Today’s weekend video features a reading of Negro Cemetery, a stunning poem by Halifax poet laureate Dr. Afua Cooper. There is a lot happening here compressed in a just over two minutes.
PSA: Halifax Poet Laureate Afua Cooper in conversation with Sue Goyette, Thursday January 24 , 6:30 PM, Halifax Central Library
My hasty notes after attending last night’s presentation on Dalhousie’s historic connections with slavery and anti-Black racism, as well as the preliminary recommendations around reparations the university should engage in.
Historian and Halifax Poet Laureate Afua Cooper on the lack of visible recognition of Black history in Halifax, and why some kind of memorialization of the many contributions of the Jamaican Maroons would be a good way to start filling that void.
Scotch Village, in Hants County, has a long history shaped by its original Mi’kmaq inhabitants, Acadians, African Nova Scotians, and Planters’ descendants. In July 2017 people from these communities met to commemorate and celebrate their diverse but intersecting histories.The event makes for a fascinating Weekend Video, and a very appropriate one to ring in the new year. The event was organized by my beloved sister in law Carolyn van Gurp, and it features many inspiring people like Dorene Bernard and Dr. Afua Cooper, to name just a few.
In June 1734 Marie Joseph Angelique a Black slave woman was hanged in Montreal for burning down much of that town earlier that year. Her last days provide the inspiration for this poem by poet and historian Afua Cooper.
An open letter to premier Stephen McNeil and mayor Mike Savage suggests that there is much more these politicians can do to address issues that helped cause the recent violence in the Black community. “The African Haligonian community, is now hemorrhaging, and yet it is called upon to solve its own problems. We do not see that happening to other communities when they are hit by a crisis,” she writes in an open letter to the politicians.