Staying on my me ████, but hated on by both sides
I’m just a kid who blowing up with my father’s name
And every black “you’re not black enough”
Is a white “you’re all the same”
— Childish Gambino, “That Power”, Camp (2011)
I’m not the brother you want, but I’m the one you’ve got right now.
Fear of a Black Story
Sometimes I wonder if we even want something like Live from the 3.5.
It’s been a challenging month—February often is. Horrible weather. Journeys in and out of town. A death in the family and people looking to make things really difficult for me at the 9-5.
The way it is now, I might not be the right guy for Live.
Beyond Black History Month
The older I get and the longer I keep creating content, the more realistic I get about it all. Most of the people who used to just dabble in this found other things to do with their time, like pursuing careers or raising kids. And most of the creators around me today treat content as their full-time gig, choosing the potentially lucrative influencer life over office job drudgery or raising kids. The choices I’ve made—and still make—set me apart from many others, both in how unique my lifestyle is, and also the work I need to do to keep it all going.
Which is all a long way of saying Live from the 3.5 isn’t the kind of project you plan overnight. In fact, if I wanted to do it in 2020 without a hitch, I’d probably need to start planning it today, making room for all the stuff that’ll inevitably pop up over the year.
No—if I want to continue with this project, I’ll need to make some changes: do it in a way that’s reasonable for my life and doesn’t have me scrambling each year.
And so I have a little proposition—instead of trying to shove this all into a single month each year and working well beyond my capacity already strained at the seams, why don’t we just do away with Black History Month altogether and celebrate our community every day of the year?
This Week in Canadian Racism
I face pushback all February from trying to cover the topic of race, but my HuffPost Canada appearance near the month’s end really amplified it.
White Canadians with privilege enough to think that race doesn’t matter and that we should all celebrate equally as humans.
Black Canadians who rather I stop because my family’s too White for them to feel anything I’m saying.
You ask me, my country has a hell of a lot of learning to do about race relations and the things we need to do to co-exist with one another, but no one’s really interested in hearing it. We all rather keep to our bubbles and maintain that we’re more right than anyone else.
And friends—that line of thinking is dangerous.
What Do You MEAN Racism’s Still a Thing???
It’s that insular thinking that creates people willing to hurl racist insults at a biracial hockey player and his family, with over a thousand people unwilling to step in and do anything about it. Some of them even participated. It creates shopkeepers who don’t understand how hurtful it is to sell golliwog dolls which come from the same vein as Blackface and minstrel shows, since there isn’t enough of a Black community out west to call them to account. Their customers even pledged to go in and buy golliwog dolls from them out of solidarity. Our Prime Minister even had to apologise to two Black Nova Scotians who were racially profiled on Parliament Hill for the crime of being Black, despite having the proper credentials and security checks and balances to give them every right to be there.
And this was all in the last week.
So my community might not think me the right man for the job. The other 96.5% of the country might not even think we need it. But from what I’m seeing, we need more Black voices, not less, and doing the work over twenty-eight days just isn’t cutting it.
It’s time to take the conversation farther.
Black Fridays. Because Our Stories Matter.
I originally planned to announce this on the heels of a successful February where we could all pat ourselves on the backs for a job well done, but that’s not what the world needs. Though I wasn’t able to get everything out this past month, from this week on I want to give you Black Fridays—Black Canada’s Long March to Equality.
And people can think what they will. That I’m a failure. That I’m just writing controversial work to get views on the blog. But ultimately, this is something that we as a Black Canadian people need to do. Take ownership of our stories. Make sure everyone sees them.
Because we’re dealing with a world that often sees us as beneath notice, and it’s not afraid to show it.
Stay strong out there, keep your heads up, and until the next Black Friday, I remain,