Burnley “Rocky” Jones Revolutionary

“The life, work and activism of Rocky Jones are central to African-Canadian history and the civil rights movement in Canada. Canadians lost a great soul, with the recent death of Rocky Jones, but his autobiography – co-written by James Walker, a close friend of Rocky Jones and one of our foremost writers about Black history in Canada – is a wonderful gift to the entire country. Revolutionary will soon be required reading for any person who seeks to understand the civil rights movement in Canada.”
– Lawrence Hill

“A must read, a manual for all freedom fighters, and a testament to Rocky Jones’ and Black power and resilience.”
— Afua Cooper

“Any telling of human rights and social equity in Canada would be incomplete without reference to “revolutionary” Rocky Jones’ truth-telling about his life captured in this compelling exemplary autobiography. This insightful account is not only about life as an African Nova Scotian, but also about the community, law, politics.”
— Carl James

Born and raised in Truro, Nova Scotia, Burnley “Rocky” Jones is one of Canada’s most important figures of social justice. Often referred to as Canada’s Stokely Carmichael, Jones was tirelessly dedicated to student movements, peace activism, Black Power, anti-racism, women’s liberation and human rights reform. He was a leader in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, brought the Black Panthers to Canada, taught at Dalhousie and founded his own law firm.

This autobiography tells the story of Jones’s inimitable life and his accomplishments.

But it also does more. It illuminates the Black experience in Nova Scotia, it explains the evolving nature of race relations and human rights in recent Canadian history, and it reveals the origins of the “remedial” approach to racial equality that is now practised by activists and governments.

Finally, the story of Rocky Jones is a reminder that human rights are not a gift, but a prize that must be fought for.


James St.G. Walker

James W. St.G. Walker is a professor of history at the University of Waterloo.


Burnley “Rocky” Jones

Burnley “Rocky” Jones was an internationally known political activist who focused on human rights, racism and poverty. He was a professor and lawyer in Nova Scotia.


“A must read, a manual for all freedom fighters, and a testament to Rocky Jones’ and Black power and resilience.”

– Afua Cooper


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280 Pages
9in * 6in * .5in


September 01, 2016


Fernwood Publishing



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