Tag: Race relations

Credit where credit is due. When he was still the opposition leader, Stephen McNeil met with former residents of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children. He listened to their claims that, as mostly black and often orphaned children, they’d been subject to physical, sexual and psychological abuse at the hands of their mostly black […]

What a difference a few decades make. The world has spent the last week rightly celebrating the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela, a man one letter writer to The New York Times summed up as a “universal champion of freedom, humanity and equality, and as an ardent proponent of tolerance, compassion and forbearance.” Last […]

It’s complicated. I know who Chris Brown is, of course, in a can’t-avoid-it-if-I-tried, popular culture way. I know he and his girlfriend Rihanna skipped scheduled Grammy appearances in 2009 on the heels of an incident in which Brown “hit, bit and choked” her. I saw, without seeking out, the online photo of her battered face. […]

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’ […]

Another February. Another African Heritage Month. Another plaintive plea—from me and a few lonely others—for an official day to honour Viola Desmond’s contribution to the human rights movement in Canada. On Nov. 8, 1946, Desmond, a pioneering black businesswoman from Halifax, found herself stuck in New Glasgow overnight. She decided to see a movie. The […]

With the pre-holiday spate of comment-worthy local news and the upcoming holiday absence of venue to vent my inevitable shocked-and-appalled-at-it-all spleen, today’s column will be an assorted stocking stuffer. No charges in Home for Coloured Children investigation: I’m less shocked than I’d like. But winning convictions when allegations date back decades, involve children and include […]

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 […]

I wanted to ask Rocky Jones about his Wednesday lecture: “The Struggle for Human Rights in African Nova Scotian Communities, 1961-2011.” No problem. When? Not today. He’s on a panel at a national conference on public policy. Saturday, he’s in Truro, keynote speaker at an International Year for People of African Descent symposium. Then Ottawa […]

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, […]