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Heritage Day 2024

Celebrate and explore the life and legacy of William Hall, VC, on Thursday May 9 at Halifax Central Library.

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May 9, 2024

I Will Take The Chance

Join us for a provocative, poetic, post-colonial conversation exploring the life, times, and legacy of 2024 Nova Scotia Heritage Day honoree William Hall, VC. On the evening of Thursday, May 9 at Paul O’Regan Hall in Halifax Central Library, AfterWords will host a conversation moderated by professor Asha Jeffers with special guests Sylvia D. Hamilton, Jacob Sampson, and Ajay Parasram, who can speak to the complexity of a Black war hero fighting for British colonialism. The conversation will dig deeper into difficult questions about how we celebrate and honour war heroes in the twenty-first century, how we should think about marginalized people fighting on behalf of colonialism when they had no power to shape imperial policy, etc. Graphic illustrator Bria Miller will capture the conversation in images in front of the audience as it unfolds. 

Tickets are free for this event, but please register in advance to ensure your seat is saved. 

I Will Take the Chance is presented in partnership with the Halifax Central Library and the Black Cultural Centre, and with support from the Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism, and Heritage.

Moderator

Dr. Asha Jeffers

Dr. Asha Jeffers is a professor of English and Gender and Women’s Studies at Dalhousie University. In her teaching, she specializes in postcolonial and diasporic literatures. Her research focuses on literature about the children of immigrants – the second generation – across national and ethnic lines. She is co-editor of The Daughters of Immigrants: A Multidisciplinary Study and her scholarly work can be found in a variety of journals and edited collections. Her book, Against! Rebellious Daughters in Black Immigrant US Fiction, is forthcoming in 2025 from Ohio State University Press. She is also a creative writer.

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Scholar

Ajay Parasram

Ajay Parasram is a transnational, multigenerational byproduct of the British empire, with roots in South Asia, the southern Caribbean, and in unceded Mi'kmaw, Coast Salish, and Algonquin territories.  Ajay is the author of Pluriversal Sovereignty and the State: Imperial Encounters in Sri Lanka (Manchester University Press, 2023) and co-author (with Alex Khasnabish) of Frequently Asked White Questions (Fernwood Publishing, 2022).

Poet, historian, documentarian

Sylvia D. Hamilton

Sylvia D. Hamilton is an award-winning writer, filmmaker and artist, whose poetry collection And I Alone Escaped to Tell You was a finalist for the Nova Scotia Masterworks Award and the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Her honours include the Portia White Prize, the 2019 Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media and the 2021 Luminary Award given by the Documentary Organization of Canada. Her films include Portia White: Think on Me, The Little Black School House and Black Mother Black Daughter among others. Tender, her newest poetry collection, won the 2023 Maxine Tynes Poetry Award and was a finalist for the League of Canadian Poets Pat Lowther Memorial Award. She is an Inglis Professor Emeritus at the University of King’s College in Halifax. In November 2023 she was appointed to the Order of Nova Scotia. 

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Playwright, actor

Jacob Sampson

Jacob Sampson (he/him) is an actor, playwright, educator and arts consultant. Jacob is currently the Associate Artistic Director at 2b theatre company and is a Graduate of the Acadia University Theatre Studies program. He is a descendant of the Historic Black Nova Scotian community of Beechville. As a playwright he has written plays like Umoja Corp, featured in the Obsidian and CBC collaboration 21 Black futures and Chasing Champions, which premiered at Ship’s Company Theatre in 2016, a production that won six Merritt Awards including Outstanding New Play by a Nova Scotian, Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role (Jacob Sampson as Sam Langford), and Best Production. Jacob was the winner of the 2020 Merritt Award for Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role for 2b theatre’s production of Shauntay Grant’s The Bridge. He is incredibly passionate about the arts community in Nova Scotia and has served on ACTRA maritimes council, as a board member of 2b theatre and The Bus Stop Theatre and has also served on advisory committees with Arts N.S. 

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