Black Nova Scotians
Earliest known image of a Black Nova Scotian, 1788
2.3% of Nova Scotia's population (2011))
|Regions with significant populations|
| Nova Scotia, predominantly in Halifax
Ontario, predominantly in Toronto
|Canadian English, Canadian French|
|Christianity (Baptist) and others|
|Related ethnic groups|
|African Americans, Black Canadians|
Black Nova Scotians are Black Canadians whose ancestors fled the Colonial United States as slaves or freemen, and later settled in Nova Scotia, Canada during the 18th and early 19th centuries. As of the 2011 Census of Canada, 20,790 black people live in Nova Scotia, most in Halifax, though a large number of Black Nova Scotians have migrated to Toronto, Ontario since the 1950s. Before the immigration reforms of the 1960s, Black Nova Scotians formed 37% of the total Black Canadian population.
The first Black person in Nova Scotia arrived with the founding of Port Royal in 1605. Black people were then brought as slaves to Nova Scotia during the founding of Louisbourg and Halifax. The first major migration of Blacks to Nova Scotia happened during the American Revolution, where Blacks were fleeing slavery in the United States. At the same time, educational opportunities began to develop with the establishment of Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (Bray Schools) in Nova Scotia. The decline of slavery in Nova Scotia happened in large part by local judicial decisions in keeping with those by the British courts of the late 18th century. The next major migration of Blacks happened during the War of 1812, again Blacks were escaping slavery in the United States. The opportunities for Black Nova Scotians began to open in the 19th century with the creation of institutions such as the Royal Acadian School and the Cornwallis Street Baptist Church. There were further developments in the 20th century with the establishment of the organizations such as Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, the Black United Front and the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia. In the 21st Century, there has been many initiatives in Nova Scotia to address past harms done to Black Nova Scotians such as the Africville Apology, the Viola Desmond Pardon and the restorative justice initiative for the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children.
- 1 History
- 1.1 17th century
- 1.2 18th century
- 1.3 19th century
- 1.4 20th century
- 1.5 21st century
- 2 Notable Black Nova Scotians
- 3 See also
- 4 Sources
- 5 External links
- 6 Further reading
The first recorded instance of a black presence in Canada was that of Mathieu de Costa. He arrived in Nova Scotia sometime between 1603 and 1608 as a translator for the French explorer Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts. The first known black person to live in Canada was a slave from Madagascar named Olivier Le Jeune (who may also have been of partial Malay ancestry).
Of the 10,000 French living at Louisbourg (1713-1760) and on the rest of Ile Royale, 216 were slaves. According to historian Kenneth Donovan, slaves on Ile Royal "became servants, gardeners, bakers, tavern keepers, stone masons, musicians, laundry workers, soldiers, sailors, fishermen, hospital workers, ferry men, executioners and nursemaids." Over 90 per cent of the slaves were Blacks from the French West Indies.
When Halifax, Nova Scotia was established (1749), numerous British people brought slaves. Prominent shipowner and trader, for example, Joshua Mauger sold slaves at auction in Halifax. There are numerous newspaper advertisements for run away slaves. Of the 3000 inhabitants of Halifax in 1750, 400 were labelled "servants", some of which were slaves. 17 were free black people. In 1767, of the 13,374 people in what is now the present-day Maritimes, 104 of them were Black and 54 lived in Halifax.
The end of the American War of Independence led the Black Loyalists to flee what was becoming the United States of America, many being relocated in the British colony of Nova Scotia, Canada. Following Dunmore's Proclamation, the British authorities in American colonies promised freedom to the former slaves of the rebelling Americans, who escaped and made their way into British lines. Large numbers of enslaved colonial African Americans took advantage of this opportunity to obtain their freedom and they made their way over to the British side, as did a much smaller number of free African Americans.
