Bill Casey on Emancipation Day
Cumberland North Liberal Candidate Bill Casey is urging Cumberland County residents to take time this Sunday August 1st to celebrate an important historical event as the African Nova Scotian Community commemorates Emancipation Day. This is the first year that Nova Scotia is officially recognizing the day. August 1st is known as Emancipation Day around the world. It is the anniversary of British parliament’s decision to abolish slavery across its empire in 1834.
Casey points out that African Nova Scotia heritage is deeply rooted in this county and that people of African descent have left a lasting legacy with their contributions to the building of our communities. “We are indebted to them for their perseverance, dedication and commitment, despite having to overcome tremendous odds and face discrimination and racism.” Casey also alluded to the sacrifice and bravery of the many black soldiers from this area who left behind their families and enlisted to serve their country in the First and Second World Wars.
The first blacks to arrive in Cumberland County in the 1770’s were slaves in the possession of military officers who had fought with the British forces in the taking of Fort Beausejour. While never in large numbers, slaves were brought to the area to work as domestics and agricultural labourers.
Descendants of some of the founding families still reside in this county today. including names such as Cooke, Davidson, Dorrington, Fairfax, Martin, Gabriel, Halfkenny, Jones, Lee, Parsons, Reid, Silvea, Treadwell, Riley, Paris and Milligan. Casey added they have been community builders excelling in education, law, medicine, politics, law enforcement, fire protection, the trades, agriculture, mining, the fishery and athletics.
“While we celebrate the contribution of our African Nova Scotian brothers and sisters on this Emancipation Day, it is also a time to reflect and learn. The true story of their struggle and sacrifice through slavery has never been told in our history books and needs to be told.” Casey added.
The Cumberland North Liberal candidate said as MLA he would work to ensure the continued support of organizations in this constituency promoting and sustaining African Nova Scotia culture and heritage. As an MP, Casey not only promoted, but participated in several African Nova Scotian Heritage Month events in Cumberland County.