HALIFAX -- As the Black Lives Matter movement expands worldwide, more people are educating themselves about African Canadian history.

Thandiwe McCarthy, a graduate of the University of New Brunswick, found himself self-educating when he came across the book ‘The Blacks in New Brunswick’.

“It’s almost like I just realized I was black a year ago,” said McCarthy.

McCarthy says his mother gave him the book in February. After reading it, he was so moved he decided to republish the book almost 50 years after its initial release.

“It’s almost weird to think that this happens in Canada too and so, I had to start looking at Canadian specific books on civil rights movements in Canada,” said McCarthy.

McCarthy had plenty of help republishing the book with support from the local Black Lives Matter movement.

After learning the books rights were owned by St. Thomas University in Fredericton, McCarthy began taking the next steps on getting the book republished.

“And I’m like, ‘Okay, let’s ask someone at St. Thomas’, and so I sent an email to Jeffrey and I said ‘is there any way we could get this book republished.’”

The book was written by the late W.A. Spray, a history professor at St. Thomas University. The book was an instant hit with other university officials.

“It’s exciting that 50 to 60 years ago, St. Thomas professors were working on things that were important then, but are even more important today.” Said Jeffrey Carleton, the director at St. Thomas University. “And it’s exciting to bring history to these young black students here at STU and in New Brunswick.”

In the current climate surrounding race worldwide, McCarthy feels it’s important the text becomes easily accessible for those who want to learn more.

“A St. Thomas history professor allied with Joe Drummand to create this book, so on the first level it’s built with the community side-by-side,” said McCarthy. “Not from an outsider trying to understand it.”

A new foreword and afterword will be written for the updated publication, expected to include updated visuals from the Saint Thomas archives.

The republished book will be released in 2021.