I first met Marcia at a joint 3SHAHs x Black Sebath event uptown, and from our conversation then I knew I’d met someone strong in her conviction, unafraid to live life through her own principles and paradigms. When I asked her to submit to Tales from the 2.9, I hoped I’d get something that’d stir a little something inside of my soul, and she didn’t disappoint!
Marcia’s submission for the Tales from the 2.9 is one of the most provocative yet, a stark reminder that all is not rosy with The Black Experience in Canada — there are very real issues and challenges we continue to face in our culture, and they shape who we are and how we see the world around us.
Make sure to check out today’s Tales and open your eyes to some knowledge of a world we’ve always known was there… we just didn’t want to admit it.
Marcia Reid, aka Black Sebath, is the Founder and Content Creator of BS7, a collective combining BS (interpreted as Black Sabbath, Black Friday, Black Sunday, or Black Seven) and the number 7, or Sebat in Amharic. She’s a multi-talented blogger and well-known (reggae) dub poet in Toronto. When she’s not on stage you might find her at a high-profile or grassroots event snapping photos, interviewing VIPs, spinning music, or just simply being socially fabulous. Styling, marketing, branding, and managing social media are a few other skills she has up her proverbial sleeves!
She created BS7 out of a need for content on the arts, fashion and music she saw thriving around her, featuring interviews with industry movers and shakers, event postings, news on what’s hot and tips on what to watch for in the arts, music and fashion!
You can keep connected with Marcia through her:
1) When you think of Black History Month, what are some of the stories and images that come to mind?
Immediately I think of Freedom Fighters, Panafricanist, and Inventors – Nanny from the Maroons, Marcus Garvey, Paul Bogle, Sam Sharpe.
However, I had to teach myself not to think so much about slavery and the results of it because slavery focuses so much on what we became after some had sold out, after we were conquered by the enemies, during and after colonialism. Some of the stories that I focus on and come to mind are the ones that are not spoken often enough about. I think about ancient kingdoms of Kush.
2) 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?
Oddly, I have experience more classicism than racism in Toronto.
North America is very closed circuit and elitist. Most of the really good opportunities are circulated among the wealthy and a small group who have managed to impress the right people or made friends with them. I quickly learned that my success would be found in creating content and projects then connecting with the right people in the industry and not the other way around. However, as an individual the struggles I have faced are the same as our southern neighbours but not in the same way or at the same intensity. I have never had a cop rough me up in any way that resembles the brutal force used by American police, but none the less I have been subject to treatment that was inappropriate and unfair because of the colour of my skin. In my opinion that’s how Canadians disguise their racism… through classism.
3) In sharing your voice with the world, what impression do you hope to leave on the world with everything you do?
Find the beauty. Be diverse. Expand your experiences. Create the opportunity. Let art captivate you, provoke you, move you, inspire you.
4) We all benefit from good mentors who guide us along the way to make sure we reach our potential in life. Who was your mentor to teach you from a cultural standpoint, and what’s the greatest lesson you learned from them?
Ryan Singh’s father, Ras Leon Saul influenced me greatly. I don’t think he meant to be a mentor but he appreciated my company, my zest for life, and my zeal for Rastafari. He allowed me to ride shotgun on many of his journalistic and production adventures and that encouraged me to be a creator.
5) If you could say just one thing to the rest of the 2.9%, what would it be?
Be true to yourself about the WHY you do what you do. When things get challenging or go sour, when the blessings pour out, the why will become extremely detrimental.
Tales from the 2.9 is an ongoing series on CaseyPalmer.com showcasing Black Canadian content creators and the experiences they’ve had growing up Black in Canada!