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Africville is an eyesore

The Story


The impoverished conditions of Africville are a source of deep shame for the City of Halifax. Its residents have no running water, no sewage system, no garbage pickup, no street lights, no public transportation and no paved roads. Instead Africville boasts an open dump, an incinerator, a prison, railway tracks and an abattoir on its doorstep. Halifax city officials agree once and for all to raze Africville. They order the 70 families to leave by 1967. Africville residents, some whose families have lived there for 150 years, are stunned to learn they have to move. "In this country, when you own a piece of land, you are not a second class citizen," resident Joe Skinner tells the CBC. Many residents say they own the land but very few have deeds to prove ownership. They have no choice but to accept the city's offer of $500 and its promises of relocation.

Medium: Television
Program: Close-Up
Broadcast Date: June 24, 1962
Guest(s): Joe Skinner
Reporter: Claude Baikie, Saundra Collis
Duration: 9:26

Did You know?


• High school dropout rates among black Canadians were astronomical. In 1962, at the time this CBC documentary Close-up: Figure Your Colour Against Mine was made, there was only one black student enrolled in Grade 12 in all of Halifax.
• The community of Africville was also known as Seaview.


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