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Celebrating African Heritage Month – Through our Eyes: The Voices of African Nova Scotians

February is designated as African Heritage Month, a time to commemorate the history and heritage of People of African descent throughout the province.  We honor the voices of those lost at sea; and the blood of the Greats who watered our roots and has given us a place on which to stand.  In this moment, we recognize and celebrate the contributions and rich legacies of African Nova Scotians who have carried the torch of our ancestors through time.

In this moment, we  also recognize the challenges of institutional racism, injustices and inequities that African Nova Scotian communities are confronted with in their daily lives. With courage and willingness, we seize this opportunity to center the lived experiences and to amply the voices of African Nova Scotians who were the catalyst for change.

To mark this important month, the Institute for the Study of Canadian Slavery will present a panel discussion featuring Tonya “Sam’Gwan” Paris, Jason Cyrus, and Bruno R. Verás. Each panelist will discuss their research/creation from their fellowship at the Institute during fall 2021. Topics covered include Black fashion history in Canada, nineteenth-century Canadian Press coverage of slave rebellions in Brazil and intertwined histories of Black and Indigenous resistance. The panel will be moderated by Institute Director Dr. Charmaine A. Nelson.

In addition to the panel, the Institute is also participating in a Black and Indigenous Speaker Series on Friday, February 4, 2022, from noon to 1:15 p.m. This panel is brought to you by the MSVU Research Office, where Dr. Charmaine A. Nelson’s will present “He ‘is supposed to have with him forged Certificates of his Freedom, and Passes’: Slavery, Mobility, and the Creolized Counter-Knowledge of Resistance.”

For more on the speaker series and panel, including how to access the zoom login information, click here.

For a list of additional events, please visit the African Nova Scotian Community Calendar.  We encourage you to take advantage of the great events and learning opportunities available throughout Nova Scotia.

February 2022 African Heritage Month’s theme Through Our Eyes: The Voices of African Nova Scotians is a charge for everyone to take tangible steps in pushing back on the advances of the manifestations of anti-Black racism and to wholly and actively embrace the dawn of change.


Charisma Grace Walker
Director, Opportunity and Belonging