Nova Scotia

The Book of Negroes shines spotlight on Shelburne tonight

On the set of the CBC TV miniseries The Book of Negroes in Shelburne, with Academy Award and Emmy winner Louis Gossett Jr., who plays the preacher Daddy Moses.

Episode 4 of CBC TV's The Book of Negroes airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. AT

Academy Award-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr. stars as Daddy Moses in the CBC production of The Book of Negroes. (CBC)

Tonight, episode four of CBC Television's The Book of Negroes shines the spotlight on the town of Shelburne.

The internationally co-produced, six-part miniseries recounts the story of Lawrence Hill's award-winning book about an African woman named Aminata Diallo — played by Aunjanue Ellis — who is kidnapped from Africa and sold into slavery in the southern U.S.

She later makes her way to Halifax and back to Africa and finally, to England at the turn of the 19th century.

Last May, the production took place in the town of Shelburne, with Academy Award winner Louis Gossett Jr. who stars as Daddy Moses.

Gossett said the people of Nova Scotia are "very nice and smile a lot." He said he'd tell his friends back home in Los Angeles that Nova Scotia "has all the oxygen" and that "Nova Scotia salmon is really delicious."

Gossett won an Academy Award for his role as Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman. He also won an Emmy for his role as Fiddler in the 1977 television miniseries Roots

Off screen, Gossett started the Eracism Foundation — a non-profit group that teaches young people how to live in racial harmony.

Even though Gossett has had many highlights in his career, he says starring as Daddy Moses is another highlight. He said he appreciates the role even more now, since he overcame a health crisis, which included a cancer diagnosis.

He said The Book of Negroes miniseries has the potential not only to raise awareness about racism, but also to show how people, of any race, working together can "defeat negativity."

In the United States, Australia and New Zealand, Hill's The Book of Negroes was published under the title Someone Knows My Name.

Gossett said it should be called The Book of Negroes

"Someone Knows My Name was a fear of not selling any books … and fear has no place in my system," he said.

The Book Of Negroes is on CBC TV on Wednesday at 9 p.m AT, 9:30 p.m. in Newfoundland. 

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