Approximately three thousand Black Loyalists sailed to Nova Scotia between April and November of 1783, travelling on both Navy vessels and British chartered private transports. This group was largely made up of tradespeople and labourers. Many of these African Americans had roots mainly in American states like Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia and Maryland. Some came from Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York as well. Many of these African settlers were recorded in the Book of Negroes. In 1785 in Halifax, educational opportunities began to develop with the establishment of Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (Bray Schools).
Many of the Black Loyalists performed military service in the British Army, particularly as part of the only Black regiment of the war the Black Pioneers, and others served non-military roles. The soldiers of the Black Pioneers settled in Digby and were given small compensation in comparison to the white loyalist soldiers. Many of the Blacks settled under the leadership of Stephen Blucke, a prominent Black leader of the Black Pioneers. Historian Barry Moody has referred to Plucke as "the true founder of the Afro-Nova Scotian community."
Blucke led the founding of Birchtown, Nova Scotia in 1783. The community was the largest settlement of Black Loyalists and was the largest free settlement of Africans in North America in the 18th Century. The community was named after British Brigadier General Samuel Birch, an official who assisted in the evacuation of Black Loyalists from New York. (Also named after the general was a much smaller settlement of Black Loyalists in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia called Birchtown.) The two other significant Black Loyalist communities established in Nova Scotia were Brindley town (present-day Jordantown) and Tracadie. Just as most white Loyalists abandoned the Shelburn settlement, the majority of Nova Scotian settlers at Birchtown abandoned the settlement and emigrated to Sierra Leone in 1792. To accommodate these British subjects, the British government approved 16,000 pounds for the emigration, three times the total annual budget for Nova Scotia.
The other significant Black Loyalist settlement of Tracadie. Led by Thomas Brownspriggs, Black Nova Scotians who had settled at Chedabucto Bay behind the present-day village of Guysborough migrated to Tracadie (1787). None of the Blacks in eastern Nova Scotia migrated to Sierra Leone.
One of the Black Loyalist was Andrew Izard (c. 1755 - ?). He was a former slave of Ralph Izard in St. George, South Carolina. He worked on a rice plantation and grew up on Combahee. When he was young he was valued at 100 pounds. In 1778 Izard made his escape. During the American Revolution he worked for the British army in the wagonmaster-general's department. He was on one of the final ships to leave New York in 1783. He traveled on the Nisbett in November, which sailed to Port Mouton. The village burned to the ground in the spring of 1784 and he was transported to Guysborough. There he raised a family and still has descendants that live in the community.
Education in the Black community was initially advocated by Charles Inglis who sponsored the Protestant Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Some of the schoolmasters were: Thomas Brownspriggs (c.1788-1790) and Dempsey Jordan (1818-?). There were 23 black families at Tracadie in 1808; by 1827 this number had increased to 30 or more.
Decline of slavery, 1787-1812
While many blacks who arrived in Nova Scotia during the American Revolution were free, others were not. Black slaves also arrived in Nova Scotia as the property of White American Loyalists. In 1772, prior to the American Revolution, Britain outlawed the slave trade in the British Isles followed by the Knight v. Wedderburn decision in Scotland in 1778. This decision, in turn, influenced the colony of Nova Scotia. In 1788, abolitionist James Drummond MacGregor from Pictou published the first anti-slavery literature in Canada and began purchasing slaves' freedom and chastising his colleagues in the Presbyterian church who owned slaves. Historian Alan Wilson describes the document as "a landmark on the road to personal freedom in province and country." Historian Robin Winks writes it is "the sharpest attack to come from a Canadian pen even into the 1840s; he had also brought about a public debate which soon reached the courts." In 1790 John Burbidge freed his slaves.
