The Black Loyalists were the first large group of people of African ancestry to settle in Halifax, in 1782. In 1796 the Jamaican Maroons arrived. Then in 1813, Black refugees fleeing the United States came. These Loyalists, Maroons, and refugees settled in the Preston area, and although some subsequently left for Sierra Leone, many stayed and established the largest community of African Nova Scotians in the province. Since then, the Preston township—comprising North Preston, East Preston, and Lake Loon/Cherry Brook—has become a web of vibrant neighbourhoods with a rich and complex history.
With care and precision, award-winning writer Wanda Lauren Taylor delves into the history and development of this area, the organizations and churches that helped bolster the population, and the struggles, successes, and personal stories of several Preston-area residents. Through interviews and archival documents, Taylor shows how a resilient group of marginalized people built a thriving community that generations of African Nova Scotians can be proud of. Contains seventy-five images, both contemporary and archival, of the people and places around Preston.