This poem was commissioned by NBS for the NBS Sharing Dance: Take the Lead project.
 

We Are North Preston

Written by Abena Beloved Green (Amoako-Tuffour).
 
We play, we cry, we laugh, here
We struggle, we strive, we build here
between Lake Major and the evergreens.
We are Canada’s largest Black Community,
We are North Preston.
 
Descendants of British Loyalists and Jamaican Maroons
Became midwives, farmers, pastors, and more
They beat the odds to make Nova Scotia home.
 
Our ties are deep
Our dynamics, complex
 What happens to one family happens to the rest
We are tight knight as a winter sweater and just as resilient
To harsh land, isolation, and icy opinions.
 
Some focus on bad press and negativity
But if you ask me,
I’ll tell you about the joy of family.
that my grandmother’s smile
is a like the outstretched palm of the sun
 
What makes us beautiful?
Our smart mouths
Our intelligence
Our young people,
With personalities strong and vibrant
 
We hold each other.   
We get each other.
We protect each other.
 
In our vision for North Preston
There’s less talk and more action
The elders invest in the youth and their passions
We’re growing flowers and food  
And starting businesses
And everyone will see how precious Preston is.
 
And it starts here
With respecting each other
And understanding who we are
 
We are drawing the blueprints of our future  
Invest in us, and we will be the architects.

We are North Preston.
 
( * With Credit to LaMeia Reddick and Kardeisha Provo for providing personal reflections)