Historic Black Nova Scotia


130 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Bibliography
ISBN 1-55109-551-3
DDC 971.6004'96





Reviewed by Nanette Morton

Nanette Morton teaches English at McMaster University in Hamilton.


In the introduction, the authors note that the first known African on
Nova Scotia soil was a seaman named Mathieu Da Costa, who landed at
Point Royal in 1605. They then report, in rapid succession, subsequent
African arrivals, including the slaves belonging to white Loyalists,
free Black Loyalists, the temporary settlement of Maroons from the
Caribbean, and refugees from the War of 1812. The arrival and departure
of African settlers—some, like the Maroons, left the province for
Africa—has been covered elsewhere in greater detail. For this reason,
the authors have preferred to devote each chapter to prominent
African-Canadian members of various professions.

Preachers were the community’s earliest leaders. Prominent men such
as Richard Preston, the founder of the African United Baptist
Association, and more recent figures, such as Archbishop Vincent M.
Waterman, are covered. Notable members of other professions, including
journalism, law, education, the military, business, labour, politics,
sports, and the arts are also covered. A brief discussion of secular
organizations and the destruction of Africville is featured. While the
authors note that various institutions and individuals participated in
Nova Scotia’s civil-rights struggle, readers interested in an in-depth
discussion of that struggle should probably look elsewhere. In many
places, the authors note that they do not have the space to thoroughly
detail the impact that many of the individuals and institutions
mentioned have had on black Nova Scotian life. The book, therefore, can
be considered as a primer, which will give readers a cursory knowledge
of the subject.


Pachai, Bridglal, and Henry Bishop., “Historic Black Nova Scotia,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 21, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/15881.