Amazing Black Atlantic Canadians, Words by Lindsay Ruck, Art by James Bentley

This book is a must for every family bookshelf, especially for those within Canada’s Atlantic region. Created primarily for young readers, Amazing Black Atlantic Canadians will enrich and inform audiences of all ages. Written by Dartmouth, NS author Lindsay Ruck and beautifully illustrated by James Bentley, this is truly a collection of “inspiring stories of courage and achievement”.

“This book commemorates the formidable legacy built by Atlantic Black Canadians that continues to enrich and inspire this region today.”

This book commemorates the formidable legacy built by Atlantic Black Canadians that continues to enrich and inspire this region today. From those who first arrived as enslaved or free persons, such as Marie Marguerite Rose and explorer Mathieu Da Costa, to subsequent generations who built strong vital communities, namely The Black Islanders and The Black Pioneers, Amazing Atlantic Black Canadians also celebrates athletes, artists, educators, and community leaders whose courage and talent demonstrate excellence, tenacity, and pride in their heritage.

Lindsay Ruck also educates readers about historic Black communities, such as  Birchtown and Africville, their traditions and the struggles faced by those who lived there, such as the Black Loyalists who “were rewarded with broken promises. They never received the land and provisions originally pledged to them.” And in the story of Rose Fortune who, in the year 1825 at age 51, started her own business. Ruck explains the attitudes of the day, that “Women, especially Black women, were considered inferior to white people and weren’t expected to achieve much of anything in life. But that didn’t stop Rose… Rose gradually took on the role of security guard for the wharves and warehouses, acting as Annapolis Royal’s waterfront police officer… Many historians consider Rose the first female police officer in Canada.”

Sectioned into six parts chronicling notable spheres in which Black Atlantic Canadians have made amazing achievements, the end matter includes supplementary information, such as Important Dates, a Glossary of Terms, and Further Resources, which make this such a phenomenal book. Many stories also include fun “Did You Know?” boxes that offer important cultural and biographical details or share a resource such as a heritage centre or museum that a reader could visit in person.

This book opens with the question, “What does it mean to be amazing?” and we can certainly see this in the life stories of Atlantic Black Canadians Mayann Francis, the first African Nova Scotian to serve as Lieutenant Governor, Halifax City Councillor Lindell Smith who passionately supports his North End community, and Lloydetta Quaicoe, founder and CEO of Sharing Our Cultures, an initiative born from the desire to help newcomer children be seen, heard, and respected. Not to mention other well-known amazing Black Atlantic Canadians such as Governor-General Award winner George Elliot Clark, NHL legend Willie O’Ree, and award-winning soprano Measha Brueggergosman, among many, many others. While this is not an exhaustive compendium, hopefully, we can look forward to even more amazing achievements archived in supplementary issues of Amazing Atlantic Black Canadians in the years to come.

Lindsay Ruck, born in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, is a graduate of Carleton University’s School of Journalism in Ottawa. Since graduating in 2008, she has worked in the marketing, communications and publishing fields. Similar to her grandfather, the late Calvin W. Ruck, she has a deep and abiding respect and affection for her home province of Nova Scotia.

James Bentley lives and works on the small island of Île-Perrot, just off Montreal, Québec. He studied and began his career as a freelance illustrator; a practice that gave him a great love for drawing. Anchored in figuration, he now works mainly with acrylic on canvas and acrylic and pastel on paper. Bentley’s current body of work is focused on the ocean, portraits, and figure studies. He is always on the search to paint in an inventive, open manner.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Nimbus Publishing Limited; Illustrated edition (Jan. 28 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 160 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1771089172
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1771089173
 -- Website

KAYLA GEITZLER, MA, is from Moncton, within Siknikt of the Mi’kma’ki. “A Rad Woman of Canadian Poetry” & Attic Owl Reading Series host, she was Moncton’s first Anglophone Poet Laureate. Her first poetry collection was a finalist for two awards. Kayla is co-editor of the multilingual anthology Cadence Voix Feminines Female Voices. She was a technical editor on pipeline projects & designed ATC courseware. As an editor, writing consultant & instructor, Kayla's affordable expertise helps writers & organizations achieve success.