HALIFAX - "I don't want to be just entertainment for you," said Burnley "Rocky" Jones, as he
talk at Dalhousie University Tuesday.
"At the end of what I say, it's then your turn ...
The question will be: What can we do?"
Jones is a lawyer, an activist and founder of the Dalhousie Transition Year Program, the Dalhousie Law School Indigenous Black and Mi'kmaq Initiative, the Black United Front of Nova Scotia and Ujamaa.
talk with stories from his
childhood, growing up in the Marsh in Truro.
"The Marsh was a Black community.
We had 14 Black families and three White families.
We were all poor, although we didn't know it."
been able to accomplish what he
has because of the love, support and strength he
received from his
tight-knit community, particularly from the women.
traced the history of Black people in Nova Scotia, from when they arrived in 1605 and "were viewed as a source of cheap and readily available labour."
challenged the mostly White audience to recognize the ways they've benefited from Black oppression.
"You, collectively, you benefit from the fact that slavery existed and that Black people were used as cheap and readily available labour," said Jones
"That's been passed down through generations ...Those benefits that you enjoy, you enjoy them because we've been exploited."
"That's the hard part for the White people in this room," Jones