A friend first introduced me to Ryan while seeking contributors for the first Tales from the 2.9, and we’ve kept in close contact ever since while he works at building inroads for the Black Canadian community.
Black power groups have popped up time and again for a reason—because there’ve always been adversaries trying to hold us down. We saw it with the slaves who knew how to read and write on plantations. The victims of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment. Those left standing in the ashes after Black Wall Street was razed to the ground in the 1920s. There’ve been all too many horrific examples of the majority stopping the Black minority from getting ahead, which is why Ryan’s tenets of Black pride hold so much value.
If you came to Tales looking for a light read and fluffy emotions, I’m sorry—this post isn’t for you. But if you’re coming with an open mind and looking for real opinions from real people tackling real issues head-on, then read on—this post’s got food for thought!
What does being Black Canadian mean to you?
To me, being a Black Canadian means acknowledging that I fight a battle where the odds are stacked against me, yet I know I do not carry the burden alone.
I carry the knowledge of my parents, who are immigrants, as well as those of my fellow Black Canadians, who also share the same challenges that I face no matter where they come from.
This shared struggle also gives me strength because I know that I have access to a wealth of unique knowledge that can help me in my personal struggle as a Black man since I can learn from others and not just myself.
Furthermore, being a Black Canadian also means that I have a unique ability to relate to the world since, like many Black Canadians, I am the first generation who has one foot in Canada and another in the lands of my parents’ birth. This gives me a unique perspective in navigating not only Canada but also in understanding the global community around me.
As a Black Canadian, I have had to deal with racism and the constant struggle of having to navigate a society that does not always see me as an equal or capable.
However, those hardships made me stronger and helped me develop a strong sense of self-worth because I know that many Black Canadians have endured the same things and triumphed.