An update from Casey Palmer, February 12th, 2020:
So you may have heard by now, but I was shocked last night when Rob texted me to let me know that Lamin had passed away after a long struggle with ALS. And though Lamin and I hadn’t crossed paths in quite a number of years, I have to say that our world’s lost a good one. I remember in those times in Artist’s Alley, he would have easily some of the most amazing work on-site, but never let it go to his head. He always approached every interaction with humility and grace, and you could feel how sincere he was with everyone he talked to. I wish I’d kept in better touch, but my life went another way… I just hope he knows how much he connected so many of us.
I’ll keep his words up to give you an idea of the kind of man he was. I think we could all learn a lot from his example.
I know from experience that many artists prefer to let their work speak for itself, and with how beautiful Lamin Martin’s work is, I’m surprised his submission wasn’t blank!
Lamin’s entry makes one think pretty heavily about our societal need to add a “Black” modifier before just about everything. Black businesses. Or Black television. Black Twitter. Lamin has a point—though the reason to differentiate is of noble intent (we started with nothing, so this is us carving something out for ourselves), when does it go from pride in our community to pigeonholing ourselves? From successfully establishing services by us for us to having set the bar too low as we exclude the other 97% of the country? Just because we’ve spent so long doing things one way, does it make it the right way?
Of the submissions I’ve received for this year’s Tales, the ones I’ve enjoyed most are those that make me think or question my assumptions—Lamin’s definitely makes the cut!
I hope you enjoy today’s Tale from the 2.9, and who knows—maybe it’ll inspire some interesting conversations in your life!
We’ll see you tomorrow!
What does being Black Canadian mean to you?
I never thought of it in any other terms other than I’m a Canadian.
What’s your experience been like as a Black Canadian and how has it shaped who you are today?
My experience has been great! I have a job doing what I love and I’m surrounded by people who respect me based on who I am and not what I am. And it’s that level of mutual respect that pushes me professionally and personally.