While Amanda and I have run through different social circles as bloggers, I’ve found her nothing but kind each time we have crossed paths. Her submission for Tales from the 2.9 is a testament to the fact that one doesn’t need to feel boxed in by their race — we are more than our skin colour, and sometimes we need to fight to remind the world of that.
Read more in her submission below!
Amanda Nunes is a social media professional, digital communicator and visual artist. She’s the influencer behind HeartlessGirl.com, a lifestyle, travel and food blog for Canadian women. When she’s not sharing her adventures on her blog, she contributes to Vitamin Daily, WDish and Post City, to name a few.
As an artist and illustrator, Amanda has led workshops in schools, and created installations for Nuit Blanche and the Harbourfront Centre. When she’s not in Toronto, you can find her traveling around the world, or with her nose in a book.
1) When you think of Black History Month, what are some of the stories and images that come to mind?
When I think of Black History Month, I think about Canada’s part in the Underground Railroad, and of all the contributions that Black Canadians make to the city.
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?
I’ve been lucky enough to have experienced a largely positive experience as a Black person in Canada. I grew up in a neighbourhood that was largely white. I was always the only Black girl in my classes, extracurricular activities and summer camp. Because of this, I may not be what someone expects a “typical” Black person to be. I’m often told that I don’t seem “Black enough.” I grew up in a Black household, so I have my own opinions on what it means to be Black. I’ve learned that being Black doesn’t limit you to certain things or interests, even if others think it should. I’m a Black girl that took Japanese lessons, went to art school, is a terrible dancer and likes old school R & B as well as emo and screamo music. There isn’t just one way to be black.
3) In sharing your voice with the world, what impression do you hope to leave on the world with everything you do?
I want to leave an impression of positivity. I want Black girls to know that they aren’t tied to one role based on the colour of their skin. They can shun stereotypes or embrace them – as long as they stay true to their own interests.
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?
My parents are my mentors from a cultural standpoint, especially my mother. They both came to Toronto when they were younger from Jamaica and Guyana, respectively. They’ve taught me everything I need to know to succeed. The greatest lesson that I’ve learned from them is that you should persevere to reach your goals.
5) If you could say just one thing to the rest of the 2.9%, what would it be?
Live your life the way you want to live it.
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!