‘Prayer-full Protest’ against anti-Black racism to be held at Africville Museum

Africville was a thriving African Nova Scotian community until it was destroyed by the white governing powers of Halifax in the 1960s.
Africville was a thriving African Nova Scotian community until it was destroyed by the white governing powers of Halifax in the 1960s. Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

Nova Scotians will participate in a different kind of anti-racism rally on Sunday night, held in solidarity with demonstrations against police violence and systemic racism all over the world.

The ‘Prayer-full Protest’ will begin at 6 p.m. at the Africville Museum grounds, led by pastors from across the province, each of whom will address a different topic that deals with “dismantling the stronghold of anti-Black racism.”

Rhonda Britton, pastor of the New Horizons Baptist Church in Halifax, said people of all faiths and backgrounds are welcome.

“I’m calling on the moral consciousness of people tvo say, ‘Okay, what is it that I can do as a person to help in this struggle, to make this go away, to make the world a better place, to make our society better,'” she told Global News on Sunday afternoon.

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READ MORE: Hundreds protest police brutality, systemic racism at Black Lives Matter rally in Truro

Africville was a thriving, predominantly Black community located on the southern shore of the Bedford Basin. It was razed by the City of Halifax in the 1960s under the premise of urban renewal.

Britton said the location of the Prayer-full Protest is deliberate and significant as conversations about dismantling anti-Black racism carry on worldwide.

“We can call it under whatever guise we want, but we know that it was anti-Black racism that caused the destruction of Africville,” she explained.

“So we thought it very significant to have it there, where people could gather on those grounds that we consider sacred grounds dedicated to our ancestors and the struggle for equity in this society.”

READ MORE: Halifax Regional Police ‘looking into’ body cameras after online petition hits 70,000

The Prayer-full Protest is one of several showings of solidarity that have taken place in Nova Scotia in the last week. Since the death of George Floyd in the U.S. on May 25, Black Lives Matter rallies have been held in Halifax, Wolfville, Kentville, Truro and more.

The 46 year-old Black man was killed in Minneapolis after a white police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest, an incident that was caught on cellphone video.

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All four officers who responded to that call have since been fired, and charged in relation to his death.

The Prayer-full Protest is among the first face-to-face, group religious events held in Nova Scotia since the coronavirus pandemic began. Participants are being asked bring masks, remain silent to avoid droplet spread, and practice physical distancing.