The history of the Africville community

Africville is not very well known and many people only knew of it once it was demolished by the government in 1969. But, what is Africville anyway and why did the government demolish it? Let’s find out!

Africville was founded sometime in the 1840s by William Brown and William Arnold just outside of Halifax Nova Scotia since after the civil war slaves were freed so many families immigrated to Canada in search of a fresh start. As a result of all the families coming to Canada, Africville became full of families building a new life in a friendly and safe living area. Africville was quite a small community although
they simply had a few stores, a post office, and a church which was the heart of the community where everyone of all religions was welcome and the population of Africville gathered to have meetings, dinners, and village gatherings.

The people of Africville were very close-knit with one another and everyone knew one another very well. Africville was a very happy village with no discrimination against any races. But, Africville was built on very swampy and bumpy land which was not ideal for the town and plus, Africville did not have proper drinking water and as a result had to pull up water from the community well and then take buckets of
well water home because the water had to be boiled to be safe to drink. When all of these problems were happening in Africville, the City Of Halifax did not do anything to improve the living conditions for these residents and only made them worse.

The City of Halifax decided to slowly demolish Africville because the City of Halifax wanted the land cleared but some people think that it was racism that provoked the city council to demolish Africville.

The people who lived in Africville protested against the idea of demolishing the close-knit village but the City of Halifax did not even think twice and one-by-one the City of Halifax told residents to move out of their houses with a week’s notice. That was not very fair for the village people since they did not even have a choice. Africville was officially destroyed in the 1960s era and many former residents of Africville are still not happy with how they were treated by the City of Halifax.

As a result of this unhappiness, the City of Halifax built a replica of the community church which is now a museum on the former Africville land but even that action will not heal the City of Halifax’s mistakes and I am sure that you will agree that the demolishing of Africville was not a fair action.

If you want to learn more about Africville and it’s lasting legacy, be sure to look up Africville on a search engine.

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