Led by Richard John Uniacke, in 1787, 1789 and again on January 11, 1808, the Nova Scotian legislature refused to legalize slavery. Two chief justices, Thomas Andrew Lumisden Strange (1790-1796) and Sampson Salter Blowers (1797-1832) waged "judicial war" in their efforts to free slaves from their owners in Nova Scotia. They were held in high regard in the colony. Justice Alexander Croke (1801-1815) also impounded American slave ships during this time period (the most famous being the Liverpool Packet). By the end of the War of 1812 and the arrival of the Black Refugees, there were few slaves left in Nova Scotia. (The Slave Trade Act outlawed the slave trade in the British Empire in 1807 and the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 outlawed slavery all together.)
On June 26, 1796, 543 men, women and children, Jamaican Maroons, were deported on board the ships Dover, Mary and Anne, from Jamaica after being defeated in an uprising against the British colonial government. Their initial destination was Lower Canada but on July 21 and 23, the ships arrived in Nova Scotia. At this time Halifax was experiencing a major construction boom initiated by Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn's efforts to modernize the city's defences. The many building projects had created a labour shortage. Edward was impressed by the Maroons and immediately put them to work at the Citadel in Halifax, Government House, and other defence works throughout the city.
The British Lieutenant Governor Sir John Wentworth, from the monies provided by the Jamaican Government, procured an annual stipend of £240 for the support of a school and religious education. The Maroons requested and were granted passage to Sierra Leone. On August 6, 1800, the Maroons departed Halifax, arriving on October 1 at Freetown, Sierra Leone.
War of 1812
The next major migration of blacks into Nova Scotia occurred between 1813 and 1815. Black Refugees from the United States settled in many parts of Nova Scotia including Hammonds Plains, Beechville, Lucasville and Africville.
Canada was not suited to the large-scale plantation agriculture practised in the southern United States, and slavery became increasingly rare. In 1793, in one of the first acts of the new Upper Canadian colonial parliament, slavery was abolished. It was all but abolished throughout the other British North American colonies by 1800, and was illegal throughout the British Empire after 1834. This made Canada an attractive destination for those fleeing slavery in the United States, such as American minister Boston King.
Royal Acadian School
In 1814, Walter Bromley opened the Royal Acadian School which included many black students - children and adults - whom he taught on the weekends because they were employed during the week. Some of the black students entered into business in Halifax while others were hired as servants.
Cornwallis Street Baptist Church
Following Black Loyalist preacher David George, Baptist minister John Burton was one of the first ministers to integrate black and white Nova Scotians into the same congregation. In 1811 Burton's church had 33 members, the majority of whom were free blacks from Halifax and the neighbouring settlements of Preston and Hammonds Plains. According to historian Stephen Davidson, the blacks were "shunned, or merely tolerated, by the rest of Christian Halifax, the blacks were from the first warmly received in the Baptist Church." Burton became known as "an apostle to the coloured people" and would often be sent out by the Baptist association on missionary visits to the black communities surrounding Halifax. He was the mentor of Richard Preston.
Cornwallis Street Baptist Church (formerly known as the African Chapel and the African Baptist Church) is a baptist church in Halifax, Nova Scotia that was established by Black Refugees in 1832. When the chapel was completed, black citizens of Halifax were reported to be proud of this accomplishment because it was evidence that former slaves could establish their own institutions in Nova Scotia. Under the direction of Richard Preston, the church laid the foundation for social action to address the plight of Black Nova Scotians.
Preston and others went on to establish a network of socially active Black baptist churches throughout Nova Scotia, with the Halifax church being referred to as the "Mother Church." Five of these churches were established in Halifax: Preston (1842), Beechville (1844), Hammonds Plains (1845), and another in Africville (1849) and Dartmouth. From meetings held at the church, they also established the African Friendly Society, the African Abolition Society, and the African United Baptist Association.
American Civil War
Numerous Black Nova Scotians fought in the American Civil War in the effort to end slavery. Perhaps the most well known Nova Scotians to fight in the war effort are Joseph B. Noil and Benjamin Jackson. Three Black Nova Scotians served in the famous 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry: Hammel Gilyer, Samuel Hazzard, and Thomas Page.
