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Books

About a month ago on June 22nd, Whitney French and Alannah Johnson launched Hush Harbour Press. It couldn’t have come at a better time, with the initial launch date being the late Octavia Butler’s birthday. The Black, queer, feminist press aims to publish work from Black writers ‘in the spirit of building Black futures.’

It’s hard to imagine the eye bugging, stage screaming, self-professed ‘grown little man’ Kevin Hart as a serious life coach. But 2020 Kevin Hart is not the same, and after some serious public setbacks, a few of them scandalous, Kevin Hart is on some Ted Talk vibes right now.

Justin Alliman is an international basketball development coach, with a coveted position as a mentor coach with the Toronto Raptors 905. He’s also the founder of Dream Chaserzzz Basketball Inc. which allows youth who lack support to get access to elite training. “I was one of those kids myself,” he says. Justin’s organization has since served over 100,000 athletes worldwide. Now at the peak of his success, he’s authored a book that reveals some of the heartbreaking details of his journey. It’s called “Before My Glory.”

Jeff Martin is a police officer turned author and motivational speaker. For the last 15 years he's been working in various detective roles, investigating criminal offenses ranging from homicides to sexual assaults. Having done over 1000 forensic interviews with children, Jeff is a youth communication specialist, who now travels North America giving soul-stirring talks to high schoolers.

Joseph Lewin’s first children’s book - Calvert and the Wolf - is creating quite a buzz. It certainly helps when John Tory, the mayor of Toronto, buys a copy of the book and tweets about it after meeting the author in Kensington Market on a Pedestrian Sunday.

There probably hasn’t been a book that has sparked as much debate or emotion at one of our monthly book club meetings as An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.

Dr. Joan Samuels-Dennis is a forgiveness therapist from Brampton, Ontario. Forgiveness is a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or a group of people. “In my sessions, I help clients release wrongs done to them, that have rooted itself in their belief system.”

The brisk cold air and the light dusting of snow could not stop the over 400 people who came to see renowned two-time bestselling author Angie Thomas at the Rose Theatre last night in Toronto.  Though the room was filled with both young and old book lovers of all backgrounds and ethnicities, Thomas made one thing clear, Black voices and Black stories matter. 

In The Hate U Give we enter Starr’s world.  She is the only witness to the shooting of an unarmed black boy, who also happens to be her childhood best friend. We are there from the start to the finish, from the shooting to the grand jury verdict and we observe and read each scene and experience a wave of emotions; shock, sadness, anger, defiance, hope, and hopelessness. All the while hoping that this will be the time when justice is finally served.

The struggles of Black Canadians who’ve paved the way for future generations must not be forgotten. During Black History Month we celebrate and remember the important contributions and achievements Black Canadians have made throughout history.

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