featured Racism Weekend Video

Weekend video: Once upon a Black Halifax

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Most Nova Scotians probably know by now that in the sixties some 400 Black Africville residents were forced to leave their homes, very much against their will. 

Maybe less on our radar is that Black people are still being pushed out of the Halifax North End. Between 2006 and 2016 the Black population of the neighborhood dropped by half, as over 700 Black residents left a community where most had lived for generations.  

See also: Planning the gentrification of the North End, an interview with Ted Rutland

This documentary puts a face to the rapid changes gentrification has brought to the North End. We meet some of the older residents who reminisce about life in their old neighborhood, one that actually deserved to be called vibrant. 

“Back in the days you’d always see people on the street, talking, leaning out of the window and talking.”  

We also hear about how for these same African Nova Scotians a trip to downtown Halifax or Sunnyside in Bedford felt like a trip into enemy territory. Remember, the days that racism in Nova Scotia was unquestioned and institutionalized were not all that long ago.

This video is a bit longer than most we feature here, but if I were the all powerful king of this province I would make it mandatory viewing for all municipal councilors, planners and (heck, why waste being all powerful) every white Nova Scotian above the age of 14.  

This terrific documentary was produced, filmed and directed by Gbenga Akintokun.

See also: Gentrification and income inequality the Halifax way – An interview with professor Howard Ramos

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One Comment

  1. I was born and raised in North End Halifax. I learnt a lot ftom
    this documentary . My father was raised on Maitland Street and many of the sports People mentioned I heard him speak of especially Buddy Day abd Dickson! I never really understood racism because our parents raised us that we are all equals. We never spoke of or differentiated based on colour race or religion. I am so thankful my parents raised us the way they did! It makes me sad to think what people of colour have had to live with and fight to have rights they were entitled to! For this I am sorry.

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