This week, I read “John ‘Army’ Howard, Canada’s First Black Olympian: A Nation-Building Paradox.” In this article, the author gives in-depth details explaining the relationship between race in Canada during the early 1900’s. She uses John Armstrong Howard, a sprinter from Canada during the Olympics to go into depth about this relationship

One piece of information that this source provided that I already knew was “Soon,
sport was widely believed to be necessary for keeping the population healthy, and girls
were also introduced to athletics (although of a less vigorous nature).” In my Sports and The Making Of The Americas class, we discussed how women would participate in sports in North America, including soccer, gymnastics, and other sports. However, men saw the success of women’s sports and decided not to allow them to play so that men’s sports would be watched more. Women were allowed to participate in certain sports that men found to be better for women. Sports that women could play were less vigorous, physical, and protected womanhood.

One piece of information that I did not know is Canada’s history of racism. As you know, I am a history major, but most classes do not focus on Canada’s history; instead, it is more focused on Europe, Asia, and the United States. I never knew about the Immigration Act and how the Canadian government put it in place to prevent a large number of races that they see to be undesirable from entering the country. As a country, they did not want the number of people from these races to get above a certain percentage of the population. I also did not know that the immigration act was not enforced if they needed workers. The Canadian government would allow certain races to go through if they were not getting enough immigration from certain European countries.

The last piece of information that I learned from this piece that I am going to focus on is the AAUC or Amentuer Athletic Union of Canada. The AAUC was the organization in Canada that organized nonprofessional sports in the country. What struck me as interesting was that the AAUC did not use race as a reason not to allow someone to compete. The country as a whole had a firm outlook on certain races, but the AAUC did not incorporate those ideas into the organization. The only thing that could prevent someone from competing was if you were a professional athlete instead of an amateur. A professional athlete was paid to compete, and an amateur could not compete against a professional athlete. I never expected this to be the case because of how Race in Canada was talked about in the previous pages.