I’ve yet to meet Chad in person — we were brought together by someone whose opinion I trust thoroughly — but after Chad’s submission last year, I knew I had to have him back on as I brought tougher questions to the table!
In his entry for Tales from the 2.9, Chad approaches a rather prickly subject that only keeps popping up—the need for Black people to better support Black-owned businesses. But it usually ain’t easy—with so few of us in Canada, it means staying true to one’s tenets at the sacrifice of choice. While I don’t have an answer that’ll make everyone happy, at least I know we’re talking about it!
Until tomorrow, everyone!
It’s 2017 — I want to take on the advancement of our culture as a personal responsibility. I think about our culture and how to advance into the future in a constructive manner. I have been doing research on how Africans contributed to civilised culture, architecture, language, religion, environment, stories and history that are not told in our educational system.
What’s your experience been like as a Black Canadian and how has it shaped who you are today?
Growing up, the best of my experiences in being socially nurtured came from being raised around all types of races, nationalities and cultures. The main ingredient I discovered for this were my family values. With those family values, work ethic was ingrained and I was told that I would need to work twice as hard as the next man in order to be accepted. I learned at a young age how to be street smart and quickly judge people’s character. Racism and discrimination were present in everyday scenarios, but with these skills, I knew to stay as far away from that in order to be motivated and ambitious in whatever I was doing: higher learning, sports, dating – all that jazz.
What’s something you’d like to see more of within the Black Canadian community?
More support for black-owned businesses. More involvement in community groups like the Black Experience Project. More talk and action — just like Tales from the 2.9! I think being in Canada, we have an advantage and many great black role models — they just need more exposure in other media facets.
What do you think those outside the Black Canadian community need to better understand in order to coexist with Black Canadians in a respectful and considerate way?
What I observe is that every group has an agenda, but this mentality has to go for humanity’s betterment. No one is superior to another and if you think so just ask death! ? It’ll humble you real quick.
First, there should be zero guilt — white people should understand that the necessary paradigm shift is about building awareness, not an attempt to take away what has already been achieved. Be proud of who you are, black, white, yellow, red or green polka dots. But start listening without reservation. We have this bullshit saying — “We are tolerant in Canada!” By definition, it means showing the willingness to ALLOW the existence of opinions. That has to change. We all need to listen. The agenda has to be equality and not “better than”.
If your life could teach but one thing to your fellow Black Canadians, what would it be?
Acknowledgement. Let the ego go and stop with the noise. The community support is huge in advancement as we have all the opportunity to do it. Be smart; continue to think of ways of advancing the community. Take responsibility for everything around you – invest as much in black-owned businesses. Invest as black owners and build!
Chad G. Cranston is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of TCHAD Quarterly, Canada’s award-winning metropolitan coffee table book. TQ, which is a subsidiary of TCHAD magazine Inc., is a unique publication that ties brilliant design with today’s pop culture. It is a conscious savvy lifestyles magazine with rich content, brilliant photography, quality written entertainment articles and a flare for haute street fashion. Chad is also a partner in the digital marketing agency Social Interactive CA and newly launched The City Podcast. He has been in the media publishing business for over 12 years and has become a pioneer in metropolitan lifestyle with a vast influence in Toronto.