Transcript: Black History Month Matters | Feb 11, 2016

Piya sits in the studio. She's in her forties, with dark brown, slightly wavy hair to her shoulders. She's wearing a gray blazer and a thin silver necklace.

A caption on screen reads "Black history month matters. Piya Chattopadhyay. @piya."

Piya says 2016 MARKS THE 20TH
ANNIVERSARY OF CANADA OFFICIALLY
RECOGNIZING BLACK HISTORY MONTH.
AND JUST THIS YEAR, ONTARIO
FOLLOWED SUIT, OFFICIALLY
RECOGNIZING IT AND PROMISING TO
FORMALLY DESIGNATE IT AS AN
ANNUAL CELEBRATION.
HOW MUCH HAS IT ACCOMPLISHED,
AND WHAT'S STILL TO BE DONE?
LET'S FIND OUT WITH:
NIKKI CLARKE, PRESIDENT OF THE
ONTARIO BLACK HISTORY SOCIETY;

Nikki is in her forties, with blond hair in a bob. she's wearing glasses, a red coat over a black shirt, and a stone necklace.

Piya continues SYLVIA MARACLE, EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR OF THE ONTARIO
FEDERATION OF INDIGENOUS
FRIENDSHIP CENTRES;

Sylvia is in her fifties, with short salt and pepper hair. She's wearing glasses, a burgundy blazer and a black shirt.

Piya continues SUPRIYA DWIVEDI, A CONSULTANT
WITH CRESTVIEW STRATEGY;

Supriya is in her thirties, with long straight black hair. She's wearing a black sweater over a white shirt.

Piya continues AND ANDRAY DOMISE, CO-HOST OF
THE CANADALAND COMMONS' PODCAST

Andray is in his thirties, bald and with a full beard. He's wearing glasses, a light gray suit, a checkered shirt and a matching tie.

Piya continues HI, EVERYONE.
HOW ARE YOU?
AS I MENTIONED WE ARE
CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF BLACK
HISTORY MONTH IN CANADA, BY
WHICH I MEAN THE FEDS ADOPTED IT
20 YEARS AGO.
ONTARIO DECLARED THE PROVINCE
WOULD OFFICIALLY ADOPT BLACK
HISTORY MONTH AS WELL.
THAT'S WHERE WE ARE TODAY IN
FEBRUARY OF 2016.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
I WANT TO READ SOMETHING TO SET
IT UP.
HERE WE GO...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "American roots." A drawing of three black children holding up the Earth appears next to the quote. The quote reads "African-American Carter G. Woodson conceived the idea of having a time set aside devoted to the African, and African-American history that Blacks were learning on their own. He chose the week in February that contained the birthdates of two people he credited with bringing about the end of American slavery, President Abraham Lincoln and Black abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, which he called Negro History Week in 1926.
The celebration expanded and over time became known as Black History Month. In Canada, this idea was first celebrated in Toronto by railroad porters within the Black community by 1950; the porters had learned of it on their travels in the United States. It was not until the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) was founded in 1978, and petitioned the City of Toronto by 1979 to have February proclaimed Black History Month that the celebration started to trickle into the entire community."
Quoted from black historycanada.ca

The caption changes to "How we got here."

Piya says ALL RIGHT, NIKKI,
THIS STARTED OFF IN THIS
COUNTRY, YOU KNOW, IN THIS CITY,
IN THE LATE '70s.
IT TAKES ANOTHER NEARLY TWO
DECADES FOR OTTAWA AND THE REST
OF THE COUNTRY TO NATIONALLY
RECOGNIZE IT.
HOW DID WE GET FROM '78, '79, TO
'95?
WHO WAS SORT OF ADVOCATING TO
MAKE THIS A BIGGER RECOGNIZED THING?

The caption changes to "Nikki Clarke. Ontario Black History Society."

