Albert Jackson was born a slave in Delaware around 1856 and his mother Ann Maria Jackson fled in 1858 with her seven children to Philadelphia, where African-American abolitionist William Still ran a station of the Underground Railroad, helping fugitive slaves get to Canada. The family settled in Toronto and in 1882, when many Black men worked as labourers or in the service industry, Jackson landed a government-appointed job as a letter carrier. On his first day, white postmen refused to train him because he was black, so he was reassigned to hall porter.
The incident sparked headlines in “The Evening Telegram” which described him as “the obnoxious coloured man,” saying he elicited “intense disgust of the existing post office staff”. Two days later an editorial in that paper noted, “Objection to the young man on account of his colour is indefensible… Taxes are not made a penny less to a man because he happens to have dark skin.”
Eventually Albert Jackson became Toronto, and Canada’s first black letter carrier where he held that job for 36 years until 1918 when he died. Ironically enough, he used to deliver the mail and now he is on it.
Here is Laurence Dean Ifill describing “The Postman” which is a multi-disciplinary, site-specific, promenade-style play that explores the life and times of Albert Jackson.
We encourage you to request the Albert Jackson Commemorative Book of Stamps in honour of Black History. We are so proud to have ours as we honour Albert Jackson.
Thank you for breaking the colour barrier and for your courage and outstanding service Sir… We salute you!!!
Follow Our Black History Month Series:
- Day 1: Black History Is Everywhere
- Day 2: The Danger Of A Single Story
- Day 3: Super Bowl Sunday
- Day 4: African American Authors
- Day 5: The Reason Behind Black Lives Matter
- Day 6: Viola Desmond
- Day 7: George Dixon
- Day 8: Vivien Thomas
- Day 9: Frank Robinson
- Day 10: Gladys Mae
- Day 11: Hattie McDaniel
- Day 12: Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor
- Day 13: Hazel Dorothy Scott
- Day 14: Viola Liuzzo
- Day 15: James Zwerg
- Day 16: Chuck Cooper
- Day 17: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
- Day 18: The Freedom Riders History
Albert Earl Jr.
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