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AfriGeneas Canada Research Forum

Church & African Connections

Church examines its connection to Africa
Solange De Santis
staff writer
May 1, 2007
Bernie Nickerson
Layreader Juanita Shortliffe and Lawrence Bruce of Christ Church, Shelburne, N.S., led the parish in a service marking the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade. The service featured the unveiling of a coat of arms honouring black men who served with the British Army in the American Revolution.

For Elizabeth Cromwell, slavery and the racism that fed it is not an academic issue lost in the mists of history.

A Nova Scotia descendant of slaves and former head of the Black Loyalist Heritage Society, Ms. Cromwell, who is 62, recalled that the history of black Canadians was invisible and bigotry was common when she went to school.

“There were a few black students in Shelburne (on the southern end of the Nova Scotia peninsula, about 60 km east of Yarmouth). There were mostly white students. The teachers were white. There were things like Little Black Sambo,” she said, recalling the story of a boy in the jungle that is now considered racist.

“We were learning about the British and American colonies, but there was no discussion of the slave trade. There was no one who was a famous black person (in the lessons). Many black families have quite a history in Nova Scotia but no one has been interested in knowing it,” said Ms. Cromwell in an interview.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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