Canada’s history of enslavement, racial segregation, and oppression of African Canadians has left a legacy of systemic racism in Nova Scotia. It is impossible to separate the current lived realities of sexual violence of African Nova Scotians (ANS) from the legacy of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and ongoing systemic racism.
Gender-based sexual violence and race are connected.
Disproportionately, ANS girls and women are trafficked and sexually exploited, and ANS boys and men are criminalized and incarcerated. ANS communities have been deliberately impoverished, denied housing, had their children taken into care and been denied equal employment opportunities. These conditions lead to increased vulnerability to sexual violence.
Despite these harsh realities, African Nova Scotians are resilient in the face of ongoing systemic racism. Cultural pride is a major source of strength for ANS communities.
African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia (AUBA)
1st Floor – Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia
10 Cherry Brook Road, Cherry Brook, NS
The African United Baptist Association (AUBA) was established in 1854 under the visionary leadership of Rev. Richard Preston. The AUBA was formed to connect Black Baptist churches throughout Nova Scotia. Continuing its tradition, an annual association gathering of informative workshops, lively music and inspired preaching is still held the third week of August.
East Preston Day Care and Family Resource Centre
1799 Highway 7, East Preston, NS
The East Preston Day Care and Family Resource Centre’s main goal is to nurture and support families in our region, surrounding communities and beyond. They have a supportive, family feeling — in fact, many children who attend our day care eventually go through our youth program. Open to everyone and anyone, they’re proud of East Preston and the surrounding communities. Even more importantly, they’re proud of our children, youth, and families, and their accomplishments during their years with us.
In My Own Voice (iMOVE)
2439 Gottingen Street, Halifax, NS
In My Own Voice (iMOVe) Arts Association delivers arts and technology based programs to marginalized youth and adults in their home communities.
Nova Scotia Association of Black Social Workers (NSABSW)
1018 Main Street, Dartmouth, NS
The key mission of the association is to act as a support group and professional development resource for African Canadian workers. NSABSW offers educational and community based programs ranging from clinical counselling to professional development.
Nova Scotia Mass Choir
George Dixon Centre
2502 Brunswick Street, Halifax, NS
The Nova Scotia Mass Choir is a Canadian choral ensemble based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The choir performs mainly Black gospel music, and focuses on spreading the message of racial harmony.
Racial Justice Action Committee
Racial Justice Action Committee is a youth-led racial justice action committee based in Wagobagitik (Truro, NS). It was founded by Black teen Elisabet Astatkie in 2020 and aims to inform the public about BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) experiences in Nova Scotia and to be a place of support for them. You can read a news article about the initiative here.
African Nova Scotian Perspectives on Sexual Violence [Vimeo video] — This video was created to help make the connections between sexual violence, racism, white supremacy, and the transatlantic slave trade.
Current Realities of Sexual Violence [Vimeo video] — This conversation between three African Nova Scotians sheds light on the current realities of sexual violence for Black communities in Nova Scotia. Shianne Gordon is a musical artist and youth worker, Corey Wright is an entrepreneur and musical artist and Jade Brooks is an author, blogger and anti-human trafficking advocate.
Pathways 2 Justice: Kitchen Table Talks Report [PDF] — This 2019 report by the Nova Scotia Association of Black Social Workers (NSABSW) and the Be the Peace Institute (BTPI) explores what justice looks like for women affected by gendered violence and how to use a restorative lens when working with women who have been impacted by gendered violence.
Restorative Inquiry: The Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children — The Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children Restorative Inquiry was established following a 17-year journey for justice by former residents of the Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children (NSHCC, or “the Home”). In establishing the Restorative Inquiry, the Government of Nova Scotia recognized that the history, experience, and legacy of the Home reflects the systemic and institutionalized racism that has shaped Nova Scotia’s history and continues to impact the lives and experiences of African Nova Scotians to this day.
Journey to Light: A Brief History of the Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children [YouTube video] — A short documentary on the history and legacy of racism and sexual violence inflicted upon those who attended the Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children.
Trailer: Surviving R Kelly [YouTube video] — This trailer is for the Lifetime documentary Surviving R Kelly, which highlights the emotional stories, experiences, and resilience of Black women who are impacted by R&B superstar R Kelly’s sexual, psychological, and emotional abuse. The full documentary is currently available on Netflix Canada [warning: triggering content].
Unpack That: Why Do We Silence Black Girls and Women Who are Survivors of Sexual Violence [YouTube video] — This video by The Root explores why Black girls and women who are impacted by sexual violence have been historically silenced.
Dr. Ghynny From the Block: Black Psychologist [YouTube channel] — This YouTube channel features Dr. Ghynecee, a licensed Psychologist, who is passionate about discussing mental health (for the culture) and empowering others to live their best lives. This channel is a place for breaking the stigma around mental health, engagement in thoughtful dialogue, connection, and healing.
Grounding Techniques to Manage Anxiety, Emotional Distress, and PTSD Symptoms [YouTube video] — This video by Black Psychologist Dr. Ghynny From the Block introduces you to the “5,4,3,2,1” grounding technique to help manage anxiety, emotional distress, and PTSD symptoms.
The Therapist (Season 1) [YouTube playlist] — Each episode in this Noisey series features a real therapy session with a famous musician and Dr. Siri Sat Nam Singh. Musicians featured include Chief Keef, DeJ Loaf, Tee Grizzley, Waka Flocka, Katy Perry, Rich Homie Quan, Joey Bada$$, etc. A variety of mental health and emotional issues are explored.