RADIO CANADA INTERNATIONAL | Marc Montgomery | Long before America’s Rosa Parks, there was Canada’s Viola Desmond. Many people know of American Rosa Parks and cite her as the first to stand up for the civil rights of blacks in the U.S. But Rosa Parks is the American version of Canada’s Viola Desmond who initiated a civil rights case in Canada years earlier, one that has had lasting repercussions. In 1946 Viola Desmond
RADIO CANADA INTERNATIONAL | Marc Montgomery | It is little known fact even within Canada that there was a small but vibrant group of black settlers in the western prairie province of Alberta. They weren’t really part of the well-known “Underground Railroad” but nonetheless were leaving behind discrimination in the US. Some blacks had arrived in the late 1880’s but settlers really only began to arrive in the still mostly untamed
By Marc Montgomery It was an important moment, a breakthrough moment, in hockey history. It was however a fleeting and not well-known moment. Because of its “milestone” nature, it deserves more recognition. In 1970 for the first time in Canadian university hockey, the forward line were all black. Bob Dawson was one of those three players on the St Mary’s University team in Halifax Nova Scotia Bob Dawson is a
By Carmel Kilkenny | ‘Soul on Ice: Past, Present and Future’ is the documentary that was a labour of love for filmmaker Damon Kwame Mason. The 46 year-old, who goes by his middle name, played hockey for two years while growing in Toronto and has a passion for the sport, like a lot of Canadians. But as a young black player, he says he didn’t really understand the game. Mason
By Marc Montgomery | It began several years ago as a non-profit project to provide access to the arts for underprivileged youth, called Overture with the Arts. It was created by Akilah Newton, who later added an important aspect in connection with Black History Month. That was to bring in her very talented twin brother Omari. Omari Newton is an actor with an impressive record of TV and film appearances. He
The Black Diamond Ball had its inaugural event last February. This year, the soiree on the last weekend of February, Saturday the 25th, is presented again by TD & ArtXperiential Projects.
By day, Casey Palmer works in the Ontario Public Service, but by night, he’s become a popular blogger reflecting on a number of issues of daily life.
By Lynn Desjardins | When people talk about being subjected to anti-black racism, their friends or acquaintances will often downplay it, says Anthony Morgan, a lawyer and a community advocate. He says being black in Canada can sometime be suffocating. ‘Silencing a lot of African-Canadians’ “Often the experience of black people isn’t recognized when it comes to suffering, anti-black racism, issues of poverty. So, while we have different laws and
By Lynn Desjardins | Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre is set to kick off two weekends of activities in what it bills as Toronto’s longest-running celebration of Black History Month. This is the 22nd edition of the Kuumba festival and it will focus on “the current political climate through workshops, panel discussions, comedy, music, film and more.” Community activist and author Desmond Cole will moderate discussions on “some of the most pressing issues
Bashir Mohamed came into the world stateless. He was born in Kenya in 1994 as a Somali refugee. At the time, Somalia’s central government had collapsed and Kenya did not recognize those born there as citizens, so he was without citizenship.