The Segregation of African Canadians

But the dream of freedom in the “promised land” was never really achieved. Like other minorities, African-Canadians would become victims of discrimination.


Among the Atlantic Provinces, it was in Nova Scotia, where the highest population of Blacks resided, where racial discrimination, particularly against blacks, was the most prevalent.

Eager to live away from white discrimination, Blacks established a district known as Africville, north of Halifax, after the War of 1812. Africville Blacks owned their land, their homes and their businesses. But even though they paid taxes, their community had no running water, sewage system, police or fire departments. Africville would become a symbol for the fight against racial segregation.

At that time in Nova Scotia, Blacks had no political power, political clout or social recognition. The community was forcibly dismantled from 1964 to 1969, houses razed and their dwellers resettled in public housing without their consent. The way authorities acted without regard to the Black community of Africville demonstrates the injustice African-Canadians were subjected to.

The Government of Canada recently acknowledged the error in judgment committed by their predecessors and apologized to the black population.