CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 27. . . .March 20, 2015
Birchtown and the Black Loyalists is an overview of the early history of Birchtown in Nova Scotia and the Black Loyalists who founded Birchtown and the problems they faced. The book is well organized, easy to read, with good resources for further research by interested young readers. The four sections introduce readers to the Black Loyalists, who they were and how they ended up in Nova Scotia. How Blacks arrived in North America through the slave trade is introduced, along with a brief overview of what life was like for slaves in America. The trials and problems faced by Black Loyalists in Nova Scotia and elsewhere are introduced, and then Wanda Lauren Taylor shifts the focus to modern efforts to retrace the history of Birchtown and the Black Loyalists.
Wanda Lauren Taylor does an excellent job of conveying the situation of the Black Loyalists and how they were treated very differently from the White Loyalists. The broken promises, the prejudice and the disappointments are clearly conveyed, along with the determination of the Black Loyalists to have a future, no matter what they faced. The section on the slave trade provides a good point of comparison for how Blacks were treated all over North America, as well as giving some very useful background for the Black Loyalists.
There is a rather sudden jump in the history covered from 1792 and many Black Loyalists leaving to found Freetown in Sierra Leone to the present day. Some more information on the Black Loyalists who remained in Nova Scotia and how they fared would have enhanced Birchtown, especially for readers outside Nova Scotia or those unfamiliar with the history of the Black Loyalists in Nova Scotia. The main events are covered in the “Birchtown Timeline” at the end of the book, but more details would have been useful.
The “Recommended Reading” section has a number of age appropriate resources, but not all the resources will contain much information specifically on Birchtown. However, the resources will provide a good overview of Black Canadian history for interested readers.
Birchtown and the Black Loyalists is well written look at a small part of the history of Black Loyalists in Canada, and it will be an excellent resource on this topic.
Daphne Hamilton Nagorsen is a graduate of the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.
on this title or this review, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal
use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.