Raymond Sheppard explains why Nhlanhla Dlamini is his nomination for person of the year. “He has shown courage in the face of adversity, he tries at all costs to avoid confrontation, and he has spoken truth to power and privilege. He is a silence breaker while sending a clear message. He is gentle, loving, caring and respecting. As a young man he has become a role model to other young people and to those not so young.
Over and over Black people tell of racism in Nova Scotia, and then there are the stats, but still the message isn’t getting through. Historian Jill Campbell-Miller on the origin of this reluctance to accept that racism is for real, and how a knowledge of history can counteract this disbelief.
Today I went to Pictou to hear the Shawn Wade Hynes verdict. Hynes is the guy who shot a high velocity nail gun at young co-worker Nhlanhla Dlamini. I don’t think most white people understood how important a case it was for many in the African Nova Scotian community, nor the surprise and tremendous relief that was felt when Hynes was found guilty of criminal negligence and assault with a weapon.
Judy Haiven looks back on the racist reign of terror at Halifax Transit. How could this reign of terror go on for 14 plus years? How could a Black man become unemployed and then die due to the stress of living with the anger and threats directed at him by racist co-workers? How could a white man and his Black wife receive such soul-destroying treatment for the mere crime of loving each other? When will anyone step up to explain what happened and how it won’t happen again?
“What bothers me the most in all of this is that city lawyers advanced this argument that the racist slurs directed at Y.Z. were protected under free speech provisions.” We talk with Equity Watch spokesperson and lawyer Connor Smithers-Mapp about how unions, councillors and management continue to evade the issues of racism, homophobia and misogyny at the City’s workplaces.
It’s not just the hastily cancelled entirely white panel on diversity, Saint Mary’s University has a long history of not taking a meaningful stand on diversity and human rights, former SMU professor Judy Haiven writes.
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: “It is African Heritage Month. Our struggles continue, yet now it is time to celebrate our glorious history. It is also time for the government of Nova Scotia to step up to the plate and do the right thing as it pertains to African Nova Scotians.”
A newly formed group wants police and Halifax Transit to take verbal and physical incidents of racist violence on buses and in public spaces everywhere much more seriously. The problem isn’t new, but lately it’s been getting worse.
Stacey Dlamini, mother of the young Black man shot with a high-velocity nail gun, writes about racism and complicity, “I wonder how the story might have turned out had someone on Nhlanhla’s crew said to the person who shot him, “Hey, why don’t you leave the kid alone?” What if they’d come up to Nhlanhla and said, “You know man, you don’t have to accept this kind of treatment. Let’s do something about it together.” What if someone had shown him some compassion or solidarity? Or even in the aftermath, some empathy? This experience would feel different for us.”