Later hosting a radio program and serving on the Task Force of the Status of Women, Best was also a member of the Order of Canada, and she received the Queen Elizabeth Medal and several honorary doctorates in her lifetime.
Her story is part of a pop-up exhibit that highlights the history and culture of African Nova Scotians, on display at the Museum of Industry in Stellarton until Friday.
A duplicate of the same exhibit, entitled Inspire: The History and Legacy of African Nova Scotians will also be part of an event taking place at Second United Baptist Church in New Glasgow on Thursday, during which the Black Cultural Centre will gather other stories of African Nova Scotians to add to its collection.
“We want people to come with their family history and interesting things they might have to share,” said Black Cultural Centre executive director Russell Grosse.
The centre is making 12 visits to communities around the province as part of the Black Cultural Society of Nova Scotia’s 40th anniversary, seeking stories, artifacts and photos. New Glasgow will be the third stop on the tour, which began in July and will finish up in December.
“It’s a vehicle to gather stories and history,” said Grosse. “We’re really excited about that.”
He said scanners and other devices will be on hand to copy photographs and record oral histories. “It gives people a chance to share their personal artifacts.”
During the first community visit, held at Gibson Woods near Kentville, Grosse said they received a nice surprise when a man named Brian Gibson brought them an interesting item.
He said Gibson participated in boxing at the Olympic Games in the 1970s. “Here at the centre we had no record of that. It was a great learning experience for us. He showed up at the event with his Olympic Games registration badge, and we were able to scan it and add it to our collection. That’s the type of thing we’re trying to do.”
He said a lot of African Nova Scotian history remains untold.
“It’s quite amazing for us to get out into the community – learning and sharing. It’s an
opportunity to share history that might not have been known.”
The tour also provides an opportunity for the BCC to connect with communities around the province and bring awareness to what the centre does. Established in 1983 by the Black Cultural Society, the centre has a provincial mandate to protect, preserve and promote African Nova Scotian culture and history.
Grosse said the hope is to share a pictorial history of the African Nova Scotian community in the province some time next year.
The event starts at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday at 342 Washington St. in New Glasgow.