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CIMS: Remember Africville and Incident at Restigouche w/ Delvina Bernard (Online Event)

GEM Lab Events

DEC. 11, 2020

Friday, December 11th, 2020, 7pm (Online Event)

Remember Africville (dir. Shelagh Mackenzie) & Incident at Restigouche (dir. Alanis Obomsawin) followed by discussion with Delvina Bernard.

This event was part of 2020 programming for the ongoing Cinema in the Midst of Struggle series.


Introduction of the Series and Guest Speaker

Maggie El-Masry

Delvina Bernard

Q&A 1

Topics: How did you get involved with the project (Remember Africville) when it was being made and how you were involved in the production?


Topics: The difficulty in watching Remember Africville, being someone who was there and has known the people in the film or their children. The legacy of the fact that the issue still remains un resolved. The need to remember the reality of the Canadian civil rights history.

Q&A 2

Topics: Thinking about the history of Canadian civil rights and the propensity to compare it to other countries that have done worse, rather than owning the record. Parallels in other cultures. Historical issues that are not well known. How do you maintain culture in the face of this upheaval and economic disenfranchisement?

Q&A 3

Topics: Importance of the film. How was it received at the time? What affect did it have on discourse at the time? The history of the Africville area and struggle since the time of the film. Turned into a park, some positive developments, historic site designation, building up of the industrial area next to the area, creation of museum…

Q&A 4

Topics: Environmental Racism, the deterioration of the environment in areas populated with minority communities (dumping of waste, industrialization, etc.) Links between issues of other communities and Africville. Current government and legal action to bring this issue to the forefront.

Q&A 5

Topics: Strategy about this kind of work as a Civil Rights Activist and an Educator. Importance to not get stuck in Silos, to explore what other communities have done on issues, focuses on intersectionality (i.e. the LGBT community, racialized communities, etc.) To recognize the intersectionality of the histories of these issues. Work as an educator and policy advisor. Other related intersectional issues around income inequality, resource extraction and marginalized histories. Encouraged by the modern spirit around restorative justice, many generations of all races standing up for the black community.

Q&A 6

Topics: Question about whether there was a history of segregationist legislative policies in Canada, such as “Red Lining” in the US. Canada has less of a legislative history of these acts, it was far more cultural. So the history is still there, but it isn’t as obvious in the written record. The story of Calvin Ruck, an early Black Nova Scotian Senators among others. To remember not to backslide, like with the legacy of the outgoing 45th president of the United States.

Outro of Event

Maggie El-Masry

Delvina Bernard


Link to original event post.

Films Screened:

Remember Africville (dir. Shelagh Mackenzie, 1991, 35 mins)

Incident at Restigouche (dir. Alanis Obomsawin, 1984, 46 mins)

Cinema in the Midst of Struggle will host their first winter screening on December 11 at 7PM. This virtual event will feature two shorts followed by a Q&A with Delvina Bernard (St. Mary's University), narrator of Remember Africville and founder of the Africentric Learning Institute of Nova Scotia. The films will be introduced and screened on YouTube followed by a Q&A on zoom.

Delvina Bernard is a 6th generation African Nova Scotian. She co-founded and led the nationally acclaimed female acapella quartet Four the Moment for 20 years – and received numerous awards for her social justice song compositions. As a principle founder of the Africentric Learning Institute of Nova Scotia (ALI), she has been at the forefront of the Canadian Afrocentric education movement and is most noted for establishing Canada’s first ever university degree in Afrocentric Educational Leadership at Mount Saint Vincent University. As an Afrocentrist, feminist, singer, songwriter and public intellectual, Delvina has had a significant impact on African Canadian identity discourse over the past three decades. Currently, she is a PhD candidate in the Department of International Development Studies at Saint Mary’s University. The working title of her thesis is: Caribbean Reparations for Enslavement - An Economic Development Strategy and Alternative to Aid.

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