Coloured Hockey League
In 1894, an all-black ice hockey league, known as the Coloured Hockey League, was founded in Nova Scotia. Black players from Canada's Maritime provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island) participated in competition. The league began to play 23 years before the National Hockey League was founded, and as such, it has been credited with some innovations which exist in the NHL today. Most notably, it is claimed that the first player to use the slapshot was Eddie Martin of the Halifax Eurekas, more than 100 years ago. The league remained in operation until 1930.
World War One
The No. 2 Construction Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), was the only predominantly black battalion in Canadian military history and also the only Canadian Battalion composed of black soldiers to serve in World War I. The battalion was raised in Nova Scotia and 56% of battalion members (500 soldiers) came from the province. Reverend William A. White of the Battalion became the first Black officer in the British Empire.
An earlier black military unit in Nova Scotia was the Victoria Rifles.
Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Led by minister William Pearly Oliver, the Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Colored People was formed in 1945 out of the Cornwallis Street Baptist Church. The organization was intent of improving the standard of living for Black Nova Scotians. The organization also attempted to improve black-white relations in co-operation with private and governmental agencies. The organization was joined by 500 Black Nova Scotians. By 1956, the NSAACP had branches in Halifax, Cobequid Road, Digby, Wegymouth Falls, Beechville, Inglewooe, Hammonds Plains and Yarmouth. Preston and Africville branches were added in 1962, the same year New Road, Cherrybrook, and Preston East requested branches. In 1947, the Association successfully took the case of Viola Desmond to the Supreme Court of Canada. It also pressured the Children's Hospital in Halifax to allow for black women to become nurses; it advocated for inclusion and challenged racist curriculum in the Department of Education. The Association also developed an Adult Education program with the government department.
By 1970, over one-third of the 270 members were white.
Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission
Along with Oliver and the direct involvement of the premier of Nova Scotia Robert Stanfield, many Black activists were responsible for the establishment of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission (1967). Originally the mandate of the Commission was primarily to address the plight of Black Nova Scotians. The first employee and administrative officer of the Commission was Gordon Earle.
Black United Front
In keeping with the times, Reverend William Oliver began the Black United Front in 1969, which explicitly adopted a black separatist agenda. The black separatist movement of the United States had a significant influence on the mobilization of the Black community in 20th Century Nova Scotia. This Black separatist approach to address racism and black empowerment was introduced to Nova Scotia by Marcus Garvey in the 1920s. Garvey argued that black people would never get a fair deal in white society, so they ought to form separate republics or return to Africa. White people are considered a homogenous group who are essentially racist and, in that sense, are considered unredeemable in efforts to address racism.
Garvey visited Nova Scotia twice, first in the 1920s, which led to a Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA) office in Cape Breton, and then the famous 1937 visit. He was initially drawn by the founding of an African Orthodox Church in Sydney in 1921 and maintained contact with the ex-pat West Indian community. The UNIA invited him to visit in 1937. (Garvey presided over UNIA regional conferences and conventions in Toronto, in 1936, 1937, and 1938. At the 1937 meeting he inaugurated his School of African Philosophy.)
Despite objections from Martin Luther King Jr., this separatist politics was reinforced again in the 1960s by the Black Power Movement and especially its militant subgroup the Black Panther Party. Francis Beaufils (a.k.a. Ronald Hill) was a fugitive Black Panther facing charges in the U.S. who had found refuge in rural Nova Scotia. The separatist movement influenced the development of the Halifax-based Black United Front (BUF). Black United Front was a Black nationalist organization that included Burnley "Rocky" Jones and was loosely based on the 10 point program of the Black Panther Party. In 1968, Stokely Carmichael, who coined the phrase Black Power!, visited Nova Scotia helping organize the BUF.
Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia
Reverend William Oliver eventually left the BUF and became instrumental in establishing the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia, which opened in 1983. The organization houses a museum, library and archival area. Oliver designed the Black Cultural Centre to help all Nova Scotians become aware of how Black culture is woven into the heritage of the province. The Centre also helps Nova Scotians trace their history of championing human rights and overcoming racism in the province. For his efforts in establishing the four leading organizations in the 20th century to support Black Nova Scotians and, ultimately, all Nova Scotians, William Oliver was awarded the Order of Canada in 1984.
Several distinct unions and other organizations have been created by Black Nova Scotians to serve the community. Some of these include the Black Educators Association of Nova Scotia, African Nova Scotian Music Association, Health Association of African Canadians and the Black Business Initiative. Individuals involved in these and other organizations worked together with various officials to orchestrate the government apologies and pardons for past incidents of racial discrimination.
Viola Desmond pardon
On April 14, 2010, the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, Mayann Francis, on the advice of her premier, invoked the Royal Prerogative and granted Viola Desmond a posthumous free pardon, the first such to be granted in Canada. The free pardon, an extraordinary remedy granted under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy only in the rarest of circumstances and the first one granted posthumously, differs from a simple pardon in that it is based on innocence and recognizes that a conviction was in error. The government of Nova Scotia also apologised. This initiate happened through Desmond's younger sister Wanda Robson, and a professor of Cape Breton University, Graham Reynolds, working with the Government of Nova Scotia to ensure that Desmond's name was cleared and the government admitted its error.
In honour of Desmond, the provincial government has named the first Nova Scotia Heritage Day after her.
Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children apology
Children in an orphanage that opened in the year 1921, the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children, suffered physical, psychological and sexual abuse by staff over a 50-year period. Ray Wagner is the lead counsel for the former residents who successfully made a case against the orphanage. In 2014, the Premier of Nova Scotia Stephen McNeil wrote a letter of apology and about 300 claimants are to receive monetary compensation for their damages.
Notable Black Nova Scotians
- Wayne Adams, politician
- Mayann Francis, politician
- Daurene Lewis, political activist, first black woman mayor in Canada; recipient of Order of Canada
- Donald Oliver, politician
- Calvin Ruck, politician, recipient of Order of Canada
- Bill White, politician
- Gary Beals, R&B musician
- Walter Borden, actor
- George Boyd, playwright/journalist
- George Elliott Clarke, poet and playwright
- JRDN, R&B musician
- Faith Nolan, folk and jazz musician
- Portia White, opera musician
- George Dixon, professional boxer
- Kirk Johnson, professional boxer
- Rocky Johnson, professional wrestler, father of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
- Sam Langford, professional boxer
- Bill Riley, professional hockey player
- Wayne Smith, professional football player
- Tyrone Williams, professional football player
- William Hall, Victoria Cross laureate
- Benjamin Jackson, sailor and Civil War soldier
- Jeremiah Jones, WW 1
- Joseph B. Noil, sailor and Medal of Honor recipient
- Isaac Phills - WW 1 and Order of Canada recipient
- William A. White, WW 1
- Three Black Nova Scotians served in the American Civil War in the famous 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry: Hammel Gilyer, Samuel Hazzard, and Thomas Page.
- Stephen Blucke, "founder of the Afro-Nova Scotian community"
- Rose Fortune, considered first black woman police officer in Canada
- James Robinson Johnston, lawyer and community leader
- Beverly Mascoll, businesswoman
- History of Nova Scotia
- Military history of Nova Scotia
- Thomas Peters, Black Loyalist who settled Nova Scotia.
- Book of Negroes, a list of 3,000 Black Loyalists who were evacuated from New York to Nova Scotia
- The Book of Negroes (2007), a novel based on the Book of Negroes
- Poor Boy's Game
- Speak It! From the Heart of Black Nova Scotia
- Black United Front
- Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia
- Victoria Rifles (Nova Scotia)
- No. 2 Construction Battalion
- Nova Scotia Archives
- "NHS Profile, Nova Scotia, 2011". Statcan.gc.ca. 2013-05-08. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
- Confederation's Casualties: The "Maritimer" as a Problem in 1960s Toronto, Acadiensis. Retrieved 2014-02-04.
