Project 45: Africville: Learning About the Past for a Better Future

Student Name(s): Hamza

School: Edmonton Islamic Academy

Grade: 6


Research Topic / Main Questions:

What is Africville? Why is it important to study the past? How can we learn from the events of Africville?

Why did you choose this topic?

I chose this topic because I enjoy studying history. During Black History month in February, I wanted to learn about ways to promote respect and equality. Africville teaches us lessons about the importance of helping others and treating everyone equally because Canada is a multicultural country. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects people with equality rights and the freedom of religion.

Please summarize your experience in researching this project?

I gathered my research from the school library, and I also used my chromebook visiting different websites and video links. I compared the sources and summarized the main ideas. It was challenging because I gathered information during Spring Break and I shared it with my classroom teacher Mr. Gee. He gave me feedback, and I went back to my revisions. Here are some of the main ideas. I also studied the images from Canadian postage stamps to develop a deeper understanding of reconciliation and addressing past historical mistakes. I also read the book Africville by Shauntay Grant. Here is my background information in my report:

Africville is located in north Halifax in Nova Scotia. It was home to many black Canadians. The community grew because many escaped slavery in the United States using the Underground Railroad in the 1840s to 1880s.

However, many members of the black community faced discrimination. Discrimination is where people are treatly poorly based on their race, culture, gender or age. Many did not want the black population growing. In Africville, the City of Halifax did not provide clean water and sewage in this community. There was a high level of racism.

People from the black community in Africville had to work even harder to survive because they had little support from the outside. The white people in the area did not care to help the people of Africville.

During World War One, In Halifax 1917, there was an explosion in Africville. This event was known as the Halifax Explosion. The City of Halifax chose not to repair and fix Africville. In 1964, the government began evicting people in Africville calling it a “slum” neighbourhood. The government ended up bulldozing the community sending the black community to their separate ways. In 1969, the last person left Africville, and Seaview Park was built in its place.

However, the government has taken some steps to correct their mistakes by apologizing and admitting to their mistakes by not helping black people of Africville. The Canadian Government built a museum in Africville in 2012. Later, Canadian Government made postage stamps in 2014.

How did you personally connect to this project?

I am a Muslim. I pratice Islam. Islam means peace. I was sad to learn about the mistreatment that the black community faced in Africville. The more I read and studied, the more I realize that I can make a difference by sharing this event with a larger audience such as my classmates and the Edmonton Regional Heritage Fair.

What are your conclusions about your topic?

Africville is a story about learning about the past to make better decisions for the future. This is a dark story about mistreating people from a visible minority. In 2021, this case study can help us learn more about respect and treating everyone equally. The world will be a better place when people care about each other.