Nikki says THE ONTARIO
BLACK HISTORY SOCIETY AND ALSO
WITH THE STRONG ADVOCACY OF
DR. JANE AUGUSTIN WHO WAS BEHIND
THE SCENES AND SPEARHEADING
THIS.
SO THIS IS WHERE WE'RE AT RIGHT
NOW AND WE'RE CONTINUING TO MAKE
STRIDES IN THE COMMUNITY TO, YOU
KNOW, WORK WITH THIS
PROCLAMATION.

Piya says IT SEEMS LIKE A
PRETTY LONG ROAD TO GET HERE.

Nikki says IT'S A LONG ROAD.

Piya says ANDRAY, WHY DO YOU
THINK IT TOOK SO LONG FOR US TO
GET HERE?

The caption changes to "Andray Domise. Canadaland."

Andray says BECAUSE WE
DON'T LIKE TO TALK ABOUT RACE IN
CANADA.
THERE'S NO GETTING AROUND THE
FACT THAT IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO
HAVE CONVERSATIONS ABOUT RACIST
HIERARCHIES AND SO FORTH.
IN CANADA WE LIKE TO THINK WE'RE
FAR MORE EVOLVED THAN THE UNITED
STATES.
WE DON'T LIKE TO TALK ABOUT
CANADA'S HISTORY OF SLAVERY,
ABOUT THE FACT WE TRIED TO
EXCLUDE PEOPLE FLEEING FROM JIM
CROW SLAVERY.
WE DON'T TALK ABOUT IT BECAUSE
IT MAKES PEOPLE UNCOMFORTABLE.
WE SEE THE EFFECTS WHEN Beyoncé
HAD A HALF TIME CELEBRATION AND
SHE HAD THIS OVERWHELMING AMOUNT
OF BLACKNESS THAT JUST WAS
BEAMED INTO MIDDLE AMERICA.
IT MADE ME VERY HAPPY.
BUT WE HAD A LOCAL CITY
COUNCILLOR IN TORONTO WHO SAID
WE SHOULD LOOK AT TRYING TO BAR
HER FROM ENTERING CANADA BECAUSE
THE IMAGERY WAS JUST TOO MUCH.
SO BECAUSE OF THE AMOUNT OF
DISCOMFORT THAT MOST CANADIANS
HAVE HAVING THESE KINDS OF
CONVERSATIONS, WE JUST GENERALLY
TRY TO SHUT BLACK PEOPLE UP AND
IT'S UNFORTUNATE BUT I'M REALLY
GLAD THAT IN THE LAST COUPLE OF
YEARS THAT'S REALLY STARTED TO
FALL AWAY.

Piya says LET ME ASK YOU THIS.
YOU GREW UP IN CANADA.

Andray says I DID.
WELL, I WAS IN THE U.S. FOR A
BIT TOO.

Piya says DID YOU LEARN YOUR
HISTORY AS A BLACK CANADIAN
GROWING UP?

Andray says NO.
NOT IN SCHOOL.
EVERYTHING I LEARNED ABOUT BLACK
HISTORY I LEARNED OUTSIDE OF OUR
SCHOOL SYSTEM.
THAT INCLUDES POSTSECONDARY.
I HAD TO DO MY OWN RESEARCH.
WHEN I FOUND OUT ABOUT THE
BROTHERHOOD OF THE SLEEPING CAR
PORTERS, WHEN I FOUND OUT ABOUT
AMOUNT OF BLACK HISTORY IN
CANADA THAT I'VE EARN LEARNED,
IT WAS NOT TAUGHT TO ME IN THE
SCHOOL SYSTEM.
I HAD TO DO THAT WORK ON MY OWN.

