians began to break loose of the racist restrictions that had kept them down. Community and cultural activities continued to play an important role in people’s lives. As always, the community would produce those whose excellence and achievement could not be denied. However, many would still make the trek south to the United States. By contrast, the Canadian government – under pressure from the Black community to ease immigration restrictions – moved to admit Caribbean nurses and other professionals in the 1950s under the “exceptional merit” clause of the Immigration Act.
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