Africville disappeared for the sake of urban development! The issue with the North-End is different, but the same...
Well, February has been an active month with everyone, everywhere creating awareness in regards to African Canadian history. From the multiple news outlets promoting all the African Heritage Month events throughout the city. To the GoFund me page set up by Quentrel Provo, who recently look 400 of the local African Nova Scotian to see the Black Panther movie. Mad props to being a role model and for being a positive influence in the community at large!
Another engaging moment in the month of February was when "The Current", a CBC radio show came to the Halifax Central Library for a special edition segment. The segment was titled "Facing Race", and it looked at the racism, African Nova Scotians face on many different levels. The piece covers topics from environmental racism, community gentrification, and the racism that black women face every day throughout Nova Scotia. The unedited version of the taping is the best one to watch, and you can find the full version here (Click Here).
The topic of discussion today, is going to be the "gentrification" part of the segment. That's when Anna Maria Tremonti is interviewing Irvine Carvey president of the Africville Genealogy Society, Melinda Daye former chair of the Halifax Regional School Board, and Rodney Small a business development manager for Common Business Solutions.
These types of open mic conversations give anyone in attendance the chance to speak. This is good to see how racism is perceived from different demographic's perspectives. From the young people within our neighborhoods, to our community elders, everyone has a voice of their own. It's when these voices come together collectively, in situations like these, that bring a rightful awareness around the issues happening within the community.
It's unfortunate, but the truth is, if the people in the North-End of Halifax are already feeling like they're losing their community, does that mean the gentrification process has already started?
Here is quote from Irvine Carvery, "Today, currently, people living in public housing cannot look to leave public housing because the rents in the area are way beyond their needs and home ownership is a dream. There has been this dramatic shift".
I believe that conversation goes a level deeper, and financial literacy is really where it starts! It's all money at the end of the day, from owning a small business to buying a home! So the faster that our younger generations can understand just how important things like credit and money management are, is the faster they are going to have the tools to obtain businesses and homes.
It's so true what Rodney Small said about changing the narrative in regards to small businesses and working. We shouldn't be focusing on just getting employment within our community, but ownership as well!
I definitely agree with Irvine when he said "Historically the marginalization of the black population in Nova Scotia and Halifax did not adequately prepare us to take advantage of the economic opportunities and the home ownership opportunities that became available", which makes now the time to arm our future generations with the knowledge they need. The background processes need to be understood first, in order to understand the steps to owning a small business and home ownership.
A great example of what I'm talking about is the organization Hope Blooms. I bet the children working within their organization have learned so many lessons, in regards to the way money really works.
The majority of those same people in the North-End today, are descendants of the Africville community that has long since been a casualty of racism. So the feeling of losing their community really isn't all that new to a lot of the people, but how do systemic problems get fixed? We can't get a new system, so knowledge is going to be the best line of defense. Knowledge is power when you use it properly!
My favorite part in the whole video, is at 2:06:28 during the Q&A session. A young man in attendance asks the minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs, Tony Ince some great questions. His questions pertained to everything from mental health, education, and the criminalization of African Nova Scotians. The questions never get answered, and to be honest, I don't think they could of been answered by the minister at that time. The questions were too deep!
What are the quantifiable metrics used to see if the black community in Nova Scotia is being served by the elected government? Is it determined by how many more times African Nova Scotians get carded by the police? Or maybe it's decided by the historically poor employment rates within the African Nova Scotian community.
All I know is, I don't need to read any metrics to know the province of Nova Scotia needs to do better on so many levels! These discussions need to be continued, as often as possible to keep the awareness where it needs to be.
What do you think about the issues? Everyone has a voice!