The Hermit of Africville
"A must-read for anyone interested in the history of Halifax or in civil rights in general." - The Reader, Halifax Public Libraries blog
"Insightful, personal without preaching or platitudes, this is a deep, powerful and thoughtful work." - Halifax Magazine
"Eddie’s personal transformation is an astonishing triumph of the individual over powerful social forces of racism and violence." - Transmopolis.com
"Well researched and written - Tattrie has done well to uncover both the man behind the myth and the community buried beneath the rubble... important, insightful and inspiring." - Stephen Patrick Clare/Chronicle Herald
"Nova Scotians have built a fantasy history of escaped American slaves fleeing to the land of non-discrimination, says Tattrie, and think Nova Scotia is to this day uninfected by racism. The Africville story gives the lie to that story, and Tattrie tells it brutally and beautifully." - The Coast
- Buy it now
- DONATE to help Eddie buy food, stay warm and prepare for an upcoming Africville court case.
- Watch a photo montage of Eddie Carvery. Click here for more photos.
- In this video, Eddie explains how the protest started and what he hopes to achieve with it.
- Watch highlights from the July 24, 2010 book launch in Africville.
- Spot a mistake? Email email@example.com and I'll post Corrections here.
- Research - watch the videos and read the books that went into the Hermit of Africville.
- Media coverage
- Join the Facebook group by searching "The Hermit of Africville: The Life of Eddie Carvery"
- Sunday's Church - This CBC radio documentary looks at the struggle to bring a church museum to Africville, and how Christmas returned for the first time in 40 years.
Eddie Carvery was born in Africville, Nova Scotia, when the African-Nova Scotian seaside village was midway through its third century. As a teenager, he watched his world torn down as his friends and family were compelled to leave. After Africville was bulldozed in the 1960s under the guise of "urban renewal," Eddie returned to the site of his former hometown and pitched a tent in protest.
After forays into careers as a community organizer, sheet-metal worker and fisherman, Eddie returned to the ruins of Africville in 1970 to start his protest for the reclamation of his people's land and history. Forty years, three families, seven heart attacks and numerous attempts on his life later, he remains living on the land where he was born. He's been shot at, had his residence set on fire and been run off his land countless times. His struggles with his demons of addiction and violence have cost him his families and his entire adult life. He's tried to leave, but always returned to Africville.
Sometimes accompanied by his brother, Victor, and sometimes by his friend and bodyguard, a dog called Spike, Eddie has lived as a virtual hermit in a small trailer across from the results of the urban renewal: a dog park called Seaview. All traces of his childhood community are gone, except for him - the last resident of Africville.
There, through the solitude and frozen winters, he's walked the long walk to healing, rooted in the land of his ancestors. Dismissed as a squatter, he stayed in Africville. Searching through the ruins of his community and his battered mind, he's rebuilt himself and never given up on his dream of Africville. In this riveting account, Jon Tattrie captures the story of Eddie Carvery and his struggle for survival and, ultimately, justice.
The Hermit of Africville was named Best Book 2010 by readers of the Coast and was a finalist for the Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing.
- Special thanks to photographer Darrell Oake for creating the photo montage and video of the book launch -