2021 Canada $20 Commemorating Black History - The Black Loyalists Fine Silver (No Tax)
Before, during and after the American Revolution, hundreds of Black Loyalists settled in the Niagara Peninsula, along the St. Lawrence River, and in the Eastern Townships. But the large majority of Black Loyalists, roughly 3,000 of them, landed in Nova Scotia and present-day New Brunswick in 1783. They settled in areas such as Halifax, Annapolis Royal, Fort Cumberland, Shelburne, Port Mouton, Saint John, and along the Saint John River; they also established communities in Tracadie and in Birchtown, N.S., then the largest settlement of free Black people outside of Africa.
For many Black Loyalists, the promise of a better life went unfulfilled: climate and agricultural conditions here were harsh; the land grant system favoured white Loyalists; and unemployment, lower wages and discrimination were the norm. Tensions mounted in some places, and in 1784, a mob of disbanded soldiers targeted Black Loyalists in Birchtown and Shelburne, N.S., in the first recorded race riot in North America.
Disillusioned, about 1,200 Black Loyalists left Nova Scotia in 1792 to build a new life in the West African country of Sierra Leone. Those who remained in British North America helped re-define Canada's history and character, and today, the descendants of Black Loyalists can lay claim to an extraordinary legacy of courage and perseverance.
The second coin in the Royal Canadian Mint's Commemorating Black History series honours the legacy of Black Canadians, from the past and present, whose achievements and struggles are an important part of Canada's story and its journey towards greater inclusion and diversity.
They sought freedom and a better life here. In the time of the War of American Independence (1775-1783), thousands of Black Loyalists — some free, some indentured, and others still enslaved — came to British North America and put down roots in present-day Canada.
But the hardships they endured are a reminder of how complex our history can be. Their triumphs and tribulations are a fundamental part of Canada's story that should be honoured and remembered, as they are on this fine silver coin, which features the armorial bearings of the Black Loyalist Heritage Society.
The reverse of this coin features the armorial bearings of the Black Loyalist Heritage Society granted in 2006 by the Canadian Heraldic Authority and designed by Darrel E. Kennedy, Assiniboine Herald.
On the shield, three Loyalist civil coronets represent the non-combatants who fled to British North America (Canada), while the ship's wheel represents both the past (the ships landing in 1783) and the present (the Society's focus on community development). The lion supporters symbolize the pride of Africa and the courage demonstrated by those who sought a better life in Nova Scotia. Beneath the shield, the province is represented by its official floral emblem, the mayflower, while the rock symbolizes the landings near Birchtown, N.S. The anchor in the crest honours the sacrifices of the families who undertook the journey, which is represented by the footprints in the mantling. The motto "THE HEART OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE IS IN YOUR ROOTS" speaks to the Society members' interest in their heritage.
The armorial bearings are flanked by maple leaves. The obverse features a repeating maple leaf field pattern and the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
Item Number: 200403
Composition: 99.99% pure silver
Weight*: 31.39 g
Diameter: 38 mm
Face Value: $20
Designer: Darrel E. Kennedy, Assiniboine Herald
• This 1 oz. 99.99% pure silver coin is the latest in a series honouring the legacy of Black Canadians whose achievements and struggles are an important part of Canada's story.
• The 2021 coin shines the spotlight on the Black Loyalists who settled in present-day Canada in late 18th century.
• On the coin's reverse, the armorial bearings of the Black Loyalist Heritage Society honour the trailblazers of the past and those who safeguard their memory today.
• A symbol of Canada, the maple leaf adds a symbolic flourish to the reverse and forms a repeating pattern on the obverse.
• A powerful addition to your history-themed collection, this collectible tribute to Black Loyalists honours the contributions they made to Canada's story and identity.
Encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded clamshell with a black beauty box.