The Africville Report: An Overview Of Segregation In Canada.

1501 words - 6 pages

Africville, A segregated community of blacks that had been neglected by the governent for almost a century, was relocated and torn apart from the one thing they truly had-each other. Due to the neglect of the government, the Africville residents resented the relocation and did not integrate well with their new communities. Because of the ways the government used in order to actuate them, many of the community members harboured resentment and bitterness at the government and caused a growing rift furthering the disposition of the Africville residents and the Halligonians even moreso. This was caused mostly by the alienation or rather "Ghettoization" of Africville; leaving them segregated and alone, making the area easy to relocate and industrialize. Africville was never meant to be a community or town, the government had planned to relocate them when they first allocated the freed slaves their land in around the 1800's.When the government was first placing the freed slaves from the British military service in the 1800's, they allocated the slaves land near the Bedford Basin in Nova Scotia. Henry Hill and Bennet Fletcher jointly petitioned the government in the 1820's about the land they had recieved; "They had been issued a peice of land so rocky and sterile that it is unfit to settle on." Africville was an industrial goldmine, yet it was a near uninhabitable peice of land. From the beginning of Africville to it's end, the community of Africville was never large. The reason for the migration to Africville was never specified. The shore of the Bedford Basin shoreline provided a preposessing location for baptisms. "The placid waters of Bedford Basin, Beneath whose surface Brothers Burton, Preston etc...have buried in the likeness of Christ many willing converts" stated by Mckerrow, a familiar of the Nova Scotia African Baptist Assosciation. Another reason was the inter-colonial railway, which suggested that the blacks settled at Affricville while laying down the track for the railway. However, as stated in the Africville Report, "the railway had begun in 1854, several years after the Africville community was developed." The railway may have brought some settlers, but the overall population of Africville remained around 400 members, made up of about 80 families and desultory stragglers.Africville was never meant to be a town or have a community itself. From the beginning of their history in Nova Soctia, the government knew it was only an industrial wasteland and would only be a matter of time before they would relocate the residents of Africville. From the start to the end of Africville, the government only grudgingly if it all, implemented the petitions of the Bedford Basins residents. "Blacks furthered petitioned the government for full grants, more and better land..The plan was never implemented" as stated from the Africville Report. The government stopped all services outside Africville. Mr. Edwards, a resident, stated, "Our living conditions are...

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