MIDDLETON, NS - One of the pioneers against systemic racism in the province will be telling her story and the story of struggle for African Nova Scotians next month at the Macdonald Museum in Middleton.
Geraldine Browning will speak of her life, her memories, and accomplishments on Feb. 7 at 2 p.m.
Museum director Janice Slaunenwhite said it’s important that all people see themselves reflected in the museum’s work, noting that this year’s theme for African Heritage Month is ‘Our History is Your History.’
The theme recognizes the distinct story of African Nova Scotians and how it is interwoven with the past, present and future of all Nova Scotians, a media release from the province on African Heritage Month said.
Browning, who was inducted into the Order of Nova Scotia in 2017, and presented with an honourary degree from Acadia University in 2014, has used her early struggles against systemic racism to fuel her advocacy work.
“Her vision is a Nova Scotia where no form of discrimination exists,” said the biography that goes along with her Order of Nova Scotia award.
“She advocates for the protection of women and children against violence and abuse. She promotes literacy. She promotes education as a means of building understanding and compassion,” the biography said. “She frequently visits schools and university classrooms to recount her experience. She generously shared her story on film, so that educators across Canada can use her example to bring understanding to new generations.”
African Heritage Month
While February is African Heritage Month in Nova Scotia - and a time to celebrate and share the culture and history of African Nova Scotians – the celebrations actually started Jan. 23 with the provincial launch and poster unveiling at Province House with Lt.-Gov. Arthur J. LeBlanc and Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs Tony Ince.
"African Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the culture, contributions and achievements of African Nova Scotians," said LeBlanc. "Educating all Nova Scotians about African Nova Scotian history unites us regardless of our race and origin."
"African Nova Scotians helped shape the identity of the province," said Ince. "When we all acknowledge, understand and appreciate the truths of our shared history, we will be able to better embrace positive change in our province."
This year's theme aligns with the United Nations' International Decade for People of African Descent, the provincial media release said. The goal of this initiative is to strengthen global co-operation in support of people of African descent for full inclusion in all aspects of society.
Browning, from Centreville, Kings County, was a founding member of the Black Business Initiative and a founding member and past-president of the Black Cultural Society, her biography said. She is a founding member of the Valley African Nova Scotian Development Association and has served on and chaired many community-building and faith-building volunteer boards and committees.
She has also served as a representative on the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, a provincial government task force, and an RCMP advisory committee.
“Mrs. B inspires others to build stronger, safer, more compassionate communities so that our province can truly prosper,” it said. “Her life experience shows us how dialogue and understanding conquers barriers and creates the just communities all Nova Scotians need.”
Everyone is invited to attend the Feb. 7 afternoon with Browning, and refreshments will be served.
To learn more about African Heritage Month and the events taking place throughout the province, visit www.ansa.novascotia.ca, Facebook, @AfricanNSAffairs or Twitter, @OfficeofANSA.
Posters can be ordered at http://www.bccnsweb.com/web/ahmposter.
To learn more about the United Nations' International Decade for People of African Descent, visit http://www.un.org/en/events/africandescentdecade.