Sunday, 15 December 2019

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.

There’s a wonderful new book on the history or poor houses and poor farms in Nova Scotia, written by poverty activist and frequent NS Advocate contributor Brenda Thompson. Things are better now, of course, but in a way not much has changed for people who are very poor.

We know the friendship treaties between the Mi’kmaq and the Crown are important, but if you’re at all like me that’s probably where your knowledge ends. Now there is an excellent book that shows how treaty relationships have remained a vital part of the collective memory of the Mi’kmaq through time, and how and why the Mi’kmaw interpretation has slowly gained traction. That didn’t just happen, it took a lot of skillful and fearless effort.

Outright government-sanctioned racism is very much part of Black Canadian history. A recently published book talks about this godawful legacy. The Nova Scotia chapters make for a grim read.