Nikki says I CAN SAY THE SAME FOR MYSELF.
I HAD A FATHER WHO WAS VERY
PROMINENT IN THE BLACK
COMMUNITY, WAS ACTUALLY ONE OF
THE CO-FOUNDERS OF THE BLACK
BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS
ASSOCIATION IN Montréal, IN THE
MID '70s, SO I WAS THAT CHILD
THAT HE WOULD BRING TO DIFFERENT
DEBATES.
I MET REVEREND JESSE JACKSON.
SO WE'RE VERY, VERY AWARE AT A
VERY YOUNG AGE, AND I LEARNED
EVERYTHING THROUGH HIM.
WHAT I'M PROUD TO SAY, AS BEING
PART OF THE O.B.H.S., IS WE
PROVIDE THAT GAP WHERE PEOPLE
NEED FOR US TO COME IN AND
PRESENT, TO PROVIDE RESOURCES,
WE HAVE A LIBRARY OF BOOKS
AVAILABLE AT OUR OFFICE ON
ADELAIDE STREET.
WHATEVER THE EDUCATORS NEED,
WE'RE AT THEIR DISPOSAL TO FILL
IN THE GAP.

The caption changes to "Supriya Dwivedi. Crestview Strategy."

Supriya says I THINK THAT'S GREAT.
I DON'T THINK YOU SHOULD HAVE TO
DO THAT.
THIS SHOULD BE SOMETHING WE'RE
LEARNING IN OUR SCHOOLS.
AFRICAN-CANADIANS AND BLACK
CANADIANS HAVE BEEN HERE DATING
BACK TO THE EARLY 1600s.
THE FACT THEY'RE COMPLETELY
ABSENT FROM OUR HISTORY BOOKS
AND WHAT YOU LEARN IN SCHOOL, I
THINK NOT ONLY DOES A BIG
DISSERVICE TO YOUR OVERALL
EDUCATION, BUT IT'S A SLAP IN
THE FACE TO A SPECIFIC SEGMENT
OF THE COMMUNITY THAT HAS HELPED
SHAPE CANADA TO THE WAY THAT IT
IS TODAY.

Piya says WE'RE GOING TO TALK
MORE ABOUT EDUCATION AND THE
SCHOOL SYSTEM AND WHERE THIS
FITS IN.
BUT SUPRIYA, WHAT IMPACT HAS
BLACK HISTORY MONTH HAD ON YOUR
UNDERSTANDING OF CANADIAN
HISTORY, OF BLACK HISTORY IN
THIS COUNTRY?

Supriya says TO BE
HONEST, MOST OF MY KNOWLEDGE OF
BLACK HISTORY I THINK I'VE DONE
ON MY OWN, MUCH OF WHAT ANDRAY
HAS BEEN SAYING.
I THINK IT'S GREAT THAT WHERE WE
ARE WE ARE TODAY THAT IT IS
FORMALLY RECOGNIZED.
I THINK A LOT OF IT IS MORE SHOW
THAN ACTUAL SUBSTANCE.
I THINK POLITICIANS LIKE TO SHOW
UP TO THESE SORTS OF EVENTS AND
THEY LIKE TO MAKE PROCLAMATIONS
AND THEY LIKE TO CLAIM THAT, YOU
KNOW, WE'RE INTEGRATING ALL
THESE FACTS AND EDUCATION, BUT I
DON'T THINK THERE'S ACTUALLY
MUCH SUBSTANTIVE MOVEMENT ON
THAT FRONT AND I THINK MORE
OFTEN THAN NOT IT'S SHOWING UP
FOR A PHOTO OP, UNFORTUNATELY.

Piya says HAS BLACK HISTORY
MONTH HELPED YOU BECOME MORE
EDUCATED, UNDERSTAND, YOU KNOW,
BLACK CANADIANS AND THE
EXPERIENCES HERE IN OUR COUNTRY?

The caption changes to "Sylvia Maracle. Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres."

