Black Voices

How Will It Look When It's Time For Me To Die On Camera?

Mike Sholars | Posted 09.23.2016 | Canada Living
Mike Sholars

I watch him go down from the one-two punch of a Taser and several gunshots to the body. I don't know why they followed up a successful non-lethal takedown with lethal force, but I'm not a police officer. If you were to take every single piece of shaky cam and mobile phone footage showing police officers killing unarmed or complying Black people and splice them together, you'd have a horror movie. Or a snuff film. When it's time for me to die on camera, how will it look? Who will film me? What small physical imperfection, what inadvertent stumble will be the reason I'm murdered on a jittery impulse?

Black Creative Inspiration Abounds At The American Black Film Festival

Giselle Phelps | Posted 06.24.2016 | Canada TV
Giselle Phelps

As someone who's been a working journalist and video content creator for more than a decade, I want to take my storytelling to the next level, particularly when it comes to telling the stories of black women. I want to be someone who helps change the narrative. The 20th anniversary of the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) seemed like the right place to cultivate creative inspiration.

What Black LGBT Pride Means To Us

Tasheka Lavann | Posted 06.22.2016 | Canada Living
Tasheka Lavann

For as long as I can remember, being black and gay was like the biggest crime one could commit in my community. It didn't matter where you were born, the culture was one that saw black churches openly bashing homosexuality and parents disowning their children, leaving them on the streets to survive however they could. Fast forward to 2016, and the black LGBTQ community is growing by the minute and more and more black gay men and women are embracing who they are without apology. Here's what pride means to us.

When You Want To Be Black Without Dealing With Black Issues

Tasheka Lavann | Posted 04.28.2016 | Canada Music
Tasheka Lavann

Where are our friends and fans of black music and black people when the partying stops and the subject turns to the reality of being black? When I attend concerts for some of these artists, non-blacks are the ones front and centre, filling more than half of the seats. Switch to a Black Lives Matter march... these folks are nowhere to be found

Black Girls Rock Is Going Global

Giselle Phelps | Posted 04.05.2016 | Canada TV
Giselle Phelps

I was lucky to attend the taping for a second year in a row. As a black girl born in the U.S., raised in Canada, and who studied in Australia, the expansion plans are welcome news to me. The issues black women and girls face go far beyond geographic borders. 

I've Discovered My Own Definition Of Blackness

Collette Gee | Posted 03.04.2016 | Canada Living
Collette Gee

If being Black represents strength and a great history of kings and queens (and therefore feeds my personal identity), why then does everything I tell myself about being Black seem more like a story that I tell myself so that I can deal with the actuality of being Black? I grew up around Black people who told other Black people, and who learned from non-Black people, that being Black was ugly.

Race Still Has A Place In Modern Medicine

Dr. Boluwaji Ogunyemi | Posted 02.09.2016 | Canada Living
Dr. Boluwaji Ogunyemi

As members of ethnic minority groups have suffered historically because of what has erroneously and malevolently been ascribed as innate inferiority, should physicians avoid reifying race by espousing a "colourblind" practice? It depends.

How My Father's Words Turned Racism Into Self-Respect

Tasheka Lavann | Posted 02.02.2016 | Canada Living
Tasheka Lavann

I was only 9 years old when I came face to face with a 'racist'. The sad thing about this encounter was not only what was happening to me, but the other person, who had no idea that they were actually inciting racial hatred. That person was another 9 year old girl.

Canada's First Gay Activist Climbs Martin Luther King's Mountain

Ron Levy | Posted 01.15.2016 | Canada Living
Ron Levy

I am often reminded of Martin Luther King, who uniquely demonstrated that eloquence trumps bigotry, when researching Canada's earliest LGBT activists. They, like King, were at the forefront of a dramatic civil rights movement, making powerful and persuasive arguments for social justice in the face of sometimes brutal suppression.

A New Year Message To My Black People

Tasheka Lavann | Posted 01.04.2016 | Canada Living
Tasheka Lavann

For 2016, I am urging my black family to take back our culture. We live in a time when our black men and women believe that they have to lower their standards to be successful. We exist in a virtual world where image comes with a cost that many are willing to pay, by any means necessary.

Imagine Spending Christmas Without Family Because You're Gay

Tasheka Lavann | Posted 12.23.2015 | Canada Living
Tasheka Lavann

As we speak, there are thousands of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender folks from across the world who are not able to spend Christmas with their families this year. They have been beaten, cursed at and made to feel like they do not belong, leading them to say goodbye to their family and friends.

The 'Angry Black Woman' Stereotype Is Justifying Police Brutality

Eternity E Martis | Posted 08.13.2016 | Canada Living
Eternity E Martis

Recent police attacks on black women have been vicious, brutal and savage, often justified by police departments and arresting officers through the excuse that these black women were "angry" -- argumentative and sarcastic smart asses, talking back and full of attitude.

Recognizing Black Lives Matter is Just the Beginning

Christopher Stuart Taylor | Posted 08.02.2016 | Canada Politics
Christopher Stuart Taylor

Yes, our basic human right to live matters. The fact that our pigmentation is a target of death and destruction is a crime against humanity. We are in the midst of one of the world's longest -- and visible -- genocides. But what happens when we are no longer just treated like raccoons? The omnipresent pest of city streets, devoid of human dignity, one to be exterminated and only recognized upon our untimely deaths?

