'Nova Scotia's best kept secret': African Nova Scotian perceptions of the police in Digby
LE3 .A278 2017
Master of Arts
The purpose of this research is to uncover the perceptions members of the African Nova Scotian community have of the police in Digby, Nova Scotia. This study aimed to provide a venue for the African Nova Scotian community to have their voices heard, to tell their stories, describe their experiences, and to have other communities and organizations hear these narratives. There has been a history of conflict between the police and the African Nova Scotian community that has been well documented. While there is a small body of literature exploring ‘race’ and policing, few studies done in the Canadian context look at African Canadian perceptions of the police; my research contributes to this gap in existing research. Critical race theory combined with intersectionality and Foucault’s work on power created the theoretical framework for this research. I interviewed nine African Nova Scotians from Digby to determine their perceptions of the police. Participants revealed the atmosphere of racism entrenched in Digby and the ways they experience Blackness on a daily basis mainly through discrimination and racism. The dominant theme wasthat they felt they were not protected, but many also felt targeted by the police. Participants also explained the ways in which the African Nova Scotian community protects and supports itself, and gave several realistic ways in which the police could attempt to improve the relationship and the African Nova Scotian community’s perception of them. This research highlights the importance of non-dominant narratives and the African Nova Scotian experience.
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