Brown Girl Begins

Last updated on April 14th, 2021 at 01:01 am

A few days back, CaribbeanTales invited me to see the theatrical release of Brown Girl Begins — the first Caribbean-Canadian sci-fi feature film! Starring Mouna Traoré as the lead heroine Ti-Jeanne, it was a refreshing take on the genre that had me reflect on some things. Check out the review, then go see the film!

A Brown Girl Begins Movie Review

This is more than just a movie review.

Brown Girl Begins—Telling Stories of Colour Sans Stereotypes—Shakura S'Aida as Mami

CaribbeanTales couldn’t have known I was in the middle of deeply searching for a great connection to my roots when they reached out to collaborate. It’s a dope time for content creators who look like us with Jordan Peele’s 2017 horror smash Get Out taking home an Oscar and 2018’s Black Panther smashing every record the world can toss at it, but we can still do more.

Black culture has long challenged anyone who dares try to keep it in a box. Most of what the world calls “Black culture” is culture reshaped and repackaged for public consumption. Hip-hop. Television. Fashion. It all reached a tipping point where Black culture met bold couture, and suddenly we found ourselves without identifiers accurately representing us anymore.

Or at least—that’s the narrative some would have us believe.

Varadero, Cuba Dat Varadero, Doe.

Last updated on April 20th, 2021 at 05:04 pm

As much as Torontonians love getting away from the cold and soaking up warmth from a tropical island, there’s only so much time I can spend on resorts before feeling the pans for a return to the life I’ve established back home.

Dat Varadero Doe—Sol Palmeros Varadero Beach

I’m not the type to lay on the beach all day without a care in the world, drink in one hand, book in the other, letting all my worries flow out as I enter a state of unbridled relaxation. I’m not the type to party recklessly through the night, acting unashamedly, willfully ignorant of my actions’ consequences, doing things I wouldn’t dare do in my backyard. The place I feel most comfortable is the home I’ve built myself on the Internet — and you can’t take me away from that spot for too long before I start to feel a certain itch.

It wasn’t Cuba’s fault—the Cubans are super friendly, excited to see a Black Canadian with a cute mixed baby, and likely partly because I’m a good tipper*.

*NOT SO FUN FACT: The average Cuban worker earns about 25 convertible pesos (CUCs) a month — or just over 31 Canadian Dollars. With prices for Cuban all-inclusive resorts so low, please make sure to tip generously!

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