Things I Lost After Marrying a White Woman

ByBlacks.com | Posted 06.25.2016 | Canada Living
ByBlacks.com

"There are good black women out there you know," she says to me. This is the beginning of a short conversation I have with a stranger on the train after my wife kisses me goodbye and exits at her stop. These are the moments that have been a constant since we first met.

Young Boys Share Stories About Growing Up Black

The Huffington Post Canada | Joy D'Souza | Posted 05.08.2015 | Canada Living

It's 2015, and racism is far from eradicated. In the short but powerful documentary above from the New York Times, a group of boys between the ages...

The Ladies of 'Black Girls Rock' Give Powerful Life Advice

Giselle Phelps | Posted 06.03.2015 | Canada Living
Giselle Phelps

I attended the taping of BET's 'Black Girls Rock' award show in Newark, New Jersey. Since my blog talks about all things a "hot mess," I decided to ask the carpet walkers for some advice on a living hot mess-free!

Why I'll Watch The Book of Negroes on BET

Giselle Phelps | Posted 04.20.2015 | Canada TV
Giselle Phelps

The Book of Negroes is reminding me how much my ancestors endured just to survive. It makes me feel obligated to live out my full potential so their pain and struggle isn't in vain. On the ratings front, it will be interesting to see how The Book of Negroes compares to BET's other primetime specials. This is important, because we want networks to continue telling these stories.

If Racial Profiling Happens To Doctors At Their Own Hospitals, Who Can Be Safe From It?

Dr. Boluwaji Ogunyemi | Posted 04.19.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Dr. Boluwaji Ogunyemi

It would dawn on me that as a young black male in casual street clothes at midnight in the act of placing hospital property into my personal bag, there was a likelihood that she thought I was stealing.

Dear Angry White People, The Ferguson Protest Was Not About You

Eternity E Martis | Posted 01.27.2015 | Canada Living
Eternity E Martis

I won't go into the details of black groups being marginalized at the hands of white people who dominate the "center," because if you're smart enough to think that you fooled us into feeling remorse for "leaving you out" during the protest in Toronto, then you're smart enough to do a Google search to figure out historical black oppression and its endless contemporary reproductions.

What a Wrongful Birth Lawsuit Can Teach Us About Race

Charmaine Nelson | Posted 12.07.2014 | Canada Living
Charmaine Nelson

A lesbian couple was informed that their egg had been inseminated not with the desired sperm of the white, blonde-haired, blue-eyed donor, but with that of the black male, the result of a clerical error. Where the outrage has ensued is with the couple's $50,000 wrongful birth lawsuit.

Make August Canada's Black History Month

Christopher Stuart Taylor | Posted 10.03.2014 | Canada
Christopher Stuart Taylor

Somewhere out there Drake needs to stand up and write a song about this fact for people to understand that his OVO concert takes place on a weekend made possible by a person that fought for the freedom of his ancestors. Well, at least the black half of his ancestors.

Dear Whoopi: Black Canadians Take the N-Word Just as Seriously as You

Giselle Phelps | Posted 08.06.2014 | Canada Living
Giselle Phelps

The same issues of white versus black racism aren't as deeply woven into Canadian society. Think this is what Whoopi was trying to get at. But racism and discrimination still exist. It has the same purpose it has in the U.S. Just because it's coming out of the mouth of a Canadian doesn't change its meaning or context. People in Canada still want to touch a black woman's braids with amazement and wonder. Canadian cities have pockets of poor community housing disproportionately populated by blacks. The racial issues are still there. They're just served up on a different platter, because it's a different country, with a different history.

Black Children Need Better Parents, Not Schools

Ike Awgu | Posted 05.08.2014 | Canada
Ike Awgu

The Toronto Star and other publications have touted the success of Ontario's Africentric school system. The problem is, one would expect higher test scores and improved behaviour from students who attend such a school, as the program will self-select parents who care more about their children and are engaged in their education. The fact is, as confirmed in countless studies, that the collapse of the black family within a segment of the black community is the primary reason so many of our children fall through the cracks of society, to be broken against the hard, unbending steel of racism, prejudice, failure and depression. No amount of "specialty schools" can change that.

Black History Month Deepens Racism's Roots

Reid Price | Posted 05.05.2014 | Canada
Reid Price

Now that Black History Month is over (didn't take long) I feel more comfortable in saying that I very much dislike it. Black people are more than a month, and are more than several prominent black figures. Black history should be a regular part of educational curriculum and media programming, yet it is differentiated and set aside, just as black people were not so long ago. How is this good?

How the Death of the American Family Led to Hadiya Pendleton's Murder

Ike Awgu | Posted 04.02.2013 | Canada
Ike Awgu

On Tuesday January 29, 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, an honour student who had just performed at President Obama's inauguration, was gunned down in a Chicago park. Hadiya was described by her father as a "shining light", and she dreamed of becoming a lawyer. This brings the number of gun deaths in Chicago since the New Year to 42 -- the deadliest January for the city in 10 years. This is not just a black problem. It's a family structure problem. When it comes to handgun violence in places like Chicago, marriage and fathers are the answer.