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Opinion
03 Sep 2020

What It Means To Be A Black Youth In North America

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“Ya, you’re smart for…you know…a Black girl”.  I’ve always thought it was strange that as a society we allowed White people to capitalize on the characteristic of intelligence. More importantly, we’ve accepted the universal stereotype that marginalized cultures lack sophistication and intelligence. Therefore, allowing dominant White culture to use this as a justification to continue to oppress ethnic groups, predominantly the Black community.

29 Jul 2020

Ontario May Be Ending Academic Streaming, But The Damage Is Done

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As the Ontario Government gears up to end Grade 9 streaming, this will have important implications for the Black community, as well as other racialized communities and marginalized people. As a Black person of immigrant parents who themselves experienced the Ontario high school system, I actually benefited from streaming. I started to think about how that, and other privileges I experienced helped shape my high school opportunities. I also began to question how some disadvantages may have had lasting impacts on my peers and other Black, racialized or marginalized people.

27 Jul 2020

Why Black Girls Need Safer Spaces Online

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The Internet is racist, sexist, homophobic, as well as every other type of vile manifestation of behaviour that you can imagine. If you don't believe me, you can consult the work of a few notable academics (Dr. R. Benjamin, Dr. L. Nakumara, Dr. S. Noble, to name a few), whose research uncovers some of the dark, deep, spaces of oppression that exist online. Still, no one can deny that the Internet also brings life to fascinating new media technologies and interesting social platforms which expand interconnectivity.

23 Jul 2020

Anti-Blackness Is By Design Not By Accident

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As two Black women in academia, nothing irks us more than seemingly well-meaning colleagues presenting racism as an unfortunate outcome of history. A stubborn moral irritant that simply requires hardy dialogues and cross-cultural potlucks. However, to broach the insatiable echoes of Eric Garner and George Floyd rasping ‘I can’t breathe’ requires an understanding of the violence that is inordinately mapped onto Black lives that cannot be simply talked away nor commodified ‘one dish at a time’. In fact, far from accidental or incidental, anti-Black racism was birthed to sustain white supremacy by design.

21 Jul 2020

More Than Skin Deep: How I'm Empowering Black Women Through The Beauty Business

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Black women in North America spend billions of dollars a year in the beauty industry, capturing the lion’s share of the “ethnic” beauty market. But when it comes to ownership of our own brands we are still lagging far behind.

16 Jul 2020

Hometown Hamilton: Black Roots in Steel City

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(PHOTO: Harrison sisters: Fern, Audrey, Yvonne) “But where are you really from?” is a question I'm often asked. I’m Canadian, from Hamilton Ontario to be exact. Sometimes it’s hard for people to wrap their minds around it, but my family has been rooted in Hamilton, Ontario (nicknamed “Steel City” due to the steel companies that have historically resided here) for around 110 years.

12 Jul 2020

Question: What’s in a name? Answer: Systemic Racism

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If you’ve been paying attention, (and I hope you have), systemic racism and its agents are being upended across North America. One space where the fight for anti-racist Black futures has long been waging is in our nation’s schools.

08 Jul 2020

City of Vaughan Residents Call On Mayor To Take Action On Anti-Black Racism

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In unison with the cries for justice and equality of Black lives across the globe a rally was held at Vaughan City Hall, July 4, 2020 to confront anti-Black racism. With the support of the organizers, local support groups and allies: Vaughan African Caribbean Association (VACA), BCFN, Black Lives 4 Change, Italians for Black Lives, etc. the community spoke up about the impact this has on the lives of Black people who call the City of Vaughan home.

26 Jun 2020

Looks Like Whitby's Chamber Of Commerce Didn't Get The Black Lives Matter Memo

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On June 2, 2020, Black Out Tuesday – the secretary of the board of directors for the Whitby Chamber of Commerce (WCC), Julie Armstrong Rennie, posted an All Lives Matter image on her Facebook timeline. The next day, at a virtual networking event hosted by the Chamber, two local Black business owners were invited to speak about issues related to the Black Lives Matter protests sweeping the globe. I was one of them.

15 Jun 2020

Becoming Canadian: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Racism

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One of the first things I can remember about moving to Canada (Toronto), was the Molson beer ad: I am Canadian! The slogan was loud, proud and infectious. I wanted to say it and own it with the same gusto.

15 Jun 2020

Hey Allies! You Have One Job: Accept Discomfort

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It’s been three long and painful weeks since Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd. In that time, we’ve seen people across America and the world take to the streets in protest of the painfully long list of Black lives snuffed out by police brutality.

14 Jun 2020

Our Right To Heal: A Word From Black Canadian Women Fundraisers

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Black women are magic, but not because of something mystical or mysterious. Our power was born and is reborn in the depths of tragedy, the storms of indignity, the strength of our faith and community. Our magic is in direct proportion to the pain we’ve overcome.

14 Jun 2020

I Don't Need You To See Me - I Need You To See White Supremacy

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There’s a  misconception of this current moment, a misplaced assumption that Black people have been waiting for white people to emotionally break open in front us. No, we’ve been asking you to be our co-conspirators in dismantling systemic and institutionalised racism. We’ve been asking you to sit in the discomfort that comes with this work.

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