Sylvia says NOT AT ALL.
I THINK THE ISSUE FOR ME IS
WE'RE ACTUALLY NOT TAUGHT
HISTORY, THAT IT HAS, IN SOME
RESPECTS -- NOT THAT THERE
AREN'T MANY, MANY METHODS THAT
WE SHOULD TEACH BY, BUT IT'S
MORE ABOUT ARTS, ABOUT VISUAL
ARTISTS, ABOUT FILM, WHATEVER,
AND ACTUAL HISTORY THAT WE
SHOULD KNOW AND CERTAINLY EVEN
COMMON HISTORY IN THE CASE OF
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, FOR INSTANCE,
AND BLACK IN NOVA SCOTIA, THE
MAROONS COMING AS PART OF A
BRITISH EXPERIMENT TO HELP
CIVILIZE US AND LEAVING.
THE VERY MODERN DAY RESPONSE OF
THAT IS COMBINING WORDS,
INDIGENOUS, BLACK, AT DALHOUSIE
AND PLACES.
WE DON'T LEARN ANY OF THOSE KIND
OF HISTORIES, AND FRANKLY, WE
HAVE EXPERIENCES WITH RESPECT TO
PEOPLE COMING TO CANADA, FLEEING
TO CANADA, AND MARRYING INTO OUR
COMMUNITIES.
AS A MATTER OF FACT, UNTIL THIS
WEEK, IT'S POPPED UP AGAIN.
BUT PEOPLE HAD TO CHANGE THE
SPELLING OF THEIR LAST NAMES
BECAUSE YOU HAD THESE INDIAN
AGENTS WHO CONTROLLED OUR
TERRITORIES AND THE PEOPLE WERE
COMING INTO THAT MARRIED AND
OBVIOUSLY HAD TO DO THINGS LIKE
PUT AN "E" ON THE END OF YOUR
NAME OR SPELL IS DIFFERENTLY SO
THEY COULD TRACE THAT LINEAGE.
BUT THOSE THINGS ARE NEVER
TAUGHT IN SCHOOL.
WE KNOW THAT THROUGH ORAL
HISTORY.
SO LIKE EVERYONE ELSE -- AND THE
LITTLE THAT I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO
LEARN, I PURSUED ON MY OWN.
WE'VE CREATED RELATIONSHIPS AND
WORK THAT WE'VE DONE AS
COMMUNITY ABOUT SHARING OUR
STORIES, AND I'M AN ADVOCATE OF
THAT AND I WISH WE COULD GET
KIDS OUT OF THE CLASSROOM INTO
EACH OTHER'S COMMUNITY AND
REALLY LEARN EXPERIENTIALLY.

Piya says COMMUNITY.
I'M NOT A BIG FAN OF THAT WORD
BECAUSE IT ALLOWS US TO SEE A
GROUPING OF PEOPLE THROUGH A
MONOLITH.
WHEN YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT RACE
IN THIS COUNTRY, YOU WERE MAKING
COMPARISONS TO THE UNITED
STATES.
WE SOMETIMES TALK ABOUT BEING
BLACK AS -- IT DOESN'T TRANSCEND
HISTORIES OR CULTURES OR BORDERS
AND THERE IS A LOT OF DIVERSITY.
WHAT DO YOU WANT US TO KNOW
ABOUT -- NOW I'M GOING TO USE
THE WORD -- THE BLACK COMMUNITY
IN CANADA?
THERE'S ONE THING WE CAN START
TO UNDERSTAND DURING BLACK
HISTORY MONTH ABOUT BEING A
BLACK CANADIAN, WHAT DO YOU WANT
US TO KNOW?

The caption changes to "Canadian perspective."

Andray says FIRST OF
ALL, THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A
BLACK COMMUNITY IN CANADA, THERE
ARE SEVERAL BLACK COMMUNITIES.
WE CAME HERE IN MULTIPLE WAYS.
THERE WERE THE WAVES OF
LOYALISTS THAT FOUGHT FOR THE
BRITISH DURING THE WAR OF 1776
THAT WERE SHUNTED OFF TO NOVA
SCOTIA.
THOSE WHO FOUGHT IN THE WAR OF
1812 WHO WERE ALSO SHUNTED OFF
TO NOVA SCOTIA.
THOSE FLEEING JIM CROW SLAVERY,
THE LARGEST MIGRATION, WAS BLACK
PEOPLE FLEEING LYNCHING, THAT
HAPPENED IN 1910 AND AGAIN THE
POST-WAR PERIOD AND THEY WERE
DENIED ENTRY AND CITIZENSHIP
INTO COMPANY.
THOSE WHO DID END UP HERE UNDER
THE LEADERSHIP OF WILFRID
LAURIER, THOSE WHO ACTUALLY DID
MAKE IT INTO CANADA WERE
SOMETIMES SENT BACK OUT BECAUSE
OF HEALTH REASONS, THAT THEY
WERE TOLD THEY MIGHT BE BRINGING
DISEASES INTO CANADA.
THERE WERE THESE HUGE WAVES OF
IMMIGRATION INTO CANADA THAT WE
JUST DON'T KNOW ABOUT.
THAT WE ARE MOST FAMILIAR WITH
IS THE WAVE OF IMMIGRATION IN
THE 1970s, UNDER THE
LEADERSHIP OF PIERRE ELLIOTT
TRUDEAU.

