Emancipation Day: Towards an apology for black slavery?


Emancipation Day: Toward an Apology for Black Slavery?

Local historian Elise Harding-Davis dedicated his life to the preservation of these cemeteries.

The unanimous vote in the Canadian Parliament to proclaim August 1 as Emancipation Day means nothing unless the federal government apologizes for slavery, argues historian Elise Harding -Davis.

The former curator of the Freedom Museum in Amherstburg, Ontario, sees the proclamation as a form of acknowledgment of the wrongs done to Black Canadians by slavery and its side effects.

Pre Harding-Davis says a formal apology would also help salute the contribution of black people to the country's history.< /p>

Emancipation Day salutes the abolition of slavery in 1834 in most British colonies, including the territories that would later form Canada. However, the historian recalls that the state of mind and the social structures which had allowed the practice of slavery persist.

A history professor at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Afua Cooper, has been calling for a formal apology from the federal government since 2007. She notes that the government has issued apologies to various other groups since that time.

Historian Afua Cooper.

Senior Researcher at the Canadian Black History Project , Pre Cooper views the federal government's refusal to apologize as a form of anti-black racism.

Emancipation Day is only in its infancy. second year. On March 24, 2021, Members of Parliament voted unanimously to celebrate the day on August 1. However, this date had been commemorated by the African-Canadian community for decades, well before Confederation.

On Saturday, Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard called on Nova Scotia to renew its apologize for the intergenerational harms of slavery and to seek redress.


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