The French edition of the award-winning picture book.
When a young girl visits the site of Africville, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the stories she's heard from her family come to mind. She imagines what the community was once like—the brightly painted houses nestled into the hillside, the field where boys played football, the pond where all the kids went rafting, the bountiful fishing, the huge bonfires. Coming out of her reverie, she visits the present-day park and the sundial where her great- grandmother's name is carved in stone, and celebrates a summer day at the annual Africville Reunion/Festival.
Africville was a vibrant Black community for more than 150 years. But even though its residents paid municipal taxes, they lived without running water, sewers, paved roads and police, fire-truck and ambulance services. Over time, the city located a slaughterhouse, a hospital for infectious disease, and even the city garbage dump nearby. In the 1960s, city officials decided to demolish the community, moving people out in city dump trucks and relocating them in public housing.
Today, Africville has been replaced by a park, where former residents and their families gather each summer to remember their community. The English edition of this beautiful picture book won the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration, and was a Finalist for the Governor Generals Award, Young People's Literature - Illustrated Books, and was a Finalist for the Ruth Sylvia Schwartz Chldren's Book Award.
About the authors
Shauntay Grant is a poet, playwright, interdisciplinary artist, and children’s author who lives and works in Kjipuktuk, Mi’kma’ki (Halifax, Nova Scotia). A former poet laureate for the City of Halifax, she “creates artworks that are engaging and accessible, but also challenging, rigorous, and informed by deep research” (Royal Society of Canada). Her play The Bridge (Playwrights Canada Press) premiered at Neptune Theatre’s Fountain Hall, a co-production between 2b theatre company and Neptune in association with Obsidian Theatre Company. Set in a rural Black Nova Scotian community, this multilayered story of a family torn apart by betrayal received eleven Robert Merritt Award nominations, winning four, including for Outstanding New Play by a Nova Scotian. Grant’s first stage play Steal Away Home won the Jury Award for Outstanding Drama at the Atlantic Fringe Festival. Her other plays include KK (Boca Del Lupo, Red Phone project), Passing (Eastern Front Theatre, Micro Digitals project), and the ten-minute monodrama Beyere (Obsidian Theatre Company, 21 Black Futures project). An associate professor of creative writing at Dalhousie University, Grant holds professional degrees in creative writing, music, and journalism. Her theatrical work for young audiences has toured with Neptune Theatre’s Tour Company, and she has been commissioned by Against the Grain Theatre to write the text/poetry for Identity: A Song Cycle. She is the editor of the anthology From the Ashes: Six Solo Plays (Playwrights Canada Press) which collects groundbreaking solo plays by Black Canadian women and womxn. Her first solo stage play is in development with 2b theatre company. Grant is the author of several books for children including My Fade Is Fresh (Penguin), When I Wrap My Hair (HarperCollins), and Africville (Groundwood), which won a Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Her other honours include an Established Artist Recognition Award from Arts Nova Scotia, a Poet of Honour prize from Spoken Word Canada, a Joseph S. Stauffer prize from the Canada Council for the Arts, and Arts Nova Scotia’s inaugural Black Artist Recognition Award.
EVA CAMPBELL is an artist and illustrator who teaches visual art. She has exhibited her work in Canada, the US, the UK, Barbados and Ghana. Eva won the Children’s Africana Book Award for her illustrations in The Matatu by Eric Walters. She also illustrated Africville by Shauntay Grant, winner of the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration, and a Governor General’s Literary Award finalist. Eva lives in Victoria.