This looks great. The launch of a new CD with recordings of traditional songs of African Nova Scotians, recorded between the forties and sixties. Sunday April 28, 2 PM.
Angela Bowden on growing up Black in Nova Scotia. “You do not belong here” became the name of the unfamiliar place where I lived, churning my stomach for as long as I can remember. It was as if I had arrived on a foreign planet and even though I spoke the language of its inhabitants, it still felt forced, unnatural, uncomfortable and entirely unfamiliar.”
Brenda Thompson, author of Poor houses of Nova Scotia, on the only poor house in the province that segregated its residents based on the colour of their skins. Other poor houses did not allow the sexes to mix but allowed African-Nova Scotians and Mi’kmaq to live under one roof with white people. Not in Bridgetown though.
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.
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.
Evelyn C. White reflects on a visit to the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre in Birchtown. “The full sweep of my thoughts on the matter have yet to unfold. But I believe that everything happens for a reason; that in a province burdened with horrific racial strife, the stark shadow of a pit “house” against the recent burst of hipster eateries in Halifax is worthy of examination. There is merit in the enterprise.”
Nova Scotia’s George Dixon was what you call a trailblazer. First Black boxing champion, period. First champ to regain his title after losing it. First person to be champion of more than one weight class. We’re talking late 1800s, early 1900s, a time of relentless racism. Here’s a video of one of his fights, and a bonus link to a wonderful website with everything Africvile.
Gottingen Street, one of Halifax main thoroughfares, used to extend into the far North End. But in 1981 Halifax Council voted that the northern segment of Gottingen Street, beyond the Young Street intersection, now be called Novalea Drive. The reasons behind that decision were tainted by racism and prejudice, and a survey of residents’ opinions conducted by the City purposely excluded most residents who lived along the street. Maybe it’s time to make things right again.
This weekend’s weekend video is an oldie but goodie about the historic African Nova Scotian communities of Lucasville and Upper Hammonds Plains. Lots of interviews with elders, lots of community spirit and mutual support.
George Barton Cutten, one of Acadia’s early presidents, is honoured on the university’s website and has a student residence named after him. Turns out the man was an ugly racist, staunch supporter of the eugenics movement, and not a fan of democracy. Is it time to rename Cutten House? Reporters Colin Mitchell and Christopher Vanderburgh present the facts.