Talk about ice breakers. Did you know: there was a Colored Hockey League and that it predates the NHL?
Did you know: there exists such a thing as Black Nova Scotians?
The Colored Hockey League was formed in the 1890s in Nova Scotia and featured players who were descendants of the original Black Nova Scotians (who fled colonial America as slaves or freeman).
Before the CHL, the white leagues played hockey in a primitive gentle manner (think croquet). But with teams such as the Dartmouth Jubilees, the Halifax Eurekas, the Truro Sheiks, and the AfricVille Brown Bombers, the CHL transformed hockey into the fast-paced, competitive game we see today, and elements such as the slapshot and more agile goalies are said to have their origins in the Colored Hockey League.
The CHL also broke the ice, as far as race relations between the fledgling black and white Canadians. Allegedly dispelled were stereotypes that blacks couldn’t endure cold climates, or that blacks didn’t have ankles strong enough to ice skate.
For every soul-crushing dream and life slavery extinguishes, another soul-inspiring and life-giving dream is born.
Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895-1925 is available from Amazon.