Tales from the 2.9 β€” The Black Canadians Sharing their Stories in a Digital Age β€” Vol. 2 #3, Chad G. Cranston, Co-founder, TCHAD Quarterly & Social Interactive CA

Those with a keen eye will notice that I scoured through last year’s submissions and invited some of the 2016 contributors back forΒ Tales from the 2.9‘s second edition!

I’ve yet to meet Chad in person β€” we were brought together by someone whose opinion I trustΒ thoroughly β€” but after Chad’s submission last year, Β I knew I had to have him back on as I brought tougher questions to the table!

In his entry forΒ Tales from the 2.9, Chad approaches a rather prickly subject that only keeps popping upβ€”the need for BlackΒ people to better support Black-ownedΒ businesses. But it usually ain’t easyβ€”with so few of us in Canada, it means staying true to one’sΒ tenets at the sacrifice ofΒ choice. While I don’t have an answerΒ that’ll make everyone happy, at least I know we’re talking about it!

Until tomorrow, everyone!

–case p.


Tales from the 2.9 β€” Chad G. CranstonWhat does being Black Canadian mean to you?

It’s 2017 β€” I want to take on the advancement of our culture as a personal responsibility. I think about our culture and how to advance into the future in a constructive manner. I have been doing research on how Africans contributed to civilised culture, architecture, language, religion, environment, stories and history that are not told in our educational system.

Tales from the 2.9 β€” The Black Canadians Sharing their Stories in a Digital Age β€” Vol. 2 #2, Chattrisse Dolabaille, Writer, Performer & Producer

Some people I meet in the mostΒ interesting places.

Back in 2014, Tobago’s Division of Tourism and Transportation held the 60 Days in Paradise contest, seeking an “Island Connoisseur” to promote Tobago and all it offers to Canadians looking to travel. Though the competition wound up feeling like a bit of a sham, IΒ did end up making new connections from the ordeal, and one of them was Chattrisse!

The narrative she outlines below is one commonly felt by Black kids when they choose not to follow the archetypes that youths of colour seem to frequently adhere to. I too have had more than enough helpings of “not Black enough” in my life, and I hope her words reach out to anyone feeling a little lost!

That said, enjoy Chattrisse’s submission, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

–case p.


Tales from the 2.9 β€” The Black Canadians Sharing their Stories in a Digital Age β€” Vol. 2 #2, Chattrisse Dolabaille, Writer, Performer & Producer β€” Chattrisse Photo 2

What does being a Black Canadian mean to you?

It means lots of code-switching! Being able to move comfortably into, out of, and through different environments and situations as seamlessly as possible. In my experience, it also means I have abundant reasons to be proud of my heritage and identity: as a Canadian, as the child of Caribbean immigrants, as a Torontonian, etc. I’ve always enjoyed disproving stereotypes, and over the years I’ve found that being a black Canadian gives me numerous opportunities to do that.

Tales from the 2.9 β€” The Black Canadians Sharing their Stories in a Digital Age β€” Vol. 2 #1 β€” Dwayne Morgan, Poet, Speaker, Social Entrepreneur

It’s a new day, one and all!

With 2017’s Tales from the 2.9, we’ll build off of the successes of last year’s entries with a deeper look into what it means to be a Black Canadian and some thoughts on our culture… whatever you might perceive it to be!

I could’ve done like last year and come out swinging with a piece of my own to share my thoughts about all the issues attached to this project like I was hosting Saturday Night Live… but Tales isn’t aboutΒ me.Β Tales is about the fact that youΒ can’t easily define what BlackΒ means, and I hope to share a month’s worth of stories to show youΒ just that.

I’ll still be here in my intros and asides, but I rather let my contributors do the talking until the end of the month, and when we get there,Β then we’ll have someΒ words.

This year’s Tales kicks off with a piece from Dwayne Morgan, a poet, speaker and social entrepreneur from Toronto, ON who hits us with some poignant thoughts on being Black Canadian and how to embrace a culture that’s fragmented by its very definition.

See you tomorrow!

— case p.


Tales from the 2.9 Vol. 2 #1 β€” Dwayne Morgan, Poet, Speaker, Social Entrepreneur β€” Dwayne Morgan

What does being Black Canadian mean to you?

I always struggle with this question. There isn’t a Black Canadian identity, in the same way that it may exist in the United States. For that matter, I’m not even sure how I would describe or explain Canadian identity, so I see myself as a Black man, with all that comes with that from history, who happens to be born, and living within Canadian borders. Maybe my CanadiannessΒ is my deep connection to my Jamaican heritage and African roots.

#Chronicle150 & Tales from the 2.9 β€” Making 2017 Memorable One Story at a Time

Soβ€”things are about to getΒ real over here at Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad. We’ve been through a lot togetherβ€”daily Man Lessons, years of resolution lists 100 tasks deep… everything the brand’s stood for’s grownΒ exponentially with every passing year, but it’sΒ never been anything likeΒ this.

#Chronicle150 & Tales from the 2.9 β€” Making 2017 Memorable One Story at a Time - The Older Palmer Son in Canmore, Alberta for Canada Day

It’s a good time to beΒ Canadianβ€”this July, we celebrate our nation’s 150th birthday, and that’s not something we’re taking lightly! With all too many of those years spent trapped in America’s shadow, it’s only recently that the world’s seen Canada stand on its own two, and it’s up to the 35 million of us north of the 49th parallel toΒ keep reminding them we’ve got ourΒ own thing going on.

Which is why I found myself thinking, “What better time thanΒ now to showcase what makes Canada theΒ amazing country it is?”

February 1st is 150 days before Canada Dayβ€”July 1st, where we mark our nation’s independence without needing toΒ blatantly call it “Independence Day”1β€”and I figured whatΒ better way to celebrate everything being Canadian born and bred’s done for me than to put 150 pieces out about our country and everything it means to us in 2017.

#Chronicle150 & Tales from the 2.9Β β€” Two Projects Setting the Tone in 2017!

#Chronicle150 & Tales from the 2.9 β€” Making 2017 Memorable One Story at a Time - The Older Palmer Son in Canmore, Alberta for Canada Day

I know what you’re thinkingβ€””150 pieces of content?! Casey, youΒ barely survived getting 29 posts outΒ last year!” But seldom am I one to step down from a challenge. 150 posts may seem like a lot, but what I think would beΒ worse is to treat 2017 like it was just any other year.

We didn’t evenΒ have an Internet for our last milestone birthday! For Canada’s 125th back in 1992, as an 8-year old Mississaugan, all I could’ve done with my resources would be a nifty school project. 25 years later, there’sΒ so much we can do, but too many of my ilk feel satisfied with a blog post here and a tweet or two there.

But me? I don’t want to look back at 2017 feeling like I missed out on somethingΒ great because I chose to do theΒ bare minimum.

And so, I’m happy to announce twoΒ major projects this year: youΒ already knowΒ Tales from the 2.9 β€” The Black Canadians Sharing their Stories in a Digital Age; but for 2017 we’re taking it a stepΒ farther, introducingΒ #Chronicle150 β€” 150 Truly Canadian Stories for its 150th Birthday!

January Was Just a Warm-up.

I’ll launchΒ Tales more formally tomorrow, but know thisβ€”I’ve put aΒ lot of work into making a memorable series, and I hope that shines through as you check it out each day! One thing I learned from last year is that there’reΒ plenty of stories to be told if you bother to sit down, listen, and become willing to share them with others.

And with that, I say so long January and thanks for the prep timeβ€”theΒ real work is yet to come!

See you tomorrow, everyone!

Until then, I remain,

–case p.


1 Just kidding, Americaβ€”we love you. Really, we do!