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New edition The Ultimate African Heritage Quiz Book by Craig Smith contains around 300 questions

Sgt. Craig Smith of the RCMP’s Lower Sackville detachment with the original version of his African heritage book and the 10th anniversary edition that’s about to be released. (Smith is a former resident of southwestern Nova Scotia, having worked in Yarmouth from 1997 to 2005.)
Sgt. Craig Smith of the RCMP’s Lower Sackville detachment with the original version of his African heritage book and the 10th anniversary edition that’s about to be released. (Smith is a former resident of southwestern Nova Scotia, having worked in Yarmouth from 1997 to 2005.) - Contributed

HALIFAX, N.S. – A decade after the release of The Ultimate African Heritage Quiz Book, Craig Smith is releasing a new, expanded edition of the book.

The Halifax resident, who used to be posted with the RCMP in Yarmouth, says he has added about 45 questions, so the book’s new edition consists of about 300 of them.

The fact that this new edition is coming out 10 years after the original book’s release is just a coincidence, he says.

This past spring, Nimbus Publishing approached Smith about reprinting the book.

“They’ve had a lot of inquiries from schools and things and because of that they were interested in doing a new release and I said, ‘well, surprisingly, it’s been 10 years (since the book was first published), so why don’t we make it a 10th anniversary edition and allow me to put some more questions in’ and they said ‘sure,’” Smith said.

In coming up with new questions, he said he took into account some of the things that had happened during the past decade. And while the book’s focus is on the Maritime region, Smith has included a question or two from every Canadian province.

“So it gives people a snapshot, nationally, of some black history as well,” he said. “That was one of the other things that was important for me.”

The original book ended up not only being used in schools but also in businesses and other workplaces for Black History Month quizzes, Smith said, adding he sees the book as a springboard of sorts from which he hopes readers will want to learn more.

“The book itself, it gives you a historical question,” he said, “but sometimes that question can lead to a lot of other things that you might want to look up or you might want to expand upon and research, and so it lends itself in that way as well to allow people to broaden their approach when looking at black history.”

Smith – a sergeant with the RCMP’s Lower Sackville detachment who has written other books about black history – recalls Nimbus approaching him back in 2007 about a potential African heritage quiz book. They were talking about a Nova Scotia book, but Smith suggested it be broader in scope by covering the Maritimes. Nimbus agreed.

Over the years, since the book’s release in 2008, Smith says he has heard people say they didn’t know about this or that until they read it in the book. 

“It really opened people’s eyes,” he said. “For me, it becomes a launching board for folks to do more things ... to make the history more relevant.”

He says in the city the book will be available at The Black Cultural Centre, the Bookmark, Tattale Tales and he's expecting that Nimbus will also reach out to book stores throughout the province to see if they are interesed in stocking it.

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