Jackline | Tales from the 2.9, Vol. 2 #16

Last updated on April 20th, 2021 at 12:06 am

If you’ve read the Tales from the 2.9 ’til now, you’ll have likely noticed some common themes that tie every narrative together:

  • The need to overcome the negative portrayal of Black people as depicted in popular culture
  • That all Black people aren’t the same but are the sum of people from dozens of countries, hundreds of cultures, and countless different personalities and mindsets, and
  • Our community needs to work together and support one another if we ever want to change the world we were dropped into

One thing in particular from Jackline’s submission really resonated with me—”our accomplishments need to weigh as much and have the same meaning as everyone else’s.” We need to elevate—we can’t just compare ourselves to our fellow Black people and see that as a measure of success; we need to excel in general and show the world what we’re capable of! It means writing a series like this. Or talking to Black youth about what’s possible in this world—I did a chat last week at Youth Employment Services on personal branding, and I’ll be on a panel later this month doing the same. We need to keep raising our standards and let no one tell us of all the things we can’t accomplish.

Enjoy Jackline’s thoughts as she explores her Black Canadian experience—I’ll be back tomorrow with another Tale from the 2.9!

Until then,

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad

What does being Black Canadian mean to you?

I consider the term “Black Canadian” a very broad term because I don’t really see myself as just that. Calling me just black leaves out a lot of vital information about me that is actually very important in understanding who I am. I’m not just black. I’m from Africa, Ghana to be precise, and I have many intricacies about me that are like or unlike most black Canadians out there. Therefore, I tend to use the term “Ghanaian Canadian” more often to describe myself.

Being a black Canadian means I need to grab every opportunity that I’m given. It’s almost a daily battle trying to disprove the many stereotypes that exist for black Canadians. I usually need to work harder than my counterparts to achieve the same goals, and I have a bigger burden to be a good model for those younger than me.

Lian Wright, Blogger | Tales from the 2.9, Vol. 2 #15

Last updated on April 20th, 2021 at 12:05 am

One point I’ve made a number of times while running this year’s Tales from the 2.9 is that I don’t wake up each morning with my Blackness at the forefront of my mind. Am I aware of it? Obviously—it’s an integral part of my identity of the beliefs, behaviours and biases I have today. But I don’t let it define me—my race is part of the whole that is Casey Palmer, and that’s something I believe today’s contributor would firmly agree with.

I first came across Lian “Reese” Wright when I put 2016’s series together, and she’s staunchly supported the series since. As mentioned last year, parent bloggers of colour aren’t that prevalent—especially not in Canada—so when we can learn from each other, it’s truly a beautiful thing.

Without further ado, please enjoy some of Reese’s thoughts on what her Black Canadian identity means to her, and I’ll be right back tomorrow with another Tale from the 2.9!

Until then,

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad

Tales from the 2.9 — Lian 'Reese' Wright

What does being Black Canadian mean to you?

For me, being a Black Canadian means so many things. I feel unique because I am usually the only Black Canadian in a group of people. I feel proud because of all of the accomplishments Black Canadians have achieved and continue to pursue. For me, being Black Canadian also means that I have to overcome challenges put in front of me to be successful and to change what others perceive of me due to the stereotypes that are believed about our community.

Cassandra Chambers | Tales from the 2.9, Vol. 2 #12

Last updated on April 19th, 2021 at 11:59 pm

Unfortunately, we aren’t all one big happy family in the Black Canadian community—its fragmented nature and the disadvantaged origins of its people mean dealing not only with the conflict and stereotypes that come from outside the community but also dealing with it internally as well.

Popular culture’s painted us as dangerous. Untrustworthy. As a people unwilling to lift a finger to help themselves, instead sponging off the efforts of other hardworking Canadians to get by. And many of these came to mind when I read Cassandra’s entry.

Now—those biases don’t mean she’s entirely wrong. It’s because we don’t come from a unified front that dissent, distrust and contempt can breed between us. And it doesn’t have to take much—you have Jamaicans who dislike anyone from Guyana or Trinidad. You have Caribbean immigrants who distrust anyone from Africa. We spend a lot of time focusing on the ills that’ve been done to us from outside the Black community, but we can’t ignore the shifts in attitude and healing needed within the community if we want to collectively grow past what’s holding us back.

I didn’t put today’s piece out to vilify anyone, but to shed light on a simple fact—if unification’s something our community’s seeking, we’ve still got a long way to go.

Until tomorrow,

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad

What does being Black Canadian mean to you?

To me, being a Black Canadian means diversity and being part of a country—a city, especially—that accepts black people, is cultured, and celebrates the achievements of black Canadians. Over the years, Black History Month’s become more recognised; we also have our first black-owned radio station G98FM as well as different black-owned businesses and companies. Opportunities are available as long as you are willing to work for it.

The 2017 100

Last updated on April 1st, 2021 at 01:08 am

Unless my life sees some major changes this year, 2017 may mark the last list of 100!

It’s January 13th—I’ve spent nearly two weeks of my new year agonising over 100 items that matter enough to hit a list of goals and aspirations for the year ahead. And that’s a key difference from the lists that came before it.

Before it was a task list—I’d look around at everything that needed doing and jot it down, because my life would obviously be better with them out of the way.

But task lists aren’t inspiring. They’re not motivational. As a creative, that’s like dropping a pile of 100 things I dread on my lap and nagging myself to get ’em done by the year’s end.

Once I realised what I was doing to myself, so much so that I just went through my least successful year yet for my list, I knew I needed to make a change for 2017.

