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South Shore hosts Rocky Jones autobiography discussion

On Friday June 16 our South Shore chapter co-hosted Lynn Jones in sharing her reflections on her brother Rocky Jones’ revolutionary life, and her experience growing up in Nova Scotia.

Lynn Jones, left, chats with attendees after her talk on Friday. Photo: Charlene Morton.

Rocky Jones’ autobiography, released in October 2016, is described by Lawrence Hill as “required reading for any person who seeks to understand the civil rights movement in Canada.”

Lynn Jones spoke about her personal experiences growing up in Nova Scotia, where, from the time she was a child, she struggled against racism and segregation. When attending university, she protested against the Vietnam and Nigerian Biafra Wars and advocated for better access to post-secondary education for Black and Aboriginal students. Jones became a strong labour activist with the Public Service Alliance of Canada and then the first woman of colour to be elected Vice President of the Canadian Labour Congress. In 2016, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree from Acadia University. 

She also spoke about environmental racism, and the particular case of the African Nova Scotian community in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. Residents of a predominantly Black Shelburne neighbourhood near a garbage dump that operated for decades are seeking reparations for the legacy of associated health issues. Local activists have been working for years to have this issue taken seriously and recognized as part of Nova Scotia’s pattern of environmental racism, and since the dump closed just over a year ago residents are fighting to keep it from being reopened

To learn more about environmental racism and groups working to address the many instances of injustice in Nova Scotia, see The ENRICH Project