Cape Breton

In the early 1900s, hundreds of Caribbean immigrants, known as the “late arrivals,” came to Cape Breton to work in the steel mills and coal mines. 


The War of 1812 resulted in another significant migration of Black refugees. About 2,000 refugees arrived in Halifax and Dartmouth, including two large groups in Hammonds Plains and Preston. It’s significant to note that many African Nova Scotians who were held as slaves at the time dug out roads and built much of the city.


This African Nova Scotian village was founded in the 18th century in the north end of Halifax. When slaves of African descent were building the city of Halifax, the Black community lived a few kilometres north of the town in an area known as Africville.  Africville represents the systemic and institutional racism that exists throughout … Read more

Melville Island

During the War of 1812, about 800 refugees out of 4000 passed through Melville Island. The island transformed into an immigration facility where Black refugees could live until land grants were arranged. Although British officials sought to provide care, disease and harsh conditions led to more than 100 deaths among the refugees.

Guysborough and Tracadie

A large group of Black Loyalists settled in Guysborough at Chedabucto Bay in 1784 after a fire swept through and destroyed their original Port Mouton settlement during the winter. Little Tracadie was the only Black community that was not substantially depopulated by the Sierra Leone exodus. Most of the Blacks in the area today are … Read more


Some Black Loyalists settled in Preston between 1782 and 1785. In 1796, a group of 600 exiled Jamaican Maroons settled in Preston (known as Preston Township at the time.) They helped build Government House, worked on new fortifications at the Halifax Citadel, and served in the militia. Nowadays, Preston has the largest percentage of Black … Read more


The Digby area was known as Brindley Town in the 18th century, the second-largest Black community of Nova Scotia, located about 3 km south of Digby, now known as Jordanstown. None of the people of Brindley Town were ever granted farm lots due to corruption surrounding land distribution. About half of the Blacks in the … Read more


The first large group of immigrants in Canada were the Black Loyalists who came as refugees after the American Revolution between 1782 and 1785. About 3,500 to 4,000 people settled throughout Nova Scotia, including Birchtown. This was the largest settlement of free Blacks in the world outside of Africa. However, these immigrants faced difficulties as … Read more

Annapolis Royal

The first large group of immigrants to Nova Scotia were the Black Loyalists who came as refugees after the American Revolution between 1782 and 1785. About 3,500 people settled throughout Nova Scotia, including Annapolis Royal.


In 1783, United Empire Loyalists who fought during the American War of Independence settled in the town of Shelburne. The former slaves fought alongside the British in exchange for their supposed freedom and right to settle in Nova Scotia. The poor living condition and failure to receive what was promised, many resettled to other parts … Read more