Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Macleans on Cooper's Black History

Macleans' takes note this week of Dalhousie University's new interdisciplinary  program in black and African diaspora studies led by program creator -- and Governor General's Award-winning historian -- Afua Cooper, who hold the James Robinson Johnston chair in black Canadian studies.
The presence of blacks in Canada dates back to 1604 and the Port Royal settlement. It’s this 400-year legacy, along with arts, culture and other topics, that Cooper wants to focus on. “Students will learn about the long-lasting black communities all over this country and the struggles and triumphs of black Canadians,” she says. “They faced a lot of discrimination throughout these centuries: social exclusion, segregation, segregated schools.”
James Johnston, for whom Cooper's chair is named, ain't the moneybags donor university chairs usually honour.  A native Haligonian, he was the only black lawyer to practice in Nova Scotia before the First World War (DCB biography here)
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