Black military heritage in Canada is still generally unknown and unwritten. Most Canadians have no idea that Blacks served, fought, and died on European battlefields, all in the name of freedom. The story of the overt racist treatment of Black volunteers is a shameful chapter in Canadian history. It does, however, represent an important part of the Black legacy and the Black experience. It is a story worth reporting and worth sharing.
In this thirtieth-anniversary edition of Ruck's celebrated history of Nova Scotia's No. 2 Construction Battalion, known as the Black Battalion, the original text and over 60 photographs and documents is presented for a whole new generation of readers, along with a new foreword and photographs from journalist Lindsay Ruck, Calvin W. Ruck's proud granddaughter.
Calvin W. Ruck was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, and graduated from the Maritime School of Social Work at Dalhousie University. A member of many organizations, including the Society for the Protection and Preservation of Black culture in Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the North Preston Medical Child Care Society, and the East Preston Lions Club, he was actively involved in the area of human rights as a volunteer and a civil servant for more than forty years. Appointed to the Senate of Canada in 1998, Calvin Ruck received numerous awards over his lifetime, including two honorary doctorates and the Order of Canada. He died in Ottawa in 2004.