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November-December 2020

We have done enough

Reflections on creative practice and its role within movements for Black life

Jessica P. Kirk

The energy that fills the room at a book launch surrounded by community is a feeling like no other. Walking into a reconfigured venue with familiar faces, soulful melodies, and warm hugs is one of those experiences I’m grateful to have been a part of before everything changed amid the pandemic. These are the kind […] More »
November-December 2020

We want abolition in our lifetime

Activists are demanding an end to prisons and police

Syrus Marcus Ware

We are living in revolutionary times. The ground is shifting beneath us every day. We are seeing a radical shift in our collective consciousness about ideas pertaining to abolition and defunding the police. We are beginning to awaken to the idea that we can solve issues of conflict, crisis, and harm in ways that do […] More »
November-December 2020

What’s in a name?

On names, naming, and name-calling

Minelle Mahtani

“Give your daughters difficult names. Names that command the full use of the tongue. My name makes you want to tell me the truth. My name does not allow me to trust anyone who cannot pronounce it right.”       — Warsan Shire   “Mama, why do you always give out Dada’s name at […] More »
November-December 2020

A Black queer feminist press is born

Introducing Hush Harbour

Christelle Saint-Julien

Alannah Johnson and Whitney French know the world needs more Black literature. That’s why the Toronto-based writers have launched Hush Harbour, a literary press dedicated to imagining Black feminisms and uplifting works of short fiction. “There are so many Black writers and storytellers to uphold and affirm,” says French. “Among the many nuanced stories within […] More »
November-December 2020

Feeding Black and Indigenous families

New volunteer-based project tackles food insecurity during the pandemic

Christine Jean-Baptiste

  Sequestered in each of their own homes, neighbours Antonia Lawrence and Emily Carson didn’t have family around when COVID-19 hit. All they had was the group chat shared between their friendly neighbours. Often, involving inquiries for grocery trips, wanting to share food items, and recipes between each other—a system built on the sentiment that […] More »
September-October 2020

The code to success

Black boys to get involved in STEM

Kevin Philipupillai

Bryan Johnson, CEO and Founder of Black Boys Code · photo by Sean Anthony Photography   As the Black Lives Matter movement spread across different industries this year, 5,874 scientists around the world signed an online pledge in support of #ShutDownSTEM. The one-day strike in June was a call to action against anti-Black racism in […] More »
September-October 2020

A certain swanness

On Korean adoption and beauty

Jenny Heijun Wills

A quarter million Korean adoptees live (or have lived) around the world. Aren’t our black eyes so cute when they get pushed up by our cheeks as we smile for the photo displayed at the office? Don’t we garner the most likes and applause on those mommy blogs when we’re sent to show-and-tell in a […] More »
September-October 2020

Black art matters

Spotlight on Shaya Ishaq

Francesca Ekwuyasi

Shaya Ishaq’s work moves fluidly between mediums—words, ceramics, fibres, jewellery—while maintaining a central locus of honouring Black lineages and sparking light toward liberated Black futures. Tenacious and ever-evolving, Ishaq walked away from journalism school and signed up for a hand-building course at a pottery studio in her hometown of Ottawa. “I really fell in love […] More »
July-August 2020

A letter to Audre Lorde

There's nothing wrong with being unoriginal

Hadiyyah Kuma

Dear Audre Lorde, My fingers ache. All I can do since this pandemic started locally is read and write. And not my assignments and essays; none of those thrill me. None get at what I really want to say; none encapsulate the expanse of human suffering we are seeing on our screens and streets. To […] More »
July-August 2020

Call me Iranian

In my youth, I asked to be called Persian—but not anymore

Nedda Sarshar

I can’t tell you the exact moment when I went from calling myself “Iranian” to “Persian.” I know that it happened post 9/11 and that the decision was made when I went to a predominantly white middle school. Prior to that, the only time I faced real issues with being Iranian was whenever we crossed […] More »
May-June 2020

Between two worlds

The ethics of travelling "back where you came from"

Barâa Arar

I am trying to get my grandfather’s attention at a busy intersection in Tunis, Tunisia. It is 36 degrees and dusty. He is old and frail and has outgrown his home country since he left for Canada 20 years ago. My grandfather once had every winding alley of the downtown core memorized, but he’s unfamiliar […] More »