Nikki says THAT'S WHERE I CAME IN.

Andray says MY
GRANDMOTHER AND MY PARENTS AS
WELL.
THAT'S THE ONE WE'RE TAUGHT
ABOUT.
ALL THESE PEOPLE COMING IN FROM
JAMAICA, GRENADA, GUYANA, AND SO
FORTH.

Piya says WHAT DO YOU WANT
PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT BEING A
BLACK CANADIAN?

Nikki says I WANT PEOPLE
TO KNOW THAT BLACK CANADIANS ARE
AMAZING IN THE CONTRIBUTIONS,
THE ACHIEVEMENTS THEY'VE MADE,
INTERNATIONALLY.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH TO ME IS
CANADIAN HISTORY MONTH, IT'S
INTERNATIONAL HISTORY MONTH.
I AM AN EDUCATOR, SO I'M REALLY
HAPPY TO GO INTO SCHOOLS AND TO
CHAT WITH THE YOUNGER GRADES
BECAUSE AT THAT AGE -- AND I'M
TALKING ABOUT 7, 8 YEARS OLD...
THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO EDIT
THEMSELVES.
SO WHEN I ASK THEM THE QUESTION,
WHAT IS BLACK HISTORY MONTH TO
YOU?
ONE LITTLE GIRL SAID TO ME,
WELL, IT'S ABOUT -- WE'RE MADE
TO FEEL BAD BECAUSE THAT'S WHEN
BLACK PEOPLE WERE TREATED BADLY
AND IT'S RELATED BACK TO
SLAVERY.
I SAY THANK YOU FOR THAT.
I LOOK AT THE TEACHER AND LOOK
AT HER GRIMACE AND WANTING TO
JUMP INTO NEXT AVAILABLE HOLE.
AND I SAID CAN YOU TURN YOUR
EYES TO THE SLIDE I HAVE BESIDE
YOU AND I HAVE A PICTURE OF A
BOWL OF CHIPS, JUST AS AN
EXAMPLE.
DO YOU LIKE POTATO CHIPS?
YES.
THIS WAS INVENTED BY A BLACK
MAN.
WHAT I TRY TO DO IS GIVE IT A
POSITIVE SPIN, THE CONTRIBUTIONS
THAT YOUNG CHILDREN ARE ABLE TO
RELATE TO ON A DAILY BASIS IS
BECAUSE OF A BLACK INVENTION.
THIS IS WHAT I'M TRYING TO DO.
DO MY PART.

Piya says I STARTED OUT THE
SHOW TALKING ABOUT -- I THINK
MORE CANADIANS KNOW ROSA PARKS
THAN VIOLA DESMOND.

