Black rights’ roots

Rating: NNNNNJOURNEY TO JUSTICE (Roger McTair, 2000) profiles the heroes of the black civil rights movement in Canada with little.


Rating: NNNNN


JOURNEY TO JUSTICE (Roger McTair, 2000) profiles the heroes of the black civil rights movement in Canada with little emotion but lots of care. Though some might argue with the unqualified happy ending, this National Film Board documentary covers its bases with remarkable finesse. McTair has compressed miles of archival footage on his subjects to give a vivid illustration of their stories. And he doesn’t just rely on talking heads. That said, it’s fortunate that many of the subjects are still alive and eager to share their experiences. The most engaging is Stanley G. Grizzle, a citizenship judge who endured the economic discrimination that forced black men into demeaning servitude on the Canadian Pacific Railway, then helped shape the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters into a politically savvy lobby group. Others are profiled so swiftly that their personalities don’t always come across. But the facts carry their own emotional weight. White Canadians were just as bigoted as Americans in the 1900s, and it’s inspiring to learn about the African Canadians who didn’t let them get away with it. Premieres at the Sheraton Centre in celebration of Black History Month. NNN (Thursday, February 22)

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