A group of African Canadian youth were challenged to retrace the paths of their ancestors from former enslavement in the United States to Canada. Through a series of interviews with community elders, historians, and others, youth travel back in time, as far back as the American Revolutionary War, when the first major migration of Blacks arrives on the shores of Shelburne County in Nova Scotia. Music, spoken word poetry, drumming, and dramatic re-enactments help to weave this fascinating and little known piece of Canada’s history.
A word from Tënk
Filmmaker and teacher Wanda Taylor created a community project through which a group of young Black Nova Scotians were able to reclaim their heritage and history. Still Here: A Journey to Triumph is both an indispensable work of research on an entire chapter of Canadian history often left out of textbooks and a coming-of-age story of adolescents meticulously retracing the footsteps of their ancestors. Through interviews with several Black historians and archival photos from the Black Cultural Centre of Nova Scotia and the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre, the film helps us rediscover the lives and struggles of free and enslaved Black populations who were once the largest outside of Africa. From Black Loyalists to the creation and destruction of Africville, Still Here tells a story of disenchantment and broken promises, but also of survival and admirable resistance. Accompanied by R&B singer and mentor Gary Beals, the youth share these stories from history through different artistic disciplines, including poetry, song and African drumming.
Programmer and critic