Plan - Student
Worksheet - Bibliography/Resources
EPISODE 32: "Captain of
Souls: Rev. William White"
Directed by Fern Levitt
Fern Levitt's Captain of Souls
tells the story Reverend William Andrew White, the son of former American
slaves, who brought solace and pride to the black community of Nova Scotia.
William Andrew White was the
second black man accepted by Acadia University. He graduated in 1903 with
an arts degree in theology. He then traveled as a missionary for the African
Baptist Churches of Nova Scotia.
When WWI erupted, Reverend
White enlisted in an all-Black segregated unit, and was the only black
officer and chaplain for the entire British Army. The leader of the Cornwallis
Street Baptist Church for seventeen years, he was the first black man
to bring his sermons to radio.
A mix of interviews, archives
and haunting gospel music, Captain of Souls is a tender eulogy for a man
who brought hope to a forgotten community.
- The power of the individual
to make a difference
- Basic human rights which
are worth fighting for
- Becoming aware of racial
barriers that existed in Canada
- The long history of African-Canadians
- United Empire Loyalist
- Underground Railroad
- World War I
- Baptist Church
- To become aware of the long
history and contributions of African-Canadians
- The power of the word and
pacifism in breaking down racial barriers
- Becoming aware of racial
barriers which did and continue to exist in Canada
- The importance of strong
leaders to a community
- There is an expression,
‘think global, act local'. Look around your school and community - try
to think of ways that you can improve them. Perhaps it is as simple
as organizing a litter pick-up crew for the local park, or working towards
having a light signal at a bad corner. Form a group. What can you do
to improve your neighbourhood?
- Reverend White used the
radio to give inspirational speeches. Does your school have a radio
station? Join the radio station. Create a program to help motivate fellow
- Newspapers were important
sources of information for early African-Canadian settlers. Create an
historic newspaper such as the ‘Freeman'. What would some of the issues
of the day be? Write articles that identify some of cultural and social
barriers. Write it in the style of the 1860's.
- The Underground Railroad
was one of the greatest Abolitionist tools used against slavery in the
United States. There is a new park system in the United States being
created to honour the route followed. Research the routes which were
followed. Who were some of the key players? Where did they end up in
- Invite some of the leaders
of the African-Canadian community in your town to speak about their
experience in Canada. What racial barriers still exist in this country?
How can we work to knock them down?