When a young girl visits the site of Africville, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the stories she's heard from her family come to mind. She imagines what the community was once like --the brightly painted houses nestled into the hillside, the field where boys played football, the pond where all the kids went rafting, the bountiful fishing, the huge bonfires. Coming out of her reverie, she visits the present-day park and the sundial where her great- grandmother's name is carved in stone, and celebrates a summer day at the annual Africville Reunion/Festival.
Africville was a vibrant Black community for more than 150 years. But even though its residents paid municipal taxes, they lived without running water, sewers, paved roads and police, fire-truck and ambulance services. Over time, the city located a slaughterhouse, a hospital for infectious disease, and even the city garbage dump nearby. In the 1960s, city officials decided to demolish the community, moving people out in city dump trucks and relocating them in public housing.
Today, Africville has been replaced by a park, where former residents and their families gather each summer to remember their community.
About the Author
Shauntay Grant is a writer, spoken word performer, broadcast journalist, and musician. She was Halifax's third poet laureate (2009-2010). She is the author of The City Speaks in Drums and Up Home, which won the 2008 Atlantic Book Award for Best Atlantic Published Book and was shortlisted for the 2010 Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Awards. Shauntay lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Eva Campbell is an artist and illustrator who teaches visual art. She has exhibited her work in Canada, the US, the UK, Barbados and Ghana. Eva won the Children's Africana Book Award for her illustrations in The Matatu by Eric Walters. She also illustrated Africville by Shauntay Grant, winner of the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration, and a Governor General's Literary Award finalist. Eva lives in Victoria.