featured Racism

You have mail, and it isn’t very nice – When white residents don’t want to live in a Black community

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – On December 12, 2017 Halifax Regional Council voted to restore the original boundaries of the historic African Nova Scotian community of Lucasville. It was a happy day for the African Nova Scotian residents of Lucasville and the Lucasville Community Association who had fought for this change for many years.

The boundary change was based on sound historical research, presented at a community meeting in February 2017. We reported on that meeting here.  

But not everybody was happy. Several councillors mentioned receiving disturbing emails on the issue. “I was very, very surprised to read the tone of some of the emails we did receive. Very disappointed,” Councillor Steve Craig said.

Particularly up in arms were residents of the Waterstone subdivision, a new subdivision that until the boundary change was considered part of Hammonds Plains.

After submitting a Freedom of Information request the Nova Scotia Advocate recently received these emails, about sixty in all. Names, email addresses, etc. are redacted.

Almost none of the emails we viewed are overtly racist, in that nobody uses the n-word, and correspondents refrain from insults. Instead, they’re mainstream racist, politely bigoted. Almost all were written by Waterstone residents.

Using code is one way you can complain about your subdivision becoming associated with a historically Black community without appearing to be racist. Most emails mention how the change will negatively affect the value of the property.

Think about this. It’s not like the subdivision moves physically. Your swimming pool doesn’t all of a sudden start leaking because now you live in Lucasville. Your neighbours don’t change. Just a name change of your community will somehow make the value of your property go down…

I bought my house because I wanted to move to Hammonds Plains. If the house was listed as Lucasville, I highly doubt either me or most of my neighbours would have considered buying their properties for the amount of money we spent.”   

They’re not like us.

Waterstone and Lucasville are very different communities – we have nothing in common. Whereas Waterstone has a lot more in common with Kingswood and the various other subdivisions that make up most (not all) of Hammonds Plains. So this is a forced merger of two very different communities.

Others get to the point more directly.

I want to be known that I am 100% against this change and I feel like it will actually push us out of the community. I am sad to think that a neighbourhood that I love so dearly will be so negatively affected by this boundary change.

Also raised several times is the reverse racism argument

Secondly, this boundary change appears to be based upon racial segregation and “recognition” of people with different skin color, which is racist. One of the arguments for this change on CBC news is “It’s a black community and they’re taking away, the part of our community that they’re taking away from us, they’re saying it’s Hammonds Plains, and it is not.

If having been a black community is the driving reason for the change, this change is founded on racism and racial segregation. The color of the skin of the people who used to live somewhere for a while should not matter.

One resident has so little confidence in the local councillor Lisa Blackburn that he or she decided to write councillor Matt Whitman instead.

Please note that I have spoken with my councillor Lisa Blackburn and she is clearly in favour of this change against the wishes of the affected residents. I am hoping that during the council meeting tomorrow night or whenever this comes up that you will speak on our behalf and ask the question of the zoning commission for the results of the voting from the “affected residents.”

And then, to end on a more positive note, there is this email. Sadly, it’s the only one like it.

  • Whatever “inconvenience” it may be to change our addresses, it will be for a good reason. Not only to set things the way they should be, but also for such a rich historic community of Lucasville.

See also:


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27 Comments

  1. You might think it is racist, but think about this, 200 years ago, these people were brought here, given crap land to try to work and live off of and guess what, they did. They survived and their descendants still live here. To deny us our heritage is disrespectful and disgraceful. To get to your properties, you still have to drive the Lucasville Road. Get over yourselves. We were here long before you were!!

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  2. Well said Cathy.
    I do know their is decent folks who live in Waterstone and Kingswood that have no problem living wthin the heritage boundaries of the Lucasville community . I also know long term residents of Hammond’s Plains that have known and liked long time residents of Lucasville,so We cannot judge all by a few bad apples in the barrel.My personal opinion is that their opinions are a reflection of who they are,we could be an example to them on how to be a better person.