Andray says I CREDIT A
FRIEND OF MINE WHO HAS WRITTEN
IN THE HUFFINGTON POST, BEEN
VOCAL ABOUT ASPECTS OF CANADIAN
CULTURE THAT TEND TO BE ERASED.
SHE TALKS ABOUT VIOLA DESMOND.
THE LAST SEGREGATED SCHOOL IN
CANADA WASN'T CLOSED UNTIL 1982.
IN DRESDEN, ONTARIO, I BELIEVE
THIS WAS BACK IN '54, THERE WERE
A COUPLE OF CIVIL RIGHTS
ADVOCATES, ALONG WITH HUGH
BURNETT -- HE IS 90 YEARS OLD,
STILL AROUND.
WE DO NOT CELEBRATE THE FACT HE
MARCHED HIS BUTT INTO A WHITE
RESTAURANT AND DEMANDED TO BE
SERVED AND WAS NOT SERVED.
BECAUSE OF THAT HE TOOK THE
RESTAURANT OWNER TO COURT.
THIS IS AFTER CANADA HAS PASSED
A LAW SAYING YOU HAVE TO SERVE
PEOPLE REGARDLESS OF THEIR SKIN
COLOUR.
IF YOU PASS A LAW AND DON'T
ENFORCE IT, IT'S THE SAME AS NOT
HAVING THE LAW, PERIOD.
BECAUSE OF THESE CIVIL RIGHTS
ADVOCATES, I CAN WALK INTO A
RESTAURANT AND BE SERVED.
WE DON'T TALK ABOUT HOW THAT
HAPPENED.

Piya says AND VIOLA DESMOND.
MANY PEOPLE WON'T BE FAMILIAR
WITH THIS.
THIS IS HISTORY CANADA ON VIOLA
DESMOND.
LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT THIS.

A clip from a movie plays on screen.
As dramatic music plays, police officers arrest a young black woman. She's in her early thirties and wears a tailored suit. They put her behind bars.

Then, the woman speaks to another black woman in her forties and says
THEY LEFT ME THERE ALL NIGHT.

The woman in her forties says
ON WHAT CHARGE?

The arrested woman says
THEY SAID I DIDN'T PAY THE
THEATRE TAX.
BUT IT WAS REALLY ABOUT COLOUR.

Now in a church, a reverend says
VIOLA DESMOND APPEAL THIS
CONVICTION AND YOUR COMMUNITY
WILL STAND BEHIND YOU.

A man leans towards Viola and whispers
DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT
THIS WILL DO TO US?

The woman in her forties says
SO WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

Viola says
MAKE IT RIGHT.

A title on screen reads "A part of our heritage."

An announcer says
VIOLA DESMOND'S CASE INSPIRED
NOVA SCOTIA'S CIVIL RIGHTS
MOVEMENT.
SHE WAS PARDONED 63 YEARS LATER
BASED ON THE INJUSTICE OF HER CONVICTION.

An end slate reads "A heritage minute brought to you by Historica Canada. www.historicacanada.ca #Heritageminutes.

The clip ends.

Piya says THERE YOU GO.
IF YOU DIDN'T KNOW WHO VIOLA
DESMOND IS, A LITTLE
INTRODUCTION.
NIKKI, SHE HAS A STAMP AS WELL.
HOW IMPORTANT ARE THINGS LIKE
THAT, A HERITAGE MINUTE, A STAMP?

The stamp appears on screen. It shows a picture of Viola in her thirties, smiling.

Nikki says IT IS
IMPORTANT TO REFLECT ON AND GIVE
HOMAGE TO THESE GREAT PEOPLE WHO
HAVE LED THE WAY FOR US.
I HAVE TO SAY WITH VIOLA
DESMOND'S SITUATION, WHAT HAD
HAPPENED LED TO THE CIVIL RIGHTS
KIND OF CONVICTION IN CANADA,
BUT 9 YEARS BEFORE ROSA PARKS.
EVERYONE KNOWS ABOUT ROSA PARKS,
BUT VIOLA DESMOND HAPPENED 9
YEARS BEFORE THAT.

Piya says HOW IMPORTANT ARE
THESE THINGS, SYLVIA?

Sylvia says ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE.
IF YOU DON'T HAVE VISIBLE SIGNS
THAT WE'RE NOT ALL THE SAME
CHILDREN AND ADULTS NEVER GET TO
ASK THE QUESTION, WELL, WHO IS
THAT?
CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT THAT?
WHY DO THEY DO IT THIS WAY?
IT'S THAT KIND OF PROCESS THAT
NORMALIZES THE CONVERSATION
ABOUT RACE, IT NORMALIZES THE
CONVERSATION ABOUT WHERE WE COME
FROM.
I THINK THEY'RE ABSOLUTELY
IMPERATIVE.
WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT IT
SINCE EVERYBODY ARRIVED HERE.

