BLACK HISTORY MONTH WEEKLY RECAP
As we come to the end of the third week of Black History Month, we wanted to provide you with a recap of the amazing stories, places and people highlighted by our Media Experts Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee so far. Be sure to check back next Friday, we’ll be adding a recap every week this month.
This week, we are suggesting three Black-owned businesses in Montreal and Vancouver, which are beloved by our team members
Devi Arts Collective makes handmade jewellery in Vancouver, using ethically cut gemstones & recycled metals. Keep an eye out when you’re shopping around Vancouver as they are in a few local shops as well.
Montreal-based Pastry Shop Sucre Brun offers its customers delicious options for all their special occasions. The menu is heavily inspired by the owner’s Caribbean roots and her mother’s authentic recipes. Every family reunion was flavored with her mom’s fabulous delights, and that’s exactly what she wants to share with her customers at Sucre Brun. You can truly taste the love and happiness she received from her mother through each dessert.
Honey Sparkle was founded in January 2020 by a Cheranda, a young entrepreneur. Her company began as a Mobile Teeth Whitening studio, but due to the growing pandemic and the ultimate lockdowns to follow, she decided to move into the e-commerce beauty sphere. In August 2020, Honey Sparkle expanded and the company started to sell lipglosses. After the success of the company’s first launch, Cheranda then decided it was time to expand again. Since its inception, the company has expanded its products and sells various skincare products.
To Learn More Visit: www.instagram.com/sparkle.mtl.xo or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We also shared some recommendations for an event, book movie, and tv show that have each made a significant impact.
Event: Toronto Black Film Festival – February 16-21
The Toronto Black Film Festival brings a unique voice of Black Canadians to the screen. The festival runs during Black History Month from February 16-21. The program of films selected for this event includes artists from 30 countries. You’ll be able to see amazing movies with filmmakers from Africa, the Caribbean, the US and of course Canada. Movies will be streamed online and passes are $99. Get your tickets now!
Movie: Marshall (Netflix)
Focusing on one of Thurgood Marshall’s (the first African American Supreme Court Justice) early cases with the NAACP, this biopic highlights racial prejudice in 1940s America at an intersection with rising antisemitism. If you love a good court room drama, true crime, and a stellar cast including Chadwick Boseman, Sterling K Brown, and Josh Gad, give this one a try.
Essential reading for everyone. Centered around Reni Eddo-Lodge’s personal experience of what it is to be a person of colour in Britain, this non-fiction book is an exploration of white dominance, whitewashed feminism, and so much more. This book helped me learn how to recognize the lens I am viewing experiences and situations through and provided tools to work on building a new framework in the pursuit of anti-racism.
Singer: Sarahmée (Qc)
The rapper Sarahmée, whose music is rich with Senegalese influences, is committed to defending black communities and women. After being discovered by the general public in 2020, Sarahmée’s continued on her musical path, releasing her debut album in 2021. Her new single” Le coeur a ses raisons” is a reflection of what we love about this young singer-songwriter: wild rhythms with African sounds, coupled with a text that is of its time and inclusive.
We shared the remarkable, too often overlooked story of Randell Adjei
Words have depth. Words have meaning. Words can change the course of your life. They certainly did for Scarborough’s Randell Adjei.
Randell Adjei is not only a poet but also an author, an inspirational speaker, an arts educator and a community leader. Many people doubted he would become the man he is today when he was arrested at the age of 12. Without a consistent role model in his life, Adjei struggled in his youth, acting out. Throughout that time, he started using creative writing as a tool to express the emotions he was battling, and his talent was undeniable.
Listening to the experiences of his friends who were going through their own difficulties made Adjei realize that they all needed an outlet to express themselves. This led him to create R.I.S.E. (the acronym standing for Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere) at the age of 19. The goal of R.I.S.E. was to empower youth by providing them a space where they could perform and share their creative talents on a weekly basis. Adjei states, “R.I.S.E. is for anybody because everybody needs healing and a safe space. But specifically, it’s for people of colour – people who are usually underprivileged, silenced, marginalized, racialized.” R.I.S.E. started small with a group of 23 youth meeting at Scarborough Town Centre and grew into one of Toronto’s largest and longest-running youth-led initiatives that features performances, workshops and retreats.
Adjei’s gift for the spoken word has taken him across the world performing on stages with other creatives and providing inspiration through TED Talks. In April 2021, Adjei was given the designation of Ontario’s first Poet Laureate; one of the highest honours a government can bestow on a poet.
And, finally we wrap up by providing three outstanding charities doing essential work for Black communities in our Canadian cities.
This Ontario-based non-profit organization offers free legal services to low- and no-income Black residents of the province.
A registered charity that supports Black Canadians’ health and well-being through systems change, health promotion, fundraising and more.
Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre provides primary healthcare to racialized women from the African, Black, Caribbean, Latin American and South Asian communities in Toronto and surrounding municipalities.