The 2017 100—It's Not WHAT You Do, It's How You DO It.—New Year, New Perspective

I’m particularly proud of the list I’ve put together for The 2017 100. I didn’t take any shortcuts—I wrote out 100 things that’d help me live the life I’d like to lead and prove instrumental along the path there. Rather than hurriedly scrawl out a list I’d likely ignore ’til December, I wrote one that I’d happily check off, knowing that each accomplishment would take me a step closer to a far better 2018. I feel like I’m finally getting it right this time, and I hope that shines through as you give it a look for yourself!

But that’s enough of my chatter—I’ve already made you wait long enough. Here for your consideration is The 2017 100—because it’s not what you do… it’s how you do it!

Casey Palmer, Blogger | Tales from the 2.9 #1

Last updated on February 21st, 2022 at 08:34 pm

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes


You’d think that living a life as a person of colour, I’d make a series like this far sooner, but it took a while to hit the forefront of my life. Some recent experiences, though, starkly reminded me that yes, I am a Black man, and that means the life I live unfolds differently than almost everyone around me.

With Black people making up only 2.9% of the Canadian population, I can’t expect everyone to see things the way I do. Like that Black History Month is so important because it’s our skin colour that classifies us, not a nationality or religion. Or what the feeling’s like to become a de facto representative for your race when you’re the only one in the room. For all the stories so integral to the Black Experience, it occurred to me that I’d never seen the Black content creators I know tell their tales in one place.

And so, we create Tales from the 2.9…

So one day in late January, I came up with Tales from the 2.9—The Black Canadians Sharing Their Stories in a Digital Age, a project to showcase my fellow Black content creators across the nation in a month that should encourage us to really examine what it means to be Black in Canada and everything we can learn from our experiences.

But I can’t very well ask my peers to share their thoughts without doing so myself, now can I?

So without further ado, welcome to Tales from the 2.9, where you’ll learn about some awesome Black people from across the country with some things to say, and a thing or two about the lives they’ve led as people of colour!

I hope you glean as much from this series as I did putting it together!

Enjoy this read and I’ll see you at the next instalment,

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad

About Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad

Tales from the 2.9—Casey Palmer

Calling the Great White North his home, Casey‘s spent the last few decades in pursuit of creating killer content. From novels as a kid, comics as a teen, to blogs and photos once he could grow a beard, he’ll use whatever’s around him to create amazing stuff.

When he’s not creating, he’s parenting, exploring and trying to make life as awesome as possible for everyone around him.

Because a boring life’s not a life worth living!

You can find him on his website and his Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube accounts!


The Questions.

1) When you think of Black History Month, what are some of the stories and images that come to mind?

Much of the Black History I know comes from American history books, overwhelming with stories of slavery, racism and the Civil Rights Movement. The ones I remember outside of that are far more personal—of experiences my grandmothers had in the ’70s, both good and bad; what I experienced on a trip to Tanzania and how much they saw me as an outsider; or just understanding my family’s intergenerational narrative in Jamaica—all the sacrifices they made so my brothers and I could thrive in Toronto today.

I’m learning more through the peers and study every day, and I’m hoping to learn more about our accomplishments and achievements through time, rather than the weighty words that we often use after so many forms of oppression.

2) The Black Experience we’re largely exposed to in the media is that of our southern neighbours and the struggles they’ve faced. What’s your experience been as a Black person in Canada, and what have you learned from it?

“I used to get teased for being black
And now I’m here and I’m not black enough
Cause I’m not acting tough
Or making stories up ’bout where I’m actually from”

— Drake, “You & The 6”, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (2015)

I’ve always found it difficult to define the Black experience in Canada, perhaps because I’ve felt so removed from it for so long. I’ve been one of three Black kids in schools of 600. There were girls who wouldn’t date me because I wasn’t “Black enough”. I even toyed with publishing a book on the matter — TOKEN: Being Black in a World Coloured Otherwise. But no matter how Black you feel you aren’t, many will still remind you you’re darker-skinned than they are.

The odd looks at the beginning of interviews when a Black man walks in instead of a blonde white female. (Seriously—go look at Google Images of “Casey”.) Or when I go on a cruise and people mistake me for one of the staff — multiple times. We’re so quickly judged by our skin colour it can be hard not to be bitter.

When it all comes down to it, I’ve led a good life so far, and its foundation lies with parents who taught me right from wrong, and to let my heritage be a motivator rather than a stone to weigh me down. It’s better to be the first Black person in a career than another marginalized statistic—and that’s a success I’ll never stop fighting for.

3) In sharing your voice with the world, what impression do you hope to leave on the world with everything you do?

As a Canadian content creator, I want to show that great work can come from just about anywhere—the Canadian market may not be as massive as others, but we’ve got plenty of potential up here, and I’m hoping to show the world what can happen when you really put your mind to something!

4) We all benefit from good mentors who guide us along the way to make sure we reach our potential in life. Who was your cultural mentor, and what’s the greatest lesson they taught you?

Narrowing things down to a single mentor’s hard for me because I’ve learned so much from the many people I’ve had in my life. The managers who’d take me under their wings to make sure I could navigate the challenges all around me. The older Black kids who shared my experiences and took me in like a younger sibling to make sure I fit in and built my social circles so I’d always have peers to talk to. What I learned from everyone is to make the most of my life despite whatever social barriers life has in store—ultimately I’m the only one who can determine how my life will end up!

5) If you could say just one thing to the rest of the 2.9%, what would it be?

It might not seem like it with the weight of the world on our shoulders, but the very fact that we feel like we’re on the bottom with the world looking down on us means there’s no better time to climb up and do some amazing things with our community! The possibilities are endless and there’s a wealth of markets we’ve yet to make our marks in—it’s time to explore new options and see what we’re really capable of!


Tales from the 2.9 is an ongoing series on CaseyPalmer.com showcasing Black Canadian content creators and the experiences they’ve had growing up Black in Canada!

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