James Platino Johnston (also referred to as James Robinson Johnston) was born in Halifax (d. March 3, 1915). He became the first black Nova Scotian to graduate from university (Dalhousie), B.LITT in 1896, and an LLB in 1898, and was called to the bar as a lawyer on July 18, 1900, becoming the third black lawyer in Canada. He was the only black to practice law in Nova Scotia before the First World War. Johnston became a criminal defence counsel and activist, being involved in the African United Baptist Association (AUBA) and other community organizations. He was also a member of the Conservative Party, which had been instrumental in repealing the school segregation laws in Nova Scotia. He strongly advocated for an industrial school for black children. Nine days before his 39th birthday, Johnston “was shot to death in his Halifax home by his brother-in-law. The motive is still a mystery.” (Sources: “Johnston, James Robinson,” Judith Fingard. Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Photo credit: Graduation portrait of James Platino Johnston, 1900 by Notman Studio. N.S. Archives.)