Ron has been a student and collector of Black History for more than a decade and has given numerous presentations on BC and Canadian Black History to various societies and groups in the Victoria area. He is the Vice President and Chairman of the Events Committee of the BC Black History Awareness Society, and also the former Vice President and current member of the Victoria Genealogical Society. He endeavours to further the cause and awareness of Black History in Canada.
What reading material is on your bedside table?
I’d have to say none. I’m not much for reading in bed, and I tend to start dozing off and lose my place every time I try. So I don’t keep any books on my bed side table. Mostly, I would get up to read and a few of the books I’m reading, want to read or want to re-read are:
David by Ray Robertson (just finished it)
Sarah’s Journey by David Beasley (want to re-read)
Before You Do: Making Great Decisions that You Won’t Regret / T.D. Jakes (yet to read – maybe I should have read it before I did this interview?!)
Where is your favourite place to read?
I have a special chair in the corner of the living room, where I can put my feet up and also see out the balcony window. When out of doors, I have a particular bench at Cattle Point where I like to sit and read, weather permitting. And, of course, I like to read in the upper lounge on the ferry.
What was your favourite book when you were a child?
I have to admit that when I was a child, I didn’t read much more than I had to at school. I was more into sports. However, there is a fairly recent publication that I would recommend for children today: The Kids Book of Black Canadian History by Rosemary Sadlier.
What book would you like all Canadians to read?
Since I am the Featured Reader during Black History Month, I would have to say that I would like all Canadians to read The Blacks in Canada by Robin Winks
What are your top 5 desert island must-have books?
When I first read this question, I said to my wife “About the only book I can think of about a desert island is “Gilligan’s Island“. My wife is still laughing. So, if you mean which books would I want to have with me if I was stranded on a desert island, I would mention the following, although it’s hard to pick just five:
The Underground Railroad by William Still. My great grandfather’s escape from slavery is recorded in this book and I consider it the Bible of the Underground Railroad.
Bury the Chains by Adam Hochschild
Rough Crossings by Siman Shama
I’ve Got a Home in the Glory Land by Karolyn Smardz Frost
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
How do you choose what to read next?
A lot of the books I read are referred to me by others who know my interests. I also watch Tavis Smiley on PBS who interviews a lot of interesting authors of recently published books.
If you could live the life of a fictional character, who would it be?
I don’t read much fiction, but after giving it some thought, I think I’l like to be Geordi La Forge, from Star Trek: The Next Generation, played by Levar Burton.