Brenda Thompson on the city’s long history of pushing poor people out of sight on the very site of this week’s violent evictions. “The crappy treatment of poor people on this piece of land is historic.”
Brenda Thompson: “John Kellum, a ‘master’ whitewasher in Halifax was born approximately 1839. I am highlighting him for African Heritage Month not just because he was African Nova Scotian and was poor but also because John Kellum gave us a stark demonstration of how poor people lived and attempted to survive in Halifax during his life time.”
“She said she was flipping through my book about Poor Houses. “Who is this?” I asked. “Oh I’m not going to tell you” she said “for confidentiality reasons.” Brenda Thompson on some of the feedback on A Wholesome Horror, Poor Houses in Nova Scotia.
Brenda Thompson on Potters Fields and unmarked Mi’kmaw and African Nova Scotian graves in Halifax and elsewhere.
Brenda Thompson, author of an excellent book on poor houses in Nova Scotia, expresses her relief that the unmarked burial ground on Spring Garden Road will remain preserved.
Brenda Thompson, author of the excellent “A Wholesome Horror, Poor Houses of Nova Scotia”, was sent a bit of on an oral history account of the life of an entire family forced into a Nova Scotia poor house sometime before World War II. “He said he never knew nothing about his family as he was taken away from his parents and siblings at such a young age. He thought he was all alone.”
“These stories are true.” Brenda Thompson introduces five people who lived between the early 1800s and today. “Their hardships were not their fault, yet they were punished for being different or for merely being poor. When it comes to people in poverty, our minds remain shut. Our attitudes and policies are still stuck in the 1860s, Brenda writes
Brenda’s piece was produced in partnership with the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers, for co-publication in Connections, published three times a year by the College. We really appreciate this wonderful opportunity to promote longer pieces by Nova Scotia authors on topics so dear to our heart.
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.
Picture yourself as a poor person, 125 years ago in Nova Scotia. Brenda Thompson, author of a wonderful book on poor houses in Nova Scotia, on what it would take to be accepted in a poor house, a place so horrible it would always be your last resort.
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.