"Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now": Telling our Story, Writing our History
Disrupting the tenets of Euromodern colonialism has been a central practice among Black scholars, writers, community leaders and artists for decades. Many reports have been written and global protests launched which challenge longstanding colonial structures. In the context of Black History and the Black experience in Canada, mass media and school curricula predominantly cover south of the 49th parallel, focusing less on Black Canadian contributions to Canada's growth, development, and nation building.
When we look across our community, province and country, we see that Black Canadians everywhere are telling their stories and reshaping Canadian history. Whether it's Black-led agencies strategizing to support African resettlement in the Greater Toronto area or Black youth defying institutional barriers in their rise to success, Black Canadians are on the move. According to Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, "many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity." Agency is an important vehicle for change.
This Black History Month, we will delve into conversations about how Black Canadians are using storytelling as a mode of resistance to counteract the systemic erasure, silencing, and marginalizing of Black Canadian history and experience. Storytelling, in all its forms, presents a counter-narrative in the change movement. Black Canadians are "talking back" to large narratives of benevolence.
Ultimately, the band-aids have come off in the wake of George's Floyd's murder and what we are witnessing as resistance are the very acts that will rewrite the nation-story, potentially cast in a future where we are all our ancestors' wildest dreams.
About Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association (NACCA)
Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association (NACCA) is committed to the collective work of engaging the African Canadian communities and its allies through program delivery, education, and partnerships, to cultivate an empowered and united Black community in Newmarket.