The rise and fall of Africville, the contributions of black loyalists to Nova Scotia, and Viola Desmond’s defiant act to take her seat in a whites-only section of a New Glasgow movie theatre are among the defining Nova Scotia moments contained in a new Canadian history textbook launched today, May 22. Black History: Africa, The Caribbean, and The Americas was introduced to African Canadian Studies teachers at an in-service in Dartmouth, ending a five-year search for a high-quality textbook to support the requirements of the province’s African Canadian Studies 11 course. “This book tells students the compelling story of Africa and its people from early civilization to the 21st century, with a special focus on Canada’s, and Nova Scotia’s, place in black history,” said Patrick Kakembo, the Department of Education’s director of African Canadian Services. People from Nova Scotia’s past and present, such as Desmond, Lt.-Gov. Mayann Francis and award-winning author and filmmaker Sylvia Hamilton, stand along side other Canadian and world figures, such as Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks and Barack Obama. Issues like environmental racism, discrimination, civil rights, the struggle for identity, economic development, black pride and even hockey, are addressed through the experiences of Nova Scotians. “Students, parents and teachers will be delighted to see the connections with the curriculum and how the many contributions African Canadians have made have benefited our society,” said Lisa Reid, a history teacher at C.P. Allen High School. The full-colour, 364-page, hardcover book will be distributed to schools next month in time for the next school year. About 1,500 students are enrolled in African Canadian Studies 11 across the province. The course meets the history credit requirement for high school graduation.