The Loyalist Connections Podcast

The Loyalist Connections Podcast

Introducing the Loyalist Connections Podcast: Step into a world where history comes alive, voices echo through time, and untold narratives find their voice. Welcome to the Loyalist Connections Podcast, where we discover and capture the rich heritage of the African Nova Scotian community and beyond. Hosted by Laurice Downey, and Shawn Smith our passionate duo brings their expertise and dedication to reveal the captivating stories of our ancestors, shedding light on their resourcefulness, resilience, and entrepreneurial spirit. With a commitment to promoting recognition, justice, and development, the Loyalist Connections Podcast is a gateway to discovering the diverse heritage and contributions of Black and African Nova Scotians. Tune in as we capture first-voice historical narratives and present them through captivating audio experiences. Our engaging interviews, featuring special guests and community members, provide an authentic window into the lives of those who have been historically overlooked. Join us on this exciting journey of self-discovery, as we bridge the past and present, champion change, and celebrate the indomitable spirit of Black and African Nova Scotians


February 8, 2024 48 mins

Vanessa Fells, a distinguished community voice, guides us through the multifaceted layers of systemic racism, from its roots in the transatlantic slave trade to its present-day manifestations.  Shawn and Laurice, join Vanessa in a journey that uncovers uncomfortable truths and powerful stories that resonate deeply within the Black community. 

Dive into a profound exploration of anti-Black racism in Nova Scotia in our latest episode...

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Experience the essence of the Loyalist Connections in this heartwarming episode where community, ancestry, and connection come alive. Join Shawn and Laurice along with guests Beatrice and Bernice, as they weave an intricate tapestry of stories that define the spirit of Black communities. 

In this episode, we delve into how storytelling is not just a pastime but a lifeline in these communities, serving as a vessel for preserving cul...

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January 18, 2024 44 mins

In this compelling episode of the Loyalist Connections Podcast, hosts Shawn and Laurice sit down with content creator Matthew Johnson.  Matthew discusses his passion for boxing, his dedication to fitness and mental health, and the creation of ArcoVision.  

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In this captivating episode, we venture beyond the surface of connections to explore the rich African Nova Scotian history in Weymouth Falls, Nova Scotia. Join Shawn and Laurice, and our special guest Juanita Peters, as they illuminate the stories woven into this small yet significant community. 

Weymouth Falls is not just a place of picturesque landscapes and fertile farmland; it's a symbol of the rural Canadian experience, where ...

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Join our hosts Shawn and Laurice as they welcome Curtis Whiley, who guides us through the life and soul of Upper Hammonds Plains. This episode is not just a history lesson; it's a celebration of the struggles and triumphs of African Nova Scotian residents and communities in securing their land rights, protecting their heritage, and creating a vibrant, unified community. 

Discover the local history of the Whiley Box Factory, the fir...

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December 21, 2023 47 mins

In this special episode of the Loyalist Connections Podcast, hosts Shawn and Laurice sit down with artist Duane Jones.  Duane shares his journey of coming to Nova Scotia, the founding of his business, Art Pays Me, and the challenges of entrepreneurship in the art industry. 

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December 14, 2023 49 mins

Join us as we explore the contrasting realities of Greenville, Nova Scotia, through the eyes of Troy Lawrence.

This episode highlights the lived experience of moving to a predominantly white community, unraveling the layers of both subconscious and conscious racial segregation. Troy explains how subconscious segregation manifests as an automatic, often unnoticed division along racial lines, while conscious segregation is a more ove...

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December 6, 2023 51 mins

In this episode, our hosts Shawn and Laurice, alongside historian Graham Nickerson, continue their journey and uncover the often-overlooked history of Saint John, New Brunswick and deep ties to the Black Loyalist migration.   

From skilled tradespeople to labourers and entrepreneurs, their work fuelled the growth of Saint John's economy, leaving an indelible mark on its history. This episode aims to shift the historical lens, bring...

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North Preston is one of the oldest and largest Indigenous Black populations whose residents are the ancestors of Black Loyalists (1783), The Jamaican Maroons (1796) and the Black Refugees from the War of 1812 who all settled in Atlantic British North America at different times. The conversation with Nevell Provo weaves the legacy of the regions past to the present as we discuss a better projection of the community’s future. With Ne...

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Join us and our special guest Bruce Johnson who is a current resident of Yarmouth, one of the 300 African Nova Scotians residing in the County. Bruce and our hosts dive into the historic racial environment of Yarmouth where the status of Black people started as slaves, who arrived in 1760 with the New England Planters. The status of Black people in the region further shifted with the introduction of Black Loyalists. They discuss th...

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Come learn about Whitney Pier with us and our special guest Bradley Sheppard. Whitney Pier was the home to several black Caribbean immigrants who came to Cape Breton in search of work for the Dominion Iron and Steel Company. This episode starts important conversations about the transportation and then planting of Black bodies to perform as surrogates in the building of communities. Additionally, if you are a fan of the late great B...

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Join us and our special guest Dr. Barb Hamilton-Hinch as we discuss the Black settlement of Beechville. The community settled about 2000 Black refugees from the War of 1812, who arrived from Chesapeake Virginia, Bermuda, Georgia and more settled in until 1816. This episode we dive into the theft of historically Black land, given to Black communities as the scraps of their agreements with the British and then the nova Scotia governm...

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We're starting where it all began!

In this episode our hosts and their special guest Graham Nickerson discuss some of the key cultural traditions, practices and connections between the Black Loyalists that settled in Birchtown and Shelburne.

These communities were made of Black people across the region who represented different cultural, religious, and linguistic backgrounds that they transported on to their new homes. Our guest sp...

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July 26, 2023 25 mins

Loyalist Connections is a journey of rediscovery, led by hosts Shawn Smith and Laurice Downey. These two old friends want to better understand their Black Loyalist ancestors and what happened to the communities they settled. In this episode, you will get to know our hosts a little better, why they are doing this podcast, and what they hope to achieve.

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