Remember Africville documents the destruction of a community

0 Posted by - April 18, 2010 - Blog, Screen

It’s week four of the NFB’s Work For All campaign, and this time we’d like to draw your attention to a documentary that chronicles a disturbingly racist chapter in Canadian history.

In the 1960s, the residents of Africville — a small Black community within the city limits of Halifax, Nova Scotia — were evicted and the buildings were destroyed.

The government had neglected and abused the community for decades, refusing to provide proper roads, health services, water and electricity, and considered the area a dumping ground for unpopular facilities such as a prison, a depository for fecal waste, the city dump, and an infectious disease hospital.

Finally, the various levels of government decided the land would be better suited for commercial and industrial use, and in 1964 they began evicting the residents. The garbage trucks they used to relocate the families’ belongings were a fitting symbol of the contempt and disrespect the authorites had shown to the residents of Africville.

The 1991 documentary Remember Africville tells the story of the beseiged community through the words of former residents, their descendants and some of the decision-makers from that dark period in Nova Scotian history.

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