Book written by Halifax children 'R Is For Reparations' released

The voices of about 30 black Nova Scotian children are reflected in a new book, 'R Is For Reparations', that was launched in Halifax on Saturday.

Children's words, drawings and dances were collected for book

An ABC book written by Halifax children, 'R is For Reparations', was released on Saturday. (Shaina Luck/CBC)

The voices of about 30 black Nova Scotian children are reflected in a new ABC book, 'R Is For Reparations', that was launched in Halifax on Saturday.

The children wrote and designed the book after learning about reparations — an international movement from many black communities seeking repair and compensation for the injustices and horrors of the Atlantic slave trade and anti-black racism.

The children's dances, drawings and words were collected by volunteers during a Book-in-a-Day event led by the Nova Scotia chapter of the Global Afrikan Congress in February of last year.

"It's what we hoped would happen, because by engaging the children, we're also engaging the adults," said Lynn Jones, the chapter's chair, at the event at the Halifax North Memorial Library.

"Who knows? When we say 'reparations now', meaning that it's yet to come and maybe later on we'll be chanting 'we got our reparations.'"

Lynn Jones, the chair of the Nova Scotia chapter of the Global Afrikan Congress, helped organize the creation of the children's book. (Shaina Luck/CBC)

One of the children who helped create the book, 10-year-old Abena Atwell Rodney, explained why the black community needs reparations.

"People used to steal their languages, families, homes. They came with dogs. Those people had to work in the sun without pay. It wasn't very kind," she said.

Abena Atwell Rodney, 10, explained why reparations are needed. (Shaina Luck/CBC)

Topsy Olatunji, 10, said she was pleased to see the book come together.  

"To read a book that I contributed to make is really special and really exciting," said Olatunji.

Topsy Olatunji, 10, was excited to finally see a copy of the book she helped create. (Shaina Luck/CBC)

David Commissiong, a guest at the launch, said 15 copies of the book will be distributed to prime ministers of Caribbean nations. Commissiong is a former Barbados senator and a member of Barbados' National Task Force on Reparations.

With files from Shaina Luck