A dramatic portrait of the journey of Black Nova Scotians from Africa, through the period of slavery in America and finally with their settlement in Nova Scotia. The performance is constructed around three dramatic voices (1) ‘The Voice of Africa’ (2) ‘The Voice of the Slavery and the American experience’ and (3) The Voice of African Nova Scotia. As each actor tell his/her story, historical dramatizations, poetry, dance and musical performances are woven into the narrative of each period depicted with an overall effect capturing both the historical unfolding of events but also the emotional record of the people’s experiences.
Black Journey was initially written by David Woods for the Cultural Awareness Youth Group of Dartmouth High School 1985, and first premiered in February, 1985 as a featured performance for the group’s Black History Week presentation at the school. An expanded version of the drama was developed for Voices Black Theatre Ensemble and first presented in 1990 as part of the company’s annual Black History Month school tour. Since that time, this short play has been performed over 50 times including performances at University of Toronto Convocation Hall and on Parliament Hill.
An excerpt of Black Journey was featured in the 1993 Gemini award-winning documentary ‘Speak It’ by filmmaker Sylvia Hamilton.
A radio version of the performance was also presented on CBC Radio in 1993.