[Laughter]

Piya says WE TALKED A LITTLE
BIT ABOUT EDUCATION OFF THE TOP.
I WANT TO DIG INTO IT A BIT MORE.
THIS COMES FROM YOUR
PREDECESSOR, ROSEMARY SADLER.
THIS WAS FROM 2002.

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Schooling required." The quote reads "African Canadian students need to feel affirmed; need to be aware of the contributions made by other Blacks in Canada; need to have role models; need to understand the social forces which have shaped and influenced their community and their identities as a means of feeling connected to the educational experience and their life experience in various regions of
Canada. They need to feel empowered."
From Rosemary Sadler, as quoted in TDSB resource guide: African Heritage Month (2002)

Piya says WHEN YOU LOOK,
NIKKI, LET ME BEGIN WITH YOU.
WHEN YOU LOOK AT BLACK HISTORY
MONTH, HAS IT HAD AS BIG OF AN
IMPACT IN TERMS OF BEING
INTEGRATED INTO THE CLASSROOM IN
ONTARIO?

Nikki says IT'S GETTING
THERE, BUT THERE STILL NEEDS TO
BE A LOT MORE WORK.
I JUST HAVE TO CALL UPON PEOPLE
LIKE MYSELF WHO ARE INTERESTED
IN SHARING THEIR TALENT, GIVING
THEIR TIME, PEOPLE WHO CAN
PROVIDE RESOURCES AND ESPECIALLY
THE FUNDING SO WE CAN IMPLEMENT
ALL THIS.
BUT, YES, I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO
SEE IT AS A REGULAR PART OF
CURRICULUM, BUT IT'S TAKING
TIME.

Piya says WHAT'S THE HOLDUP, DO
YOU THINK?

Sylvia says OUR
HISTORY.
PEOPLE WHO PERCEIVE...

Piya says A PARALLEL HERE,
ISN'T THERE?

The caption changes to "Getting in the classroom."

Sylvia says PEOPLE WHO
PERCEIVE OR WRITE HISTORY,
REMEMBER, IT'S NOT WRITTEN FROM
THE OTHER PERSPECTIVE.
AND THE ISSUE IS ABOUT
INTEGRATING IT IN EVERYTHING WE
DO.
I TELL YOU, I HAVE A LITTLE BIT
OF ENVY OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH,
BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE AN
ABORIGINAL HISTORY MONTH.
WE HAVE A DAY IN JUNE ON THE
21ST WHEN SCHOOL'S NOT IN AND
MAYBE A WEEK OF STUDIES, AND IT
IS ABOUT, IN ALL OF THE THINGS
THAT WE DO.
SO IT HAS TO BE ABOUT GEOGRAPHY.
IT'S GOT TO BE ABOUT MATH.
IT HAS TO BE ABOUT POLITICAL
SCIENCE.
IT'S GOT TO BE ABOUT
RELATIONSHIPS, THIS
MULTICULTURAL DECISION WE'RE
AVOIDING LATELY THAT RIGHTLY
SHOULD BE CALLED RACISM.
WE DON'T DO IT.
WHEN WE SET THINGS ON A PEDESTAL
OR WE GET TO THEM OR TEACHERS
ARE NOT REQUIRED IN
QUALIFICATIONS TO ACTUALLY TAKE
THE COURSE THEMSELVES, WE'RE
DOING A LONG-TERM DISSERVICE,
NOT JUST TO OUR CHILDREN BUT TO
OURSELVES COLLECTIVELY AND OUR
FUTURES, AND THEY ABSOLUTELY
MUST BE DONE, THEY HAVE TO BE
PERVASIVE, THEY CAN'T BE AN
ADD-ON.

Piya says WHY DO YOU THINK
THERE'S SUCH A HANG-UP?

