It’s no coincidence the farm ended up in their backyard, they say. It’s what often happens to marginalized communities of colour that lack political power.
Many studies point to a disproportionate location of landfills and other environmental hazards close to racially marginalized communities.
Lincolnville, Sunnyville, Upper Tracadie, North Preston, East Preston, Cherry Brook, Lake Loon, Acadia First Nation, Membertou, Eskasoni, Indian Brook, Beechville.
These are all communities in Nova Scotia with two things in common. Toxic industries, landfills and waste dumps are situated close to where people live, and the population is predominantly African-Nova Scotian or Mi’kmaw.
Add Lucasville to that list of communities as well, the residents say.
“Yes, we are disadvantaged. We’re not always highly educated. We get lower pay in many cases. But this is our hallowed ground,” Stephen Oliver tells the Nova Scotia Advocate. “All we ask is that we are all treated equal.”
“If you wonder how black communities historically have been erased, you can look at Lucasville and compare it to Africville,” says Deborah Emmerson, producer of an excellent documentary on the Lucasville community.
“They put a dump in Africville. Then they put the jail there. Eventually the community was so condemned and contaminated that it had to be dismantled.
“You keep putting farm after farm in Lucasville. It’s a small community, and we are going to be contaminated and we won’t be able to live here. It’s just a matter of time.