A seed by: Jonathan Langdon
Project: Calling our Ancestors Home
Jonathan Langdon is a writer, activist and Professor who teaches development studies at St Francis Xavier University, in Mi’kma’ki or Nova Scotia, Canada. His educational background includes a PhD in International and Adult Education, a MA in Creative Writing, and a BA in International Development and English Literature. He is currently the Canada Research Chair for Sustainability and Social Change Leadership. In 2022, he participated in the Arrivals Legacy Process, Ask the Mountain, and began a creative project entitled, “Reckoning with my past” that confronts the ancestral links his family has to the enslavement industry in Nova Scotia. He is currently developing a book from this project. Jon has edited Indigenous Knowledges, Development and Education (Sense, 2009), and written African Social Movement Learning (Brill, 2020). He has also published numerous academic articles and chapters that examine the themes of social movement learning, decolonizing pedagogies, and climate justice. Jon has shared his poetry and prose excerpts in diverse contexts, from the Monday Groove @ Ghana’s Socialist Freedom Centre, to Print Preview @ Antigonish’s Townhouse. Jon currently lives in Kjipuktuk/Halifax, with his partner, Liliona, his kids, Zya and Ny, and their dog, TK.


Arts for Social Change, Spoken Word, Literature, Poetry
This seed is a collaboration of: Eat the fruit

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In the opening line of Sarah Rossy’s “Eat the Fruit,” they write “what if the past was just a mirrored future.” The idea of the past being a mirrored future really spoke to me. This poem emerged after reading this piece, and brings to life a drawing I did of my first interaction with my ancestor, and my effort to understand him, his choices. I like the tension in your poem, Sarah, as it speaks to me about the difficulty in walking the line between what I need and what others need. Of the line between reckoning with my actions, my ancestor’s actions, and what is not mine to carry. My ancestor, Reverend Daniel Cock, settled in Truro, in Mi’kma’ki, in Nova Scotia, in 1772 – immigrating from Scotland with his wife, Alison, and 5 kids. He was the first Presbyterian minister in the area. In the years after settling, he actively participated in the enslavement of two women, Deal and her mother (the historical record does not give us her name). He was criticized for this participation by another Presbyterian minister, Reverend James McGregor. This poem, Reflection, builds on the idea of a mirror, to explore how my ancestor took stock of his decisions, but I also see it as an important mirror into how I also reflect on my own decisions in the here and now.

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