I interviewed Lynn Jones at her home in Halifax. She grew up in the tight-knit African Nova Scotian community in Truro. This was a context in which the whole family, the whole community, was involved in trying to create change, so from a young age struggles against the explicit racial segregation of the Nova Scotia of those years and against other forms of racism were integral to her life. As a university student, she went on to be active against the Vietnam War, in solidarity with struggles for self-determination elsewhere in the world, and in defense of programs which gave Black and indigenous students access to post-secondary education. A little later she became active in her union, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, and went on to become the first woman of colour to be a Vice President of the Canadian Labour Congress. She has continued throughout to be deeply involved in community struggles. Her stories are featured in Chapter 5 of Resisting the State: Canadian History Through the Stories of Activists.
Material from Jones on this site:
- In this audio clip, Jones talks about the struggles against racial segregation in which she was involved as a child, other work against racism she engaged in as a teen, and the broader community context in which it all happened.
- In this audio clip, Jones talks about being the only member of the Canadian Labour Congress executive to vote against labour’s endorsement of the 1992 Charlottetown Constitutional Accord, which was later defeated in a national referendum.
- In this audio clip, Jones talks about an amazing 122-day, community-based occupation of a Canada Employment Centre that was slated for closue in a poor Halifax neighbourhood in 1996.