Monday, 18 February 2019

Nova Scotia Senator Wanda Bernard wants Canada to designate August 1 as Emancipation Day, to remember the formal abolition of slavery in the British colonies, to recognize the magnitude and immense evil of slavery but also the resilience of enslaved Africans, and to reflect on the enduring impact of slavery. On October 23 of last year, at Second Reading of her Bill S-255 Bernard explained why she feels so strongly about this. It’s a very good read.

Evelyn C. White profiles Giovanni Johnson, microbiologist and the only person of African descent employed as an assistant brewer in the booming Nova Scotia craft beer industry. “I grew up eating fresh coconut, mango, watermelon, kiwi, etc., in the Bahamas,” he said. “So it’s natural for me to develop recipes that include tropical notes. I think people like them, too.”

Raymond Sheppard on the high velocity nail gun attack on Nhlanhla Dlamini and the prosecution so far: “Lived experience confirms the entrenched racism, intolerance and injustice within the criminal justice system that African Nova Scotian are forced to endure while privilege allows Caucasians to walk through iron, if they ever go to court in the first place.”

A book about slavery in Nova Scotia, North to Bondage: Loyalist slavery in the Maritimes, by professor Harvey Amani Whitfield, shows how ownership of enslaved Blacks was widespread in the Maritime provinces, and a major contributor to its economic viability. In a way it’s an invitation for white Nova Scotians to start a serious conversation about reparations.

Scott Neigh’s weekly podcast is a wonderful thing, and Scott is a kind man who always allows us to share an interview whenever the topic has a Nova Scotia relevance. Here he speaks with North Preston and Nort End community activist LaMeia Reddick, and Ted Rutland, author of Displacing Blackness: Planning, Power, and Race in Twentieth-Century Halifax, a must-read for anybody interested in urban planning and / or the history of the struggle against racism in Halifax. It’s a book I simply can’t recommend enough.