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Portia White


Portia White was an accomplished Nova Scotian classical concert performer who was born in Truro, N.S. and raised with her siblings in Halifax by her parents, Rev. William and Izzie White. As a former schoolteacher who taught in segregated schools, Portia catapulted to international stardom after triumphant debuts in Toronto (1941) and New York (Town Hall, 1944) She performed memorably throughout Canada, the US, the Caribbean and South America. Named by reviewers as the “new star of the concert stage,” White’s achievement was rare in a period when race and gender defined women’s place in society.  She has been recognized as a Person of National Historic Significance by the Canadian government and was commemorated on a Canadian postage stamp.

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