Portia May White National Historic Person (1911-1968)
Portia May White was designated as a national historic person in 1995.
Historical importance: Acclaimed vocalist from the Black Nova Scotian community.
Commemorative plaque: 454 Prince Street, Truro, Nova Scotia
The first African-Canadian woman to win international acclaim, contralto Portia White had a remarkable career on the concert stage. Born to a musical family, she was taught to sing by her mother and sang in the choir of this church where her father was pastor. Her talent was nurtured by the Halifax Ladies' Musical Club and Dr. Ernesto Vinci of the Halifax Conservatory. Between 1940 and 1948 her debuts in Toronto and New York, and recitals across North and South America and in the Caribbean became a source of pride for all Canadians.
The National Program of Historical Commemoration relies on the participation of Canadians in the identification of places, events and persons of national historic significance. Any member of the public can nominate a topic for consideration by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.
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