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Last service at Africville's Seaview Church

When dump trucks roared in to ship Africville residents out, it seemed like a good idea to city planners. By the 1960s, years of neglect and racism had made Halifax's oldest and largest black neighbourhood one of the worst slums in the country. But the relocation of Africville also meant the end of a vibrant community. As one former resident put it, they lost more than a roof over their heads, they lost their happiness.

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The Seaview African Baptist Church is the beating heart of the community. In March 1967, former Africville residents return for the last Easter Sunday morning service. There is singing, praising and reminiscing. But within weeks, when the church also succumbs to bulldozers, residents realize the full implication of the relocation. They talk about the loss of their community, their circle of support and their sense of belonging.
• "I think the Man got what he wanted — that (Africville) land. It was as simple as that. People were allowed to stay there the same as black folks anywhere; they could stay until the white man decided. Okay, now I want my land back. And the time came, and he said, 'Okay nigger, get out!' And all the black folks had to get out."
— A Nova Scotian black leader in Halifax, August 1969
Medium: Radio
Program: Between Ourselves
Broadcast Date: July 27, 1973
Reporter: Neil Copeland
Duration: 3:40
Photo: Ted Grant / Library and Archives Canada / PA-211060

Last updated: January 11, 2012

Page consulted on April 22, 2014

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