In the late 1700s, following the American Revolutionary War, the British provided Black Loyalist soldiers with land north of Halifax. This community grew, and by the 1860s it became known as Africville.
By the middle of the 20th century, the city of Halifax looked to have Africville industrialized, and ultimately embarked on a campaign to displace the community. Facing this sustained threat, the community sold their lands to the municipal government between 1964 and 1970. The homes and businesses that dotted the settlement were demolished to make way for industrialization.
Almost immediately, community members began advocating for justice. And after decades of fighting, in 2010, the city of Halifax formally apologized. This apology was accompanied by a 2.5-acre grant of land for the reconstruction of the historic Africville church and a 3 million dollar contribution toward the building efforts.
Today, the replica church houses the Africville museum. It serves as a memorial to the dispossession of this once-vibrant community. The museum recounts the history of Africville, how its people encountered the indignities of anti-Black racism, how the community members supported each other, and the work they put into having their story acknowledged.
Know Before You Go
The museum is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m Tuesday through Saturday.