i'm working on an africville update for halifax magazine and had a deja vu today. my calls to the new executive director, carole nixon, went unanswered, but i tracked down chairwoman daurene lewis at her nscc office today and then ran into nixon in africville this afternoon.
she hasn't meant eddie yet, but says she plans to real soon. minutes after i got home, this press release landed in my inbox:
Africville Heritage Trust
Africville Church Museum to Open September 25
(Halifax, NS.- September 7, 2011) — Another milestone in the history of Africville will be marked when the Africville Church Museum is officially opened on Sunday, September 25, 2011.
The Church Museum is a replica of the Seaview Baptist Church that stood at the heart of the Black community that was demolished in the 1960s to make way for construction of the A. Murray MacKay Bridge.
“Africville is the story of racism and hardship, but it is also the story of faith and family. The exhibits in the Church Museum tell both sides of that story,” says Daurene Lewis, chair of the Africville Heritage Trust (AHT).
The Church Museum is the first phase of the Africville Project, which will later include an Interpretive Centre to celebrate the community. “The people of Africville didn’t let their community die with its physical destruction. They’ve worked with people of all backgrounds and races to keep the spirit alive through stories, songs, films and exhibits. The annual picnic has allowed younger generations of Africville families to keep in touch with each other, and has continued to welcome everyone to Africville. The lessons of Africville are about the corrosive effects of racism, yes, but they’re also about having the courage and the strength to reach beyond racial and social barriers to share a deeper human story,” Dr. Lewis said.
Funding for the Church Museum and its exhibits was part of a $3 million agreement between HRM and the Africville Genealogy Society (AGS) to settle a legal action undertaken by AGS on behalf of the community. The settlement also included transfer of property in Africville, renaming of Seaview Park to Africville, and the establishment of an African Nova Scotian Affairs office within the municipality.
The Official Opening will begin at 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 25, and, in the spirit of Africville, will be open to everyone.
Note to Editors: Arrangements can be made for news photographers and videographers to visit the Church Museum in advance of the opening. Contact Carole Nixon, Executive Director, Africville Heritage Trust, 491-4605.
For further information:
Daurene Lewis, Chair, AHT Carole Nixon, Executive Director, AHT