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Author: Matthew McRae


Matthew McRae worked at the Museum as Researcher and as Digital Content Specialist.


The Wilcox County integrated prom

By Matthew McRae

In 2013, graduating students at a high school in Georgia, held their school’s first‐ever integrated prom, where Black and white students could attend together.

A smiling woman stands in front of a red prom dress and a black tuxedo mounted on mannequins. Both the dress and suit are on display behind a glass case.

Seven awesome accessibility features at the Museum

By Matthew McRae

A hand touches braille letters on a museum exhibit.

The chaotic story of the right to vote in Canada

By Matthew McRae

An illustration of people in line waiting to vote. The man in front places his ballot in the box on the table.

The Sharpeville Massacre

By Matthew McRae

Discover how the South African government’s murderous response to peaceful protest inspired local and international action against apartheid.

People stand in front of a row of coffins.

Five women all Canadians should know

By Matthew McRae

The year 2016 marks a century since women in Canada first got the right to vote and so it seems like a fine time to celebrate the achievements of Canadian women.

 Six red dresses are suspended in air on hangers in front of a backdrop. The backdrop features an image of a birch wood forest with more red dresses hanging in it.

The story of Black slavery in Canadian history

By Steve McCullough and Matthew McRae

Canada celebrates being a destination for Americans who escaped slavery via the Underground Railroad. But slavery was also part of Canada’s history for more than 200 years.

Rusted iron manacles hang on hooks on a plain white wall.

The story of Nelson Mandela

By Matthew McRae

Mandela spent 27 years in prison for opposing South Africa’s apartheid system. He refused to give up his efforts to achieve equality for all people.

Un homme et une femme levant le poing en signe de victoire, suivis d’une grande foule.

Bringing the potlatch home

By Matthew McRae

A black and white image of an elderly woman with white hair holding a mask that is shaped and painted to represent a bird’s head. It features a long beak with an open mouth and feathers attached to the top of the head. The woman is looking directly at the mask she is holding.

Making Mandela: Struggle for Freedom

By Matthew McRae

A man and a woman sit in chairs facing each other. There is a microphone on a stand positioned between them. There are also large lights on both sides of the woman’s chair, which are pointed towards the man.

Powered by love: Grandmothers fighting HIV/AIDS

By Matthew McRae

It took Gogo Gladys Tyophol many years to come to terms with the death of her only son.

A head-and-shoulders portrait of Gogo Gladys Tyophol. She is wearing glasses and a blue patterned kerchief wrapped around her head. Her shirt says GAPA and a red AIDS ribbon is attached to her sweater.

Planting a seed: Creating a community garden at the Museum

By Matthew McRae

My partner and I have a small garden just outside the front door of our home. I will admit that it’s not much to look at.

Seven men and women work in a garden on a sunny day. The garden is circular and has very few plants in it. Around the garden are tall grass, trees, a walking path and a sidewalk. In the background, part of the Museum’s stone structure can be seen.

“A cauldron of hell”: The story of Canada’s Hong Kong veterans

By Matthew McRae

On December 8, 1941, the Japanese army launched an attack on the then‐British colony of Hong Kong, located in Southern China.

Three older men in Canadian Legion uniforms sit beside each other. They are all wearing Remembrance Day poppies on their uniforms.

The Chinese head tax and the Chinese Exclusion Act

By Matthew McRae

When he was a little boy growing up in Vancouver, Dr. Henry Yu didn’t understand why his grandfather frequently took him on long walks to visit Chinatown.

Four men sitting on a couch looking at the Camera.

Japanese Canadian internment and the struggle for redress

By Matthew McRae

Before the outbreak of the Second World War, Lena Hayakawa lived what she describes as a very idyllic life.

A black and white image of a woman and two children standing behind a pile of luggage and blankets and looking at the camera.

The story of the Komagata Maru

By Matthew McRae

When Nimrat Randhawa and her family immigrated to Canada in the summer of 2003, they arrived completely in the dark – literally.

A young woman sits on a ledge in a large circular hall. She is smiling at the camera and wearing jeans, a dark blouse and a red jacket

The story of Africville

By Matthew McRae

If you’ve never heard of Africville, you’re not alone. This small Black community was demolished by the City of Halifax in the 1960s. Its residents have been fighting for justice ever since.

A group of wooden houses next to a large body of water with red flowers in the foreground.