W5 Flashback: Africville in 1966
Published Saturday, November 3, 2012 8:00PM EDT
In 1966, W5 reported about Africville – a Halifax neighbourhood that was home to many in Nova Scotia’s black community but also the focus of the struggle against racism in the province.
Nova Scotia’s black community dates back to the American Revolution, when freed and escaping slaves found refuge in the British Colony. About the time of the War of 1812, Black Loyalists were promised land and equal rights and many settled in an area on the north side of the Halifax peninsula.
With poor roads, lacking water and sanitation, street lamps or electricity, Africville was considered a slum.
By the early 1960s, calls for redevelopment led to the forced eviction of Africville residents – some literally moved by using Halifax dump trucks.
W5’s report aired Dec. 4, 1966 and looked at the racial divide in Nova Scotia and how the black community in Africville was dealing with the impending demolition of their neighbourhood.
The report features Burnley Allan "Rocky" Jones and his then-wife, who started the Kwacha House drop-in-centre.
Jones is a fierce champion of racial equality and justice. He helped establish the Black United Front of Nova Scotia, the National Black Coalition of Canada and created two Dalhousie University programs: the Transition Year Program and the Indigenous Blacks and Mi'kmaq Initiative at Dalhousie Law School.