Tales from the 2.9 β€” The Black Canadians Sharing their Stories in a Digital Age β€” Vol. 2 #28, Ardean Peters, Photographer, Photography by Ardean

This year’s been a challenging one forΒ Tales from the 2.9.

Last year was bad timingβ€”putting 29 daily posts out right after becoming a Dad for the second time is no simple feat, and we somehow pulled it off. I was eager to build on that success and keep it going well past February, but life as a quartet caught up with me, and my time and energy soon found themselves committed… elsewhere.

So I stood this year determined to learn from my mistakes, and I thought I had it all figured out. I started looking for contributors weeks earlier, hoping to get everything lined up at the beginning of February to make time for other things. I tried to build awareness for the project, putting out a press release and landing interviews in several major Toronto media outlets with both luck and a noteworthy story. Everything feltΒ perfect for anΒ amazing Tales from the 2.9… until we reached the end and I suddenly found myself without enough contributors.

Fortunately, I had access to unpublished work like Ardean Peters’ piece below, but I’m surprised that things worked out this way. I definitely get itβ€”some were too busy to write; itΒ is Black History Month, after all. Some too overwhelmed by the questions’ gravity in a polarised world. And I’m sure someΒ started writing, but life had other plans for their time and they never got toΒ finish.

Whatever the reasons, I’m just glad we got to see 28 unique stories in 2017, and it’s taught me a valuable lessonβ€”don’t expect miracles when you’re spreading a message only one month of the year!

But these are words befitting a wrap-up post; this is not my soapbox right nowβ€”the eyes are squarely focused on Ardean. Her story mirrors that of many Black children born here in that we don’t really recognise our Blackness until we’reΒ older. WeΒ know we’re different at first, but don’t often understand what that means in theΒ larger world until we have the life experience toΒ get it.

IΒ do hope you’ve enjoyed this year’s Tales from the 2.9, and we’ll wrap this up tonight with one. More. Post!

See you then,

–case p.


Many Black Canadians come from families who sacrificed plenty to give them the lives they have today. What do you know of your family history and how has it shaped your current self?

Both my mom and dad are from the Caribbean island of St. Vincent and emigrated to Canada in 1968 and 1971 respectively. I think what I remember most is, while my parents had a strong connection to their home and instilled in us those traditions, they also always encouraged us as β€˜Canadian kids’, making sure that we knew that we were Canadian and this was our home. To that end, I see myself as Canadian first, sewn and stitched together with a rich and diverse history and culture, which informs who I am today.

The Black Experience we’re largely exposed to in the media is that of our southern neighbours and the struggles they’ve faced. What’s your experience been as a Black person in Canada, and what have you learned from it?

Tales from the 2.9 β€” The Black Canadians Sharing their Stories in a Digital Age β€” Vol. 2 #28, Ardean Peters, Photographer, Photography by Ardean β€” Ardean Standing
Credit || Michel Eberhard

Interesting question, because it wasn’t really until I was an older child, that I saw myself as β€˜black’. As a child growing up, I just thought of myself as β€˜Canadian’ and my skin colour was an afterthought. I grew up in the most diverse community in North York at the time, Jane and Finch. On top of that, the school I was in, really encouraged the belief that we were ALL Canadians and equal. I was so lucky to experience such a diversity of people and culture, which has shaped how I treat and connect with people as an adult.

On the flip side, as I’ve gotten older, had more experiences, worked in many different environments and experienced more of the city, its people and neighbourhoods, I’ve come to realise that I am a minority, which I honestly didn’t see as a young person. Because of this, and the realisation how strong an impact media has on shaping the opinions of people that have limited access and contact with black people (and people of other ethnic backgrounds), I realise the importance there is in promoting positive and normalising images of Black Diaspora people.

The 2017 100 | It’s Not WHAT You Do, It’s How You DO It.

Unless my life sees someΒ major changes this year, 2017 may mark the last list of 100!

It’s January 13thβ€”I’ve spent nearlyΒ two weeks of my new year agonising over 100 items thatΒ matter enough to hit a list of goals and aspirations for the year ahead. And that’s aΒ key difference from the lists that came before it.

Before it was a task listβ€”I’d look around at everything that needed doing andΒ jot it down, because my life wouldΒ obviously be better with them out of the way.

But task lists aren’tΒ inspiring. They’re notΒ motivational. As a creative, that’s like dropping a pile of 100 things I dread on my lap and nagging myself to get ’em done by the year’s end.

Once I realised what I was doing to myself, so much so that I just went through myΒ least successful yearΒ yet for my list, IΒ knew I needed to make a change for 2017.

The 2017 100 β€” It's Not WHAT You Do, It's How You DO It. β€” New Year, New Perspective

I’m particularly proud of the list I’ve put together for The 2017 100. I didn’t take any shortcutsβ€”I wrote out 100 things that’d help me live the life I’dΒ like to lead and prove instrumental along the path there. Rather than hurriedly scrawl out a list I’d likely ignore ’til December, I wrote one that I’dΒ happily check off, knowing that each accomplishment would take me a step closer to aΒ far better 2018. I feel like I’m finally getting itΒ right this time, and I hope that shines through as you give it a look for yourself!

But that’s enough of my chatterβ€”I’ve already made you wait longΒ enough. Here for your consideration is The 2017 100β€”because it’s notΒ what you do… it’s how youΒ do it!

The 2016 100 Wrap-Up, Part 2: 46 Things I DIDN’T Do But Still Very Much WANT To.

So somewhere in myΒ crazy mind, I’d convinced myself it’d be a good idea to write my wrap-up for The 2016 100 all as one post, because I’m always soΒ curt with my posts, of course. A few days of working on it quickly killedΒ that idea, and here were are with the second part of my wrap-up, covering the things IΒ didn’t get around to in 2016, but still plan to manage this year, as well as my reasonsΒ why.

(Note: YouΒ will see these in some form in The 2017 100, so you knowβ€”don’t beΒ too surprised.)


What I Didn’t Do, But Still Want to Do Next Year

7) Stop biting my nails β€” Ugh. What I probably need to doΒ first is reduce the amount ofΒ stress in my life to get a better chance of dropping thisΒ disgusting habit. I had a good run early in the year, but hey. Maybe I’ll have better luck this time!
8) Get rid of the wedding thank you cards I never sent β€” I don’t think those past thank you’s are getting sent. It’s just… not something I’m doing.Β Instead, I think I’d love to start sending Christmas letters with some personalisation. I’m not aΒ complete jackass, guys, but there needs to be a point where we agree toΒ move on.
13) Sort out my old TD employee RSP β€” Any outstanding finances inΒ general, really: part of being an adult is knowing how much your insurance will pay out. What your benefits cover. What’s in your stock portfolio. 2017 Casey Palmer needs a better handle on all this kind of stuff!

The 2016 100 Wrap-Up, Part 2 - 46 Things I DIDN'T Do But Very Much Still WANT To. β€” A Cluttered Casey Palmer Workspace

14) Consolidate everything down to a single notepad β€” I mean, you don’tΒ see the magic happening, but my desk and dining room table areΒ plastered withΒ pages of notes as I draft out my posts.Β Will it happen? Maybe. Do IΒ want it to? OhΒ heck yes ?