Black History in Nova Scotia

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When did Black people first arrive in Nova Scotia?

Early 1600s

Where was Africville located?

On the south shore of the Bedford Basin, on the outskirts of Halifax

What led to the arrival of large groups of Black settlers in Nova Scotia in the late 1700s and early 1800s?

American Revolution and the War of 1812

What challenges did Black settlers face upon arriving in Nova Scotia?

Viewed as inferior, pushed to the margins of society, and forced to live on inhospitable land

What were some of the establishments in Africville?

Stores, a school, a post office and the Seaview United Baptist Church

What amenities were the residents of Africville denied by the City of Halifax?

sewage, access to clean water, and garbage disposal

What undesirable developments were built in and around Africville by the City of Halifax?

infectious disease hospital, prison, and dump

How did the City of Halifax justify the relocation of Africville residents?

claimed it would improve the standard of living for residents and wanted to build industry and infrastructure

What was the fate of residents who could not prove ownership of their land in Africville?

offered $500 or had their lands expropriated by the City

What infamous event occurred in Africville on the night of November 20, 1967?

Seaview United Baptist Church was bulldozed in the middle of the night

Study Notes

Early Black Settlement in Nova Scotia

  • Black people first arrived in Nova Scotia in the early 18th century, with some coming as slaves, others as free people.

Africville Location

  • Africville was a community located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the southern shore of Bedford Basin.

Late 18th and Early 19th Century Settlement

  • Large groups of Black settlers arrived in Nova Scotia in the late 1700s and early 1800s, primarily due to the British promise of freedom and land to Black Loyalists who had fought on their side during the American Revolution.

Challenges Faced by Black Settlers

  • Black settlers faced racism, discrimination, and economic hardship upon arriving in Nova Scotia, leading to limited job opportunities and social isolation.

Africville Establishments

  • Africville was a thriving community with its own school, church, and several businesses, including a general store, a barbershop, and a lumber mill.

Denied Amenities

  • Residents of Africville were denied access to basic city amenities, such as paved roads, garbage collection, and municipal water, by the City of Halifax.

Undesirable Developments

  • The City of Halifax built undesirable developments in and around Africville, including a prison, a slaughterhouse, and a dump, which further degraded the living conditions of the residents.

Justification for Relocation

  • The City of Halifax justified the relocation of Africville residents by claiming that the community was a "slum" and that the land was needed for industrial development.

Fate of Residents

  • Residents who could not prove ownership of their land in Africville were forcibly relocated, and their homes were demolished.

Infamous Event of November 20, 1967

  • On the night of November 20, 1967, the City of Halifax demolished the last remaining structures in Africville, effectively erasing the community from existence.

Learn about the history of Black people in Nova Scotia, including their arrival and settlement in the province. Discover the impact of colonial settlements and the Transatlantic slave trade on the Black community in Nova Scotia.

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