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  3. I grew up on the LUCASVILLE RD…. I’m absolutely shocked and saddened by the over racism. So sorry Lucasville …. U don’t need those small closed minded individuals….

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  4. Well it seems that the only solution for the aggrieved residents is for them to move to Trump’s America. They may not realize it but they would fit right in.

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  5. My family and I were lucky enough to live in this community for many years. My now grown children still have close friends they made growing up there. I couldn’t have chosen a better place with nicer people for them to grow up with. I never worried about them getting into trouble. Lucasville is a great little community and those who choose to behave the way some some of these Waterstone folks are don’t deserve to be there

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  6. I am a resident of Waterstone, and have been for 13 years. I’ve always said I live in Lucasville, as have many of my neighbours. I too am disgusted by the racist sentiments of a small number of people that live in this subdivision. And, I’m truly sorry for the harmful and divisive impact these people have caused to those who have historically called this community Lucasville. Please know that these views are not representative of the vast majority of your Waterstone neighbours. I hope this disheartening matter can be used to build bridges among our communities and unite all of us as neighbours in Lucasville. Perhaps our respective community associations can come together to create an opportunity for dialogue, unity, and some family fun.

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  7. I’m a Waterstone Resident, 3 years now. When my wife and I were trying to find our home during our House Hunting Trip, our GPS would not recognize Hammonds Plains, but it did recognize Lucasville.. We have used Lucasville on every correspondence since we have lived here. When we heard that the Historic community of Lucasville would include our neighbourhood, we were ecstatic, we have the privilege of living in an historic community. I think that fact gets lost on some residents. I’m not sure they are racists, I’d like to believe they’re not. Perhaps they’re more on the greedy side, thinking that because the address doesn’t say Hammonds Plains, the value of their homes will lower, I really don’t see how living in an historic community can lower the value of your home.

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  8. Here’s a question for you. How is it that these people ‘s property is so much in value but the homes and property that was there for the 200 years, their value doesn’t rise. Think about that. Not say that Hammonds Plains id known in the history books as “Black Community” as well as Lucasville. the problem is the Government cut off the Black community for white development as they do throughout province.
    Remember this land was granted back in the 1800 to our people to which they thought we were not going to survive, but we fooled them and now our land is prime, and they are allowing the big developer’s to try and squeeze us out. To bad so sad it is not happening and we will not be another “Africville”. LUCASVILLE RESIDENTS stand for your rights. And for you who are upset for your property value, sell and move out.
    Love you from Beechville.

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    1. I am a descendant. My family is Lucasville and it was named originally after my ancesters when they were brought here. This is where they remained making it their home into a community. Still today we remain. Those of you who have no honor to live in this community or around so called other nationality please feel free to leave anytime to anywhere else. It will be no loss. I believe it is time for all this racism and hate to end. Is it doing anything for you? We all bleed the same color no matter the color of our skin tone. If you consider yourself caucasion please check way back in your family history to make sure you don’t have 1 drop of blood from this nationality because if you do automatically you are in same catagory as those Lucasville pioneers. As back in old days the saying was ” If you had one drop of BLACK BLOOD then you were BLACK no matter how WHITE you looked. Now that was said by the White Slave Owners since they were the ones sexually abusing the young slave girls and making them pregnant so they could have more (Slaves) to work the crops for them. Well the black communities as everyone calls them have done pretty good for themselves. Lucasville and Hammonds Plains both are great communities among others. You worried about your land value -wow- NO ONE IN LUCASVILLE IS LEAVING as this is our home so it’s up to you to leave. I know i’m all over the place on this but i just truly hate RACISM. It’s time it ends as i’m sure you know God only has ONE HEAVEN and it is not split into different colors. Of course, maybe you don’t believe in God and therefore you will roast for eternity. Either way it’s your call to stay or leave as the original Lucasville residents are not going anywhere and the Historic name is Lucasville.

