Black History Month Weekly Recap
As we come to the end of the first 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 suggested three Black-owned restaurants in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, which are beloved by our team members.
Toronto: If you’re looking for chill vibes and great Caribbean cuisine infused with Cajun spices, then look no further than SugarKane. It was founded by three Black entrepreneurs who already owned a successful catering company, Spiked Punch. SugarKane is located on the Danforth, 2 blocks from Pape Station, it is a hidden delight just steps from Greektown. Go for the Jerk Corn and Creole Jambalaya and stay for the live DJ on Saturdays. 699 Danforth Ave, Toronto
Vancouver: If you know, you know! Calabash is a downtown institution with 10 years under their belt, created to celebrate and share the Caribbean culture with Vancouver. Great food at any time of day, all the rum cocktails you’ll ever need & a stellar underground club scene. 428 Carrall Street, Vancouver
Montreal: Lloydie’s is a Caribbean restaurant that stemmed out of the will of a hardworking family, who wanted to provide affordable and tasty Caribbean food to the Quebec region. They introduced the Jamaican patty to the market in the 90s and have been going strong ever since. Stop in for Jerk Chicken with some Rice & Peas at either of their locations (66 St Viateur &4601 Notre-Dame W).
If you happen to pass by one of these restaurants, please be sure to share your experience and what you had.
We also shared some recommendations for a podcast, book and TV show that have each made a significant impact.
Podcast: The Secret Life Of Canada
The Secret Life of Canada is a great CBC podcast hosted by Leah Simone-Bowen and Falen Johnson, SLOC highlights things you may not have known about the role Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, have played in the history of our country. The podcast touches on topics and people who have contributed to our country’s rich history, from sometimes forgotten individuals such as the legendary John Ware or first lady of jazz Eleanor Collins to things you may never have known. For example : did you know that Jamaica almost became a province of Canada? This is a great podcast which may introduce you some of the lesser known yet amazing BIPOC individuals and events that have left a mark on Canada.
Book: World’s Great Men of Color, Volume I
World’s Great Men of Color is the comprehensive guide to the most noteworthy Black personalities in world history and their significance. J.A. Rogers spent the majority of his lifetime pioneering the field of Black studies with his exhaustive research on the major names in Black history, whose contributions or even very existence have been glossed over. Well-written and informative, World’s Great Men of Color is an enlightening and important historical work.
TV Show: Insecure
Issa Rae burst on the scene in 2011 with her acclaimed YouTube series, The Misadventures of An Awkward Black Girl, which showcased her hilariously navigating awkward situations in dating, life, and work. In 2016 she co-created Insecure which essentially became the next level of Misadventures with Issa Rae again starring as the main character. The show puts a refreshing, comedic, and dramatic spotlight on the lives of young Black women and men in South LA in a way that hasn’t been seen.
We shared the remarkable, too often overlooked story of the The Chatham Coloured All-Stars
Until 1947, Black players were banned from Major League Baseball and were rarely welcome on all-White teams at the amateur level in Canada. Though Jackie Robinson’s story is often told, there was an all-Black baseball team in Ontario that made waves during the Great Depression.
The Chatham Coloured All-Stars were a group of friends from Chatham, Ontario who shared a love for baseball and chose to travel around Ontario playing against all-White teams in the 1930s. They caught the eye of an Ontario Baseball Amateur Representative during an exhibition match who brought them into the city league where they were able to compete against all-White teams.
They faced a slew of discriminations during their time in the league. From questionable umpire calls to being turned away from hotels, threats of violence, deliberate injuries, stone-throwing and taunts. But none of the hardships they faced along the way could extinguish their love for the game or eclipse their undeniable talent. In 1934, the team became the first all-Black team to win an Ontario Baseball Association title.
In 2016, the Ontario Trillium Foundation awarded a grant to the University of Windsor to develop an oral history project on the team as well as a range of resources to preserve and share this story.
The Chatham Coloured All-Stars accolades include:
- The first baseball team with Black players to compete in a championship in Ontario
- The first Black team to win an Provincial Ontario Baseball Amateur Association title (1934)
- The first Canadian inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y (Fergie Jenkins)
And, finally we wrap up by providing three outstanding charities doing essential work for Black communities in our Canadian cities.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters community-based mentoring program, also known as the Traditional Mentoring program, provides a mentor to young mentee aged 6 to 21. The mentor acts as a role model to talk to and share the experience of growing up with. Through regular outings, a strong relationship built on trust and common interests is developed between the mentor and the mentee.
FoodShare’s supporters help make a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands across Toronto. They aim to centre food justice in their work by collaborating with and taking our cue from those most affected by poverty and food insecurity — Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, People with Disabilities. Their goal is to inspire long-term solutions for a food system where everyone has access to affordable, fresh, nutritious food.
A platform upon which Black communities across Canada can actively dismantle all forms of anti-Black racism, liberate Blackness, support Black healing, affirm Black existence, and create freedom to love and self-determine. They work to forge critical connections and to work in solidarity with Black communities, Black-centric networks, solidarity movements, and allies in order to to dismantle all forms of state-sanctioned oppression, violence, and brutality committed against all Black communities, including African, Caribbean, Afro-Indigenous, migrant, queer, trans, and disabled Black communities.
In addition to fighting against anti-Blackness, BLM creates spaces to build the community through alternative forms of education, programming, and support for cultural creation.