It was something I heard in the documentary "Remembering Africville" that inspired a thought, that is turning into this post. In the short film, Mr. Alan Borovoy of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association said something that struck a cord. He said...
"Tomorrow's Africvilles will be no less screwed than today's"
I don't know why that felt like a cold splash of water to the face! Is it because I am tomorrow's Africville? Is it because I feel Mr. Borovoy predicted the future and the more things change, the more they stay the same? Or maybe it's a bunch of reasons, all wrapped into one? I don't know, but I do know he explained how I personally feel.
Mr. Borovoy breaks down how back in the Africville days, there were no organizations to speak for the former Africville residents. Even Rev. Donald Skeir, went on to explain how the leadership in those days came from the church! The Seaview African United Baptist Church was the closest thing to an organization the people of Africville had!
There was really not much structure at that point in time, in the sense of the general black population of Nova Scotia fighting social injustices as one entity. It was Africville against the City of Halifax, which was a fight where the City wasn't even close to playing by the rules. The former Africville residents basically had their lives stripped away, because they felt they had no other choice!
Fast forward to 1982, and that was the year the Africville Genealogy Society was created. It was Deborah Dixon, Linda Mantley, and Brenda Steed-Ross that started the organization 35 years ago. The Africville Genealogy Society has been put on the Africville Reunion every year for the former residents and descendants of Africville.
The Africville Genealogy Society was instrumental in the fight that was decades, over the Africville community with the City of Halifax. A lot of people, put a lot of time and energy fighting to get the City of Halifax to acknowledge that they destroyed the community.
From the beginning, the sense of community the people of Africville had was the backbone of the community. The love and pride throughout the community was easy to see, and just as apparent was the sense of togetherness in the community!
In 2002 Africville was declared a National Heritage site, and in 2004 the UN acknowledged what the City of Halifax did to the community as a crime against humanity.
In 2010, the former mayor of Halifax, Peter Kelly issued a public apology to the people of Africville. With the public apology also came 2.5 acres of land, and also 3 million dollars. The money was for building a replica of the Seaview African United Baptist Church, that is actually a museum. The Africville Museum is operated by an organization called the Africville Heritage Trust, which was created by the Africville Genealogy Society.
The former Africville residents and descendants came together, and this was the final decision made by the people. The plan was to rebuild the former church, and turn it into a museum to preserve the history of Africville. The Africville Museum and the organization that runs it the Africville Heritage Trust, wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for the Africville Genealogy Society.
So to say that the Africville Genealogy Society has helped the community of Africville by never giving up, is an understatement. Here is a great link to see how far the Africville Museum has come from being just an idea back in 2006! Here
From the former Africville residents to the future Africville descendants, I'd like to say thank you, the legacy of Africville lives on through all of us everywhere!
Grants are like leprechauns and I found a pot of gold...
Everyone knows someone getting a post secondary education...
The Africville Heritage Trust hands out up to 5 post secondary bursaries to Africville descendants every year! I say up to, because I'm pretty sure they never gave out 5 grants in a year! Not too many people know about the opportunity, and I'm sure there are at least 5 Africville descendants deserving of the grants. It's just that nobody knows! I'm just trying to make sure the grants reach the community as they should.
So here is the MAIN criteria for the grants, right from the Africville Museum website. The links at the bottom of this post will give you all the information you need, right on the Africville Museum website... Good luck...
The costs related to going to school go way deeper than the price of tuition. The sacrifices some students and parents make, you will never hear. But every single day the struggle is real for so many people. It's a few thousand dollars for everybody that receives one of these grants.
Everyone knows somebody in post secondary or going into a post secondary institution. And if you ever had to pay for any of all the moving parts associated with going to school, then you know already!
So lets share this information so we can make more people aware of the opportunity as soon as possible, because the deadline to apply is on March 31.
Here is a link for the bursary application, on the Africville Museum website, and here is a link to find out the COMPLETE details in regards to the student bursary through the Africville Museum.
On January 26th, 2013, the community of Nova Scotia, lost a truly special lady. The imprint Ms. Lewis left on the Africville Museum, is undeniable. Ms. Lewis holds a special place in Canadian history, not to mention, the significant part she played in current Africville history!
She was the very first chairwoman to sit on the board for the Africville Heritage Trust, and excelled while she was with the organization! Ms. Lewis was so much more than that though, she was a revolutionary! It's evident to see that Ms. Lewis was passionate about making the world a better place, and that she did.
Daurene Lewis was a descendant of the Black Loyalist and she was born in Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. It was in 1984 when history was made, especially in regards to the Canadian population. Ms. Lewis became the FIRST EVER, female Black Mayor in Canada. I can only imagine how many people, she had a direct and indirect influence on! It's history moments like these, that motivates the next generation to be great. Leading by example is what Ms. Lewis consistently did so many ways while she was here! Let's take a brief look at some of her accomplishments.
You will always be appreciated, and the legacy of your passion lives on through your work!
That is only the tip of the iceberg, Ms. Lewis is even deeper than that! If you are still interested about finding more information on the late Daurene Lewis, here are 2 great links