Member's Statement: AFRICAN HERITAGE MONTH

THE SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

 

AFRICAN HERITAGE MO.: RACISM - LEARN, LISTEN & ACT

SUSAN LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, today marks the last day of African Heritage Month, and all month people all over the province have been attending special lectures, concerts, dinners, and other events in celebration of the rich culture of people of African descent.

It has been a great time to celebrate but also to listen and learn. I listened to the voices of Kate MacDonald and Trayvone Clayton as they describe being racially profiled at the House of Commons. I heard African Nova Scotians relay experiences of being stopped by police for no reason except they are Black, and of the fact that African Nova Scotians are severely over-represented in our prison systems.

I listened and learned a lot, but it is not enough. Nova Scotians must take action on these issues and come to terms with the fact that our province has been built on the backs of African slaves and that systemic racism has been in place since then.

We need to end the practice of street checks, we need to support African Nova Scotian families connected with the child welfare system, we need to make sure Black students are getting an education in our public schools that will give them real choices when they graduate.

The people in this Legislature have the power to help bring justice to African Nova Scotian communities and I call on all of us present to work tirelessly to this end. 

THE SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's on an introduction.