- Black history in Toronto, City of Toronto. Retrieved 2014-02-04.
- Cultural Renaissance | Nova Scotia - Come to life
- Halifax's Black Loyalists - Halifax Nova Scotia
- Racism's long history in quiet East Coast towns The Globe and Mail. Accessed on February 23, 2016.
- An account of the designs of the associates of the late doctor bray, 1784, p. 9
- Early Schooling of Nova Scotia Black Pioneers
- Nova Scotia Archives
- Kenneth Donovan, "Slaves and Their Owners in Ile Royale, 1713-1760", Acadiensis, XXV, 1 (Autumn 1995), pp. 3–32.
- Slavery Tour opens at Fortress of Louisbourg:Interpreters of African descent lead tourists through historic site. CBC News Posted: July 30, 2009
- Kenneth Donovan, "A Nominal List of Slaves and Their Owners in Ile Royale, 1713-1760", Nova Scotia Historical Review, 16, 1 (June 1996), pp. 151–62.
- By the late 1750s Ile Royale's population, including soldiers, approached 10,000 people. See A. J. B. Johnston, "The Population of Eighteenth-Century Louisbourg", Nova Scotia Historical Review, 11,2 (December 1991), pp. 75–86.
- Kenneth Donovan, "Slaves and Their Owners in Ile Royale, 1713-1760", Acadiensis, XXV, 1 (Autumn 1995), p. 4
- Donovan, p. 5
- The Archives of Nova Scotia asserts that there were 400 slaves that came to Halifax on the basis that there are about 400 servants listed. Given that the immigrants came directly from England and were primarily poor, the possibility of many of them having slaves as the number 400 suggests is remote.
- Census dated January 1, 1767 as cited by John N. Grant. Black Nova Scotians. Nova Scotia Department of Education. 1980. p. 7; Also see Bruce Furguson. Public Archives of Nova Scotia, RG 1, Volume 443, No. 1
- Nova Scotia Archives & Records Management - African Nova Scotians - Black Loyalists, 1783-1792
- Remembering Black Loyalists, Black Communities in Nova Scotia
- Judith Fingard, "Attitudes towards the Education of the Poor in Colonial Halifax", p. 17.
- Barry Cahill. Stephen Blucke: The Perils of Being a "White Negro" in Loyalist Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia Historical Review, p. 129
- William Weir (2004). The Encyclopedia of African American Military History. Prometheus Books. pp. 31–32.
- "Birchtown", Place-Names and Places of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management, p. 67
- John N. Grant. Black Nova Scotians. Nova Scotia Department of Education. 1980. p. 13
- Black Loyalist Heritage Society
- Ruth Whitehead. Black Loyalists, 2013. p. 172
- John Grant. Dempsey Jordan: Teacher, Preacher, Farmer, Community Leader, and Loyalist Settler at Guysborough and Tracadie. Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society Journal. Vol. 14, 2011, pp. 78-79
- Nova Scotia Archives
- Slavery in the Maritime Provinces.
- Harvey Amani Whitfield. The Struggle over slavery in the Maritime Colonies. Acadiensis. 2002. No. 2.
- "MacGREGOR (McGregor), JAMES DRUMMOND", Dictionary of Canadian Biography.
- Alan Wilson. Highland Shepherd: James MacGregor, Father of the Scottish Enlightenment in Nova Scotia. University of Toronto Press, 2015, p. 75.
- Robin Winks as cited by Alan Wilson. Highland Shepherd: James MacGregor, Father of the Scottish Enlightenment in Nova Scotia. University of Toronto Press, 2015, p. 79.
- Bridglal Pachai & Henry Bishop. Historic Black Nova Scotia. 2006. p. 8.
