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Righting Canada's Wrongs: Africville
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Righting Canada's Wrongs: Africville

An African Nova Scotian Community Is Demolished — and Fights Back

By Gloria Ann Wesley

$34.95 Hardback
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Series: Righting Canada's Wrongs

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The community of Africville was founded in the late 1800s when African Nova Scotians built homes on the Bedford Basin on the northern edge of Halifax. Africville grew to include a church, a school, and small businesses. At its peak, about 400 people lived there. The community was lively and vibrant, with a strong sense of culture and tradition. But the community had its problems. Racist attitudes prevented people from getting well-paying jobs in the city and the City of Halifax refused residents basic services such as running water, sewage disposal, and garbage collection.

In the 1960s, in the name of urban renewal, the City of Halifax decided to demolish Africville, relocate its residents and use the land for industrial development. Residents strongly opposed this move, but their homes were bulldozed, and many had to move into public housing projects in other parts of the city.

After years of pressure from former members of the community and their descendants, the City of Halifax finally apologized for the destruction of Africville and offered some compensation. A replica of the church was built on the site. But former residents and their descendents were refused compensation beyond what little was paid in the 1960s.

Through historical photographs, documents, and first-person narratives, this book tells the story of Africville. It documents how the city destroyed Africville and much later apologized for it — and how the spirit of the community lives on.

GLORIA ANN WESLEY is an award-winning African-Nova Scotian writer and a former teacher. She is the author of two novels, two books of poetry, and several picture books. If This is Freedom was chosen for One Book Nova Scotia in 2017. Her latest work is Abigail's Wish. Gloria resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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Publication Details:

Binding: Hardback, 96 pages
Publication Date: 30th April 2019
ISBN: 9781459413580
Format: 9in x 11in
300+ colour and b&w visuals

BISAC Code:  4.0.2.0.7.0.0, JNF025050, JNF038040
Imprint: Lorimer

Interest age: From 13 To 18

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Righting Canada's Wrongs

Righting Canada's Wrongs

A highly visual and engaging look at racism and discrimination in Canada's history

Series Website

Series features

  • Voices and stories of those who were affected
  • Geared to support history and civics curriculums
  • Full-colour images of period artifacts, maps, documents and historic photographs
  • Teachers Resource Guide prepared by the Critical Thinking Consortium
"As indicated by its name, this series is hopeful. It is not about opening old wounds; it's about remembering the past, understanding it and moving forward." Nikkei Voice

Righting Canada's Wrongs is a series devoted to the exploration of the Canadian government's actions that violated the rights of groups of Canadian citizens, the subsequent fight for acknowledgement and justice, and the eventual apologies and restitution by governments.

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