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Children in Halifax create book on Atlantic slave trade reparations

Children in Halifax create book on Atlantic slave trade reparations
As African Heritage Month winds down, dozens of children created a book on Saturday to help keeping the conversation going. Steve Silva reports.

In Halifax on Saturday, about 40 children helped create a book on the ABCs of reparations for people feeling the lasting impacts of the Atlantic slave trade.

The event was organized by the Nova Scotia chapter of the Global Afrikan Congress to get young people engaged in the topic.

“Children are more likely to learn things, if you have a book that they’re interested in. In order for it to be interesting, what better idea than the children creating the book themselves?” Lynn Jones, the chapter’s chair, said.

The event, held at Halifax North Memorial Public Library, included craft making, dancing, and other activities. There was a train and Underground Railroad theme.

READ MORE: Sister of civil rights icon Viola Desmond cherishes her legacy

The children will provide illustrations and words for the book, which is being developed through Fernwood Publishing. Artist Othell Downey drew different scenes of the event on a paper attached to a wall as they were happening.

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Artist Othell Downey drew different scenes of an event to create a book in a day that was held at Halifax North Memorial Public Library on Feb. 24, 2018.
Artist Othell Downey drew different scenes of an event to create a book in a day that was held at Halifax North Memorial Public Library on Feb. 24, 2018. Steve Silva / Global News

He said he wanted to contribute to the event because he felt that children should know about the topic, something he didn’t get to learn about in school.

“We get one month — 28 days, sometimes 29 depending on the year — and that’s, frankly, too little time for too much information to absorb all at once,” said Downey.

“I feel like we need to be taught about ourselves as much as possible so that we can know where we are, to know where we’re going to go.”

Jones said she hopes the book attracts an international audience. The plan is to release it in about year.