July 7, 2021
The African Nova Scotian Freedom School (ANSFS) is an annual summer program for teens that allows Black youth to shine. Designed for Black students, ages 12-18, the program centres on histories of Black struggle and resistance, African Nova Scotian culture and history, and helps young people understand how to become organizers and leaders in the service of their families and communities. Historically, Freedom Schools have served, equally, as spaces of popular education and organizing in the service of Black freedom. The ANSFS continues this tradition.
Last year brought a new urgency to the work of educators and community organizers. During the height of global protests and activism responsive to anti-black violence last August, nine Black and African Nova Scotian educators spent the month with 25 students discussing the political moment, its relevance to Black communities, and leadership. This summer, the program will meet both online, and in person, with students participating from around the province in urban and rural communities. This year’s curriculum will focus on the history of African Nova Scotian peoples’ historical and spiritual relationship to “LAND”, the formation and growth of community traditions, and economic self-determination. Integral to this summer’s curriculum will be recording traditional recipes and medicines and studying the rich history of Black entrepreneurship in the Maritimes. As always, the program will remain cost-free for students. In-person meetings will include farming activities and foraging trips to collect herbs and medicine.
The ANSFS continues to fundraise through its GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-african-nova-scotian-freedom-school . A statement of financial accounting for transparency and accountability may be found on its main website https://freedomschoolns.wixsite.com/ansfs.
Enrollment for the Freedom School will continue until July 19 at https://forms.gle/F5hhqFunwZrgJio86 .