Tag: Africville

This column originally appeared in the Halifax Examiner on October 10, 2017. On Sept. 25, the United Nations Human Rights Council discussed a report on Canada by its Working Group of Experts on Peoples of African Descent. The report, which shone its white-hot light on our country’s sordid history of slavery and racism in virtually […]

The last time I talked face to face with Rocky Jones was in November 2011, a few nights before he was scheduled to deliver a public lecture on “The Struggle for Human Rights in African Nova Scotian Communities, 1961-2011.” It could have been the too-wordy title for his autobiography. (Metro File Photo) We met at […]

For the lawyers, of course, it is about protecting the client, lessening liability, mitigating damages. In that context, perhaps, it makes lawyer sense to niggle over nouns, to parse phrases like “as if we were slaves” for literality, to offer up a bookkeeper’s balance sheet to contradict allegations of underfunding, to use all the lawyers’ […]

  Is it time for another “Encounter on the Urban Environment”? In late February 1970, Nova Scotia’s Voluntary Planning Board invited a dozen disparate international experts—a black community leader, an industrialist, a labour leader, a journalist, an economist, an urban planner, etc.—to come to Halifax for a week-long “experiment utterly new to the western hemisphere.” […]

Peter Kelly’s final mayoralty meltdown announcement last week was not triggered by any of the many mis-governance issues that should have long since ended his political career. Ironically, the mayor was ultimately hoist on the petard of his own sloppy-and-perhaps-worse handling of the estate of a friend, a private matter unrelated to his duties as […]

As Canada Post prepares issue a new stamp next month to celebrate the life of Viola Desmond, our own government seems about to quietly take a pass on the opportunity to honour the Halifax woman whose personal courage remains a symbolic inspiration in the fight for human rights in Canada. In 1946—nine years before Rosa […]

  The lesson from last week’s reversal of council’s decision to sell the former St. Patrick’s-Alexandra school to a private developer? Even when our councillors finally, belatedly get it right, they bungle the process so badly everyone walks away more than slightly soiled and embarrassed by the whole exercise. In December, over angry objections of […]

Rev. Rhonda Britten may have been guilty of hyperbole when she compared last week’s city council decision to sell the former St. Patrick’s-Alexandra School to a local developer to “the rape… of a community… Africville all over again!” But she is not entirely canary-in-the-coal-mine wrong. In 2009, Halifax Regional School Board—over the ongoing objections of […]

No one asked them. Again. The real lesson of the original Africville relocation—which should be seared into our collective consciousness after 50 years of hard-learned lesson-living—is that outsiders, even well intentioned ones, cannot make decisions for a community without at least asking the people of that community what they really want. Back in the 1960s, […]

Today’s announcement (February 24, 2010) of an agreement between the Africville Genealogy Society and various governments will mark the culmination of a decades-long, sometimes seemingly endless and too often hopeless struggle. The deal—like almost anything to do with Africville—will be controversial. But as we consider what it means, it is worth looking back at how […]