"Africa’s Children is a testament to one’s heritage, a belief in one’s ancestors, and a record of truth … no told!" – Dr. Henry V. Bishop, chief curator, Black Cultural Centre, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Chronicling the history of Black families of the Yarmouth area of Nova Scotia, Africa’s Children is a mirror image of the hopes and despairs and the achievements and injustices that mark the early stories of many African-Canadians. This extensively researched history traces the lives of those people, still enslaved at the time, who arrived with the influx of Black Loyalists and landed in Shelburne in 1783, as well as those who had come with their masters as early as 1767. Their migration to a new home did little to improve their overall living conditions, a situation that would persist for many years throughout Yarmouth County.
By drawing on a comprehensive range of sources that include census and cemetery records, church and school histories, libraries, museums, oral histories, newspapers, wills, The Black Loyalist Directory, and many others, this is a history that has been overlooked for far too long.
Sharon Robart-Johnson has a rich cultural background comprised of both African and European ancestry. Born in the South End of Yarmouth, she is a thirteenth-generation Nova Scotian and part of her heritage dates back to the early slaves who were brought to the Digby County area in the late 1700s and to the Black Loyalists who arrived in Shelburne in 1783. Her passion for reseraching Black history began in 1993. Sharon, her husband, and son live in the (at one time) all-Black community of Greenville, Yarmouth County.
Africa's Children is a leap forward in helping us to learn from our mistakes. One significant book does make a difference.
Robart-Johnson has scores of fascinating stories to tell about the history of blacks in Yarmouth.
Robart-Johnson traces the careers of Yarmouth born-and-bred Africadian heroes, heroines, and a few villains, too. Her careful research and lively prose establish, once again, that we descend from hardy, inventive, and resourceful souls.