Nova Scotia

From the archives: In 1990, former Africville residents discuss the legacy of trauma

A segment from the 1990 CBC series 'Real Stories' tells the story of Africville and what it meant to former residents.

A 1990 mini-documentary tells the story of Africville and what it meant to former residents

Irvine Carvery said it took two decades for former residents to organize because of the traumatic relocation from Africville (CBC Archives)

This eight-minute segment aired on Jun. 1, 1990 as part of the second program in a CBC network series called Real Stories.

The segment traces the history of Africville, starting with a dramatization of a young Ruth Johnson planting an apple tree behind her former Africville home. 

There is archival footage of church gatherings and Deacon Ralph Jones speaking about the public perception of the community. 

The report also contains footage of an outraged Daisy Carvery, an outspoken resident of Africville, on the tactics employed to get older residents to agree to $500 compensation.

Her son, Irvine, says that the issues surrounding the destruction of Africville are still in the news because it took many people two decades to overcome the "traumatic relocation."

The segment ends with the real Ruth Johnson in Africville Park attempting to revisit the apple tree she planted as a child. 

This content is being presented as it was originally created and may contain references or representations of people and cultures that audiences may find offensive or triggering.

Real Stories: Africville

2 years ago
Duration 8:13
An 8-minute segment looking at the history of Africville and the struggle of former residents to get justice. It was a part of the second episode of a network series called Real Stories that aired in 1990.

For suggestions on content to feature in CBC's online collection of African Nova Scotia archival material, please email ansarchives@cbc.ca

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

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