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    PROFILES ON BLACK CANADIANS

    Profiles

    33-year-old Tameika Gentles grew up in a Jamaican household where good, but often unhealthy food was always in abundance, especially during the holidays. She slowly found herself gaining an excessive amount of weight.

    Eyra Abraham grew up with hearing loss, so she learned how to navigate the world without one of her senses. But as an adult, she had an experience with a fire alarm that made her realize she was at serious risk. Out of this fear-filled experience, she embarked on creating Lisnen, a mobile sound awareness application. When there is a fire alarm or siren in the environment, the app uses artificial intelligence to give a notification, whether it be a buzz or a flashing light, it informs the user of what's going on around them.

    Celina Caesar-Chavannes does things on her terms. After seeing a pamphlet encouraging women to run federally she did--and as a rookie politician beat a long-time Conserative candidate. Starting in 2015, she served the riding of Whitby, Ontario in the House of Commons but chose not to seek re-election in 2019. During her tenure, the former Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister spoke out several times about her experiences of anti-black racism as a Member of Parliament. I caught up with her just after she was named one of Chatelaine Magazine’s Women Of The Year and before she hopped on a…

    At the age of 18, Angela Mercurio was training almost daily as a college athlete and was aiming for the Olympics. Now, at 23, she’s getting ready to start medical school with a focus on women’s health, and she’s not looking back. 

    Gordon Shadrach is a portrait artist, Grade 2 teacher, and public speaker. His work has shown at the Royal Ontario Museum, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia to name a few. As a self-taught painter, it’s even more impressive that he’s been selected by OCAD University as a lecturer at its How We Paint series. Prior to that engagement, ByBlacks spoke to the artist about the themes he explores through his art, the challenges of breaking through institutional barriers as an emerging artist at age 53, and what he most hopes to impart in…

    10-year-old CEO, Kayana Williams, raises money for charities through a family-run social enterprise.

    Donté Colley is a force. He had no idea when he made some dance videos in his basement a couple of years ago and shared them online that people would take notice. Now, the 22-year-old Instagram star has danced with Ariana Grande, performed with The Chainsmokers and name-checked by Beyoncé. Based on the exuberance of his videos alone, you might want to call him the happiest man in Toronto. 828 thousand Instagram followers later (at the time of this writing) he made some time to chat with me.

    Tobi Oluwole’s Nigerian parents sent him to Canada at the age of 15, hoping to give him a chance at a “better life”. But the road to that bright future they envisioned for their young son, was not as easy as it seemed.

    Trayon Baksh, aka Tray Arts’ journey to success was fraught with pitfalls, but what seemed like divine intervention nudged him in the right direction while courage and determination pushed him the rest of the way.

    Photo: Leilah Dhore/How She Hustles In honour of Small Business Month, ByBlacks spoke with Emily Mills of How She Hustles about what it really takes to successfully build your own business. Mills is fresh off the launch of her latest project - the Startup & Slay Digital Series sponsored by CIBC, Futurpreneur Canada and Ryerson University.

     

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    ByBlacks.com is the top-ranked award-winning online magazine focused exclusively on telling Black Canadian stories. With over one hundred writers to date covering a range of editorial content, we also provide a free business directory for Black Canadian owned businesses, free events listing and promotional services for our clients.

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