Our first Forget-Me-Not takes us into the lives of Birchtowners in Gloria Ann Wesley's
If This Is Freedom (Roseway Publishing), a novel about Loyalist settlers in Nova Scotia. We get a glimpse of their struggles for gainful employment through the story of a young woman in a ruthless situation who takes a misstep with powerful consequences.
To celebrate Canada150, we’re turning the page on the most celebrated historical moments and highlighting the footnotes for a change. Take a trip down literary lane with us as we share books on aspects of Canadian history and notable people that don’t always get due attention.
Publisher Bev Rach at Roseway Publishing gives us some behind-the-scenes insight into If This Is Freedomand the history of Black Loyalists.
ALU: What brought you to publish If This Is Freedom?
BR: We worked with Gloria Wesley on her first novel, Chasing Freedom, which was very well received so publishing her second novel, somewhat of a sequel to Chasing Freedom was a no-brainer. There is not a lot written and published about the history of the Black Loyalists, especially not by writers of African descent and that is the kind of publishing we are interested in — stories from the margins.
ALU: What impact do you think this work has on Canadian culture/history?
BR: I think both of Gloria’s books have made a significant contribution to the literature on the Black Loyalists and the history of African Canadians in general. It is not widely known that African Nova Scotians have quite a different history than those of African descent in other parts of Canada. The Book of Negroes made a big contribution to educating Canadians about this but Chasing Freedom and If This Is Freedom have done so as well.
Remember we're giving away a full-page wall calendar with the purchase of any of our forget-me-nots.
Follow along with us on the
Instagram with #ALUneverforget as we book-hop through the centuries, and take a peek at our
history timeline for more books that bring footnotes in Canadian history to the fore.
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