Nova Scotians Observe Emancipation Day

Jul 31, 2021

Nova Scotians will observe Emancipation Day on August 1st, marking the anniversary of 1834 when the British Empire outlawed slavery.

While many people of African descent recognize the date each year, this is the first year Nova Scotia is officially recognizing Emancipation Day.

Emancipation Day requires each of us to reflect not only on the history of the trans-Atlantic slave trade but its legacy and impacts that persist. Acknowledgment of systemic anti-Black racism is necessary for us to understand our role in creating a future free of discrimination. This requires a shift from a Eurocentric view of our shared history toward a more Africentric and inclusive lens.

It is important to recognize that while Emancipation Day made slavery illegal across all British colonies, many people of African descent were not immediately freed. August 23rd is the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.

During the month of August, Nova Scotians should seek to better understand the history of slavery and its presence in our province.

The Government of Nova Scotia held an event on July 28th to launch the observance of Emancipation Day. You can view the recording of this event here.

Click here for a list of other events.