Sherley Joseph | “Where You From?”

Last updated on April 21st, 2021 at 02:34 am

Why ‘Black Canadian’ isn’t JUST ONE THING.

It took a long time for me to understand that all Black Canadians don’t act like Jamaicans do. Yes, we might make up a good chunk of Black Canadians (25.8% of them), and Jamaicans are who I mostly grew up around, but we’re far from all that Black Canada has to offer.

A Culture of People from Every Which Place

“You think we all Jamaican, when nuff man are Trinis
Bajans, Grenadians and a hole heap of Haitians
Guyanese and all of the West Indies combined
To make the T dot O dot, one of a kind”

— Kardinal Offishall, “BaKardi Slang”, Firestarter, Vol. 1: Quest for Fire (2000)

Live from the 3.5, 2019—Chapter 3—"Where You From?"—Why 'Black Canadian' isn't JUST ONE THING.—Black_Canadians_at_Queens_Park_(detail)
Detailed Photo of a Group of Blades at Queens Park | Source

You won’t get a complete picture of the Black Canadian population by studying the list of ethnic origins from the 2016 Census, but it lists about twenty different Caribbean roots and sixty across Africa—there’s a whole world of Black people beyond the ones occupying 10,992 square kilometres in the western Caribbean.

With so much diversity in our population, one could almost say it’s justified—curious Black and non-Black Canadians alike asking where you’re from not as where you currently live in the Great White North, but from where your lineage came from before.

Live from the 3.5, 2019—Chapter 3—"Where You From?"—Why 'Black Canadian' isn't JUST ONE THING.—montego-bay-painting-landscape-in-jamaica
A painting of a Jamaican landscape. Source

But that question’s not as simple as it seems since not all Black Canadians showed up so recently.

Yes, the 1976 Immigration Act opened the floodgates, allowing for more Black Canadians than ever before, but long before that, Black Americans fled here to seek refuge from the persecution and discrimination down south, and we shouldn’t readily forget that. They didn’t arrive to a perfect existence, don’t get me wrong, but they’ve been here as their part of our national fabric for as long as Canada’s been around—so when you ask where they’re from, the only answer is here.

The Week That Was… March 4th – 10th, 2018

Last updated on April 3rd, 2021 at 11:02 pm

“You can’t knock the hustle.”

— Jay-Z, “Can’t Knock the Hustle”, Reasonable Doubt (1996)

The first full week in March’s been all about getting organised.

What 2018’s done for me so far is give me a fiery drive to create—it’s the first time in a very long time I’ve felt like I’ve tangible things I can do to improve my brand instead of continuing to produce just because. I can’t put it out there just yet, but I’m looking back a lot these days as I strengthen my brand’s foundations, really seeing how far this journey’s taken me. It’s one thing when you’re living through each day trying to accomplish as much as possible, but when you lay it all out in one place and give it some perspective, it can be really empowering!

But we’re not here to discuss the things that’re yet to come—with 2018’s tenth week officially in the books, it’s time to review The Week That Was and everything that came with it!

Keepin' Up With Case P—The Week That Was... March 4th—10th, 2018—Casey and Kid Hanging Out at a Jam

So if we don’t already have regular plans pencilled in, it’s very likely you didn’t see hide nor hair from me this week. Save a couple of podcast tapings and giving and receiving career advice, I spent more time keeping house than I did being out and about. (Apologies to Solmaz and the gang at Best Buy Canada that I couldn’t hit up the Home Show this year, but there’s still a long 2018 ahead of us, amirite?)