- John Grant. Black Refugees. p. 31.
- Robin Winks. Blacks In Canada, p. 102.
- Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
- Nova Scotia courts rule against slavery
- Opinions of several gentlemen of the law, on the subject of negro servitude, in the province of Nova-Scotia. 1802.
- 20th Regiment - Regimental history
- John N. Grant. "Black Immigrants into Nova Scotia, 1776-1815". The Journal of Negro History. Vol. 58, No. 3 (July 1973), pp. 253–270.
- Nova Scotia Archives
- Thomas Akins. History of Halifax, p. 174.
- Akins, p. 159.
- Burton, John. Dictionary of Canadian Biography.
- Canadian Biography - Richard Preston
- Pier 21 - Black Refugees
- Nova Scotia Archives
- Tom Brooks "All Men are Brothers", 1995. LWF Publications. historical quarterly, Lest We Forget.
- Black hockey hall of fame proposed for Dartmouth, CBC Sports, August 26, 2006. Accessed on August 19, 2012.
- birthplaceofhockey.com, Garth Vaughan © 2001. Accessed on August 19, 2012.
- Martins, Daniel, Hockey historian credits black player with first slapshot, CanWest News Service, January 31, 2007. Accessed on August 19, 2012.
- Colin A. Thomson. Born with a call: a biography of Dr. William Pearly Oliver, C.M., p. 79
- Thomson, p. 81
- Thomson p. 93
- Andrew MacKay. First Chairperson. In Bridglal Pachai (ed.), Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission: 25th Anniversary. 1992, p. 19.
- Thomson, p. 121.
- Jon Tattrie. Sunday Chronicle-Herald, November 29, 2009
- Paul MacDougall, "Marcus Garvey and Nova Scotia: Birth of a Movement, Birth of a Religion, Birth of a Church". Shunpiking Magazine. Black History & African Heritage Supplement. February/March 2000, Volume 5, Number 32. In 1937 Marcus Garvey visited Africville and gave a speech at the African Methodist Church, a speech Bob Marley referenced in the lyrics to "Redemption Song".
- Martin Luther King Jr. Where do we go from here: Community or chaos? (1968)
- Black Panther's story is also story of N.S. in ’70s September 16, 2012
- Tim Mitchell, "Black rights advocate refuses to quit", The Mail Archive, February 19, 2009.
- Thomson, p. 137.
- Carlson, Kathryn Blaze (April 14, 2010). "'Canada's Rosa Parks,' Viola Desmond, posthumously pardoned". National Post. Archived from the original on August 26, 2010. Retrieved April 14, 2010.
- CBC news "Home for Colored Children victims tell court about rape, beatings", July 7, 2014.
- CBC news "Home for Colored Children apology: N.S. says sorry to ex-residents", October 10, 2014.
- William Renwick Riddell. Slavery in the Maritime Provinces. The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 5, No. 3 (July 1920), pp. 359–375
- Catherine Cottreau-Robins, "Timothy Ruggles - A Loyalist Plantation in Nova Scotia, 1784-1800". Doctorate Thesis. Dalhousie University, 2012
- Williams, Dawn P. (2006), Who's Who in Black Canada, Volume 2, D.P. Williams, ISBN 0-9731384-2-4
- Allen Robertson, "Bondage and Freedom: Apprentices, Servants and Slaves in Colonial Nova Scotia"; Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society. Vol. #44 (1996); pp. 13.
- Wilson Head. "Discrimination Against Blacks in Nova Scotia: The Criminal Justice System" (1989).
- John Grant, "Black Immigration into Nova Scotia". Journal of Negro History, 1973
- The African in Canada; The Maroons of Jamaica and Nova Scotia (1890)
- Papers relative to the settling of the Maroons in His Majesty's province of Nova Scotia (1798)
- A brief history of the coloured Baptists of Nova Scotia and their first organization as churches, A.D. 1832 (1895)