In 1921, prominent lawyer and Nova Scotia Black leader James R. Johnston’s vision of a place welcoming of Black children came to reality. In an era of segregation and overt racism that saw most orphanages refuse to take in Black children, the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children fulfilled an important role.
But despite its good intentions, today the Home is mostly known for a troubling past. Former residents launched a class action lawsuit alleging sexual and physical abuse suffered at the Home over a period of several decades. In The Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children: The Hurt, The Hope, and The Healing, author Wanda Taylor interviews former residents participating in the lawsuit and upcoming public inquiry and connects their stories to her own relationship with the Home. The former residents in this book provide an unsettling, and sometimes graphic, description of what life was like inside the Home and describe the many ways the government system designed to protect them instead exacerbated a culture of abuse and neglect.