Resettlement

Tear Down and After Effects

To prevent squatting, houses were demolished or burned down as soon as they were vacated.

A special one-year adult education class launched in September 1964, in an effort to enable residents to meet the entrance requirements for trades-training programs; 13 people enrolled and five completed the course in June 1965. Not enough people were interested in the September 1965 class, so the program was discontinued.

“Big yellow trucks” (garbage trucks) were used to move residents.
Mail Star, February 26, 1970

The Welfare Director was quoted as saying “the City has fallen down on its responsibility to Africville.  Providing proper water and sewerage facilities for these people, when needed, would have enabled them to give as good an account of themselves as any other families in the area and would make relocation unnecessary.”
Mail Star, April 26, 1965

“Pa” Carvery (identified in the location report as Miller) was the last remaining resident in Africville. He resisted relocation, ignoring the advancing construction of the nearby bridge in November 1969. Miller was offered a suitcase containing $14,000 in cash, which he did not accept. Due to mounting pressure, Pa moved several weeks later into a city-owned home and accepted a cash settlement.

City officials and black organizations demanded a public investigation but instead, Halifax aldermen voted to accept motions that acknowledged an error of judgment by City officials and endorsed an apology to Pa.

Many Africville relocatees moved into public housing, which necessitated major lifestyle adjustments. Approximately 24 relocatee families purchased homes with money received from their settlements: about half settled in North End Halifax, while seven others settled near metropolitan Halifax, with a remaining few going farther afield (two moving out of Nova Scotia). Many went into debt due to substantial monthly bills; some eventually lost their new homes.

Relocation produced personal crisis for an estimated 60 per cent of relocatees – job problems, household changes, marital strains, money worries, strains among relatives and stripping away of kinship intimacy. Relocatees did not receive any benefits or opportunities commensurate with their needs. Rather, many lost their identity, their traditional security and a potential bargaining resource (their land), with which they might have been able to revive their own sense of community.

“...residents placed considerable value on the historical continuity of the community, on the church, and on the possession of homes which they could leave to their children; none of these considerations appeared especially significant from the point of view of the experts and technocrats.”

 

The Africville Genealogy Society gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Department of Canadian Heritage for this project.
Material used in this website is from various public and private sources whom maintain their resepctive copyrights.
ⓒ 2010 Africville Genealogy Society. All Rights Reserved.

 
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