Supriya says TO BE
HONEST, I DON'T THINK THERE'S
THE POLITICAL WILL TO INTEGRATE
IT IN THE EDUCATION SYSTEM.
AS ANDRAY MENTIONED, WITH THE
SUCCESS OF THE BLACK LIVES
MATTER MOVEMENT, WITH IT BEING
TURNED INTO NOT JUST CEREBRAL
CONVERSATION BUT WATER COOLER
CONVERSATION, ACTIVIST
PROTESTER, WHATNOT, WE'RE
HOPEFULLY GETTING TOWARDS A
TIPPING POINT WHERE SOCIETY IS
SORT OF PUSHING OUR POLITICIANS
TO RECOGNIZE THAT THIS IS IN
FACT INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT AND WE
NEED TO INTEGRATE IT PROPERLY
INTO OUR EDUCATION, LIKE SYLVIA
MENTIONED, NOT JUST HISTORY BUT
IN EVERY ASPECT.
THE FACT I DID ALL OF MY
SCHOOLING IN Québec AND HAD
MAYBE TWO DAYS IN GRADE 10 TO
LEARN ABOUT INDIGENOUS HISTORY
IN Québec I THINK IS APPALLING.
THE FACT I DIDN'T LEARN ANYTHING
ABOUT BLACK CANADIANS THROUGHOUT
MY FORMAL EDUCATION AND I DID 9
YEARS OF POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION
I THINK IS ABSOLUTELY GALLING
AND IS AN INDICTMENT OF OUR
ENTIRE SYSTEM.

Piya says MAYBE -- YOU KNOW,
YOU STARTED OFF, ANDRAY, OUR
CONVERSATION SAYING IN CANADA WE
DON'T LIKE TO TALK ABOUT RACE.

Andray says WE DON'T.

Piya says WE DON'T LIKE TALKING
ABOUT THE NEGATIVE CONNOTATIONS
IT HAS...

Andray says WE DON'T
LIKE TALKING ABOUT THE POSITIVE
CONNOTATIONS EITHER.
THE MINUTE YOU START POINTING
OUT THERE'S DIFFERENCES BETWEEN
GROUPS OF PEOPLE FOR ANY
PARTICULAR PEOPLE -- HERE'S THE
THING.
IT WAS AMAZING TO ME THAT
AFTER -- TO KEEP COMING BACK TO
THIS BUT IT'S A LIGHTNING ROD.
AFTER THAT SUPERBOWL
PERFORMANCE, IT'S AMAZING BLACK
CANADIANS AND AMERICANS WENT
INTO WORK AND HAD DIFFERENT
CONVERSATIONS WITH THEIR
CO-WORKERS THAN AMONG
THEMSELVES.
SO CAM NEWTON IN THAT POST
SUPERBOWL PERFORMANCE OR
Beyoncé, WHEN WE WERE TALKING
WITH EACH OTHER.
I HAD LUNCH WITH THE CREATORS OF
THE OSCAR HASHTAG APRIL RAIN AND
WE WERE CELEBRATING HOW BLACK
MEDIA HAS GOTTEN.
EVERYONE IS REALLY STARTING TO
PAY ATTENTION TO NOT JUST OUR
HISTORY, NOT JUST THE CIVIL
RIGHTS CHAPTER, BUT WHAT'S
HAPPENING RIGHT NOW WHICH I
BELIEVE CURRENTLY WE'RE
UNDERGOING AN IMPORTANT ERA IN
CIVIL RIGHTS.
OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN
WILL BE TALKING ABOUT THIS
PERIOD IN TIME.
AND THE CONVERSATIONS WE'RE
HAVING WITH EACH OTHER ARE NOT
THE SAME AS WHAT WE'RE HAVING
WITH WHITE FOLKS, UNFORTUNATELY,
LIKE WE HAVE TO APOLOGIZE...

(Mixed voices)

Piya says THEY'RE OUT THERE IN
THE WORLD.
WHAT Beyoncé HAVE TO DO WITH
BEING A BLACK CANADIAN?
WHAT DOES POLICE OFFICERS BEING
ACCUSED OF SHOOTING YOUNG BLACK
MEN HAVE TO DO WITH YOU BEING A
BLACK CANADIