The Racist Outcome Of The Underground Railroad

Africville protest camp
Via Flickr
Leslie Taylor-Grover
March 9, 2020

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada was the last stop on the Underground Railroad. But what many thought would be the Promised Land turned out to be one of the most dangerous and racist places in the North!

When our ancestors first arrived in Halifax following promises of freedom and land, the government gave them the most treacherous and hard-to-settle parts. Of course, we can survive anything. The settlers named it Africville, and they independently built churches, schools, and stores.  

The community thrived - and this pissed the government off.

Disgusted to the core by Black excellence, Halifax denied the community basic services like electricity and sewer service. But our ancestors refused to abandon the town they built. 

Halifax’s response to this resilience was devastating.

Unable to stop Africville’s success, Halifax forced families off the land they built and relegated them to shabby public housing developments on the fringes of violent white communities. 

Then, to make themselves look less racist, Halifax claimed the move - which left residents impoverished and in mortal danger - would provide a better life for the community’s residents!

Halifax has since issued a weak public apology, and turned a local church into a museum to commemorate Africville. But can a museum ever make up for what was stolen from us?

Luckily, the resolve of our ancestors has not faded away, and the former Africville residents haven’t stopped the fight to get what was stolen from them!

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