Shelburne Riots

The Shelburne riots took place in the summer of 1784 by Loyalist veterans of the American War of Independence against Black Loyalists and government officials. This incident is considered the first race riot in Canada, lasting about a month. The Shelburne Riot was symbolic of the broader racial prejudices encountered by Black Nova Scotians in…

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Daurene Lewis

Daurene Lewis was the first black female mayor in Canada. She was born in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, in 1943. She was a descendant of a freed Loyalist African American who settled in Annapolis Royal in 1783. In 1984, Lewis was elected mayor of Annapolis Royal. She was the first Black mayor in Canada.

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Rose Fortune

Born during the American Revolution to enslaved parents, Rose emigrated to Canada at age ten. Her family settled in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. Rose is known for her talent as a businesswoman when neither women nor Black persons were encouraged to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities

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The Seaview African United Baptist Church

The church was the heart of Africville. It was located at the village centre and was a place for both church-goers and other community members as it held main civic events, including weddings, funerals and baptisms. The church you see today is a replica of the original, which symbolizes Canadian history’s dark past. The original…

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Roseland Theatre

Viola Desmond was a Canadian civil rights activist and businesswoman of Black Nova Scotian descent. In 1946, she challenged racial segregation at a cinema in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia—known as Roseland Theatre—by refusing to leave its whites-only area. This human rights case portrays the prevalent discrimination Black Nova Scotians faced, and their resistance and fights…

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The Desmond School of Beauty Culture

Viola Desmond, who was named a National Historic Person in 2018, was born and raised in Halifax. Growing up, Demond noticed the absence of professional hair and skin care products for Black women. Because of her African descent, she was not allowed to train to become a beautician in Halifax. After completing her training in…

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