The sport of hockey has roots that date back to ancient Egypt and Greece, with varying incarnations throughout the generations. Ice hockey developed in the north due to the wintry conditions there, and in 1895, an all-Black league was started in Nova Scotia, Canada.
The Coloured Hockey League featured as many as a dozen teams and 400 players who hailed from Canada’s Maritime Provinces. In the League, players from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island competed against one another. Africville, a Black settlement for escaped and freed slaves in Halifax, was home to one of the league’s more popular teams, the Africville Seasides. The Seasides won back-to-back championships in 1901 and 1902.
Historians and sports writer brothers George and Darrill Fosty released the book Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895-1925, which focuses on the rise and ending of the League.
In the book, the Fosty brothers assert that Halifax Eureka player Eddie Martin was the inventor of the “slapshot,” the most difficult shot in hockey. While Darrill Fosty says that fact cannot be simply proven, the League was the first to allow hockey players to lift their sticks beyond their waist, thus helping the innovative shot to evolve. The League also pioneered the practice of a goalie leaving his feet to block a hockey puck.
Little Known Black History Fact: Coloured Hockey League was originally published on blackamericaweb.com