If you heard any of the interviews I did for Tales from the 2.9, you’ll know there’s one word that comes to mind when I think of my fellow Black Canadians—
It’s rare that anything worthwhile happens overnight. In an age where overnight successes come and go daily, we rarely see the years of grind needed to get people there.
People clown on Drake all the time for his quasi-anthem “Started from the Bottom”, but that title’s all too real for so many Black folk, and we’ve culturally learned that we’ll need to work twice as hard to get half as far.
But when those efforts start bearing fruit and you can finally see what it was all for, you don’t give that success up for anything.
It’s this narrative that comes to mind when I read Makini Smith’s contribution, seeing just what she’s overcome to become the international phenom she is today. People take pity on teen Moms. They downplay how hard it is to be a housewife. But Makini doesn’t want your pity, nor should she ever be underestimated—it’s clear from her brand and her accomplishments that she’s taken her life into her hands through hustle and through faith, and if that isn’t the utter embodiment of the Black Canadian Experience, I don’t know what is.
Check out Makini Smith’s post below. I promise—it’s a good one!
What does being Black Canadian mean to you?
Being a Black Canadian to me means multiple things. The question is a little difficult for me to answer one way. I travel internationally and can give a response based on how we are treated elsewhere vs how I view things living here. Having spent much time traveling to the United States my entire life I’m grateful my parents chose to migrate to Canada. Being Black Canadian is something I am proud of. I use that as a tool when I travel to other parts of the world. Others greet me with hugs and smiles. I’m treated with much respect. Canadians have a good reputation in other countries. When I am home here in Canada I can appreciate the diversity of cultural backgrounds but also feel extremely limited for success. We are a minority being Black in North America as it is but Black successful Canadians are an even smaller number.