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        1. In the same way that disparaging comments against the black community are hurtful, those “last few lines” are hurtful to the good people in the world who don’t happen to be Christian. It would be helpful to focus on the issue at hand, rather than treat the non-Christian community the same way the black community wishes not to be treated…. Just sayin’ 🙁

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  9. Lucasville is a community which has existed for over 200 years. It is ALL the Lucasville Road – from Highway 1 to the Hammonds Plains Road – and all parts in between. I grew up in Sackville and have always enjoyed the company of my neighbours in this wonderful community. I love Lucasville!

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  10. People can’t be upset that Lucasville is a historical Black community, it is what it is! Before you build a home, the land and area should be researched first, then you know where you’re moving. This is 2018 and the foolishness needs to stop! We are all Gods’ children, regardless of race or color! Enjoy your lives and stop fretting over the little things! Enough said!

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  11. I live in timber trails and now we’re considered Lucasville we were hammonds plains. The only thing I’m upset about it is not being considered hammonds plains anymore, it was the only place I could afford and still be part of my hometown. I don’t care about Lucasville being a primarily black community. And I still would have moved here even if it was Lucasville before cuz it’s a nice area.

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    1. I also live in timber trails and have for many years. When i first moved here it was Lower Sackville or Lucasville. It then changed to Bedford or Hammonds Plains. So, no, you didn’t move into your childhood community, you moved to Lucasville, a beautiful historic community and one you should be just as proud to call home. I always say i live in Lucasville when I’m asked because that’s where i live regardless of the zoning labels.

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  12. Wow so sad! 🙁 I remember being a little girl going to church in lucasville. And being welcomed like no other church has!!

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  13. “One resident has so little confidence in the local councillor Lisa Blackburn that he or she decided to write councillor Matt Whitman instead.”

    Given Whitman’s recent public endorsement of a Neo-Nazi group’s statement on the Cornwallis statue decision, the timing could be more comically perfect in a very sad way. Your local councilor doesn’t support tour racist concerns so you go to the vocally racist councillor to see if he can do something. I’m cry-laughing over here… you can’t make this stuff up!

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  14. I am saddened by the attitude of the “Waterstone residents” especially when we already live with so much hatred in the world. Why can’t we just except everybody for who they are and not what we see. The outside of a person is the first layer of something much deeper and richer. The problem with many people is they see skin color, gender, chosen sexual preference, religion and ethnicity, income level (just to name a few) only. I am sad for these “Waterstone residents”. Their worlds must be very lonely and incomplete being in such a high place of self importance and perfection. The world has so much to offer when we are open to new ideas especially when it involves people from other communities and cultures. Imagine how children could grow up if just one community begin the process of living in a world where we all just accepted everyone for who they are. A place where incomes and status did not decide which street you built your house on. I spent twenty one years living in a semi in Lower Sackville and was once told that “only low lives live in semi’s”. This person did not know I lived in one. It was a hurtful comment at first but then I realized this individual had not been taught to love. We need to teach our children how to love to they can love and be loved back.

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  15. Absolutely ridiculous. Black people were thrown out there. It is our land, not yours! If you don’t like it, don’t let the door his you where the good Lord split ya. Bye! I’m so tired of this fake reverse racism crap. Lucasville is and was a black community long before any of you arrived there. So please, stop trying to act like it hurts you in some way, when it doesn’t. Again, move if you don’t like it.

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  16. I grew up in Sacktown and most of my friend’s came from Lucasville and Pockwok, never had a problem with anybody. People today just need to bitch about something, and the racism had got to stop. The people from out that way have the best manners and respect. I lived out in the trailer park. Nices, most helpful neighbors anymore would luv to have. Colour has nothing to do with anything. We all bleed the same colour. This comment is about all colours. People really need to grow the f### up.

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  17. These words are so powerful. these are the beginning pebbles of building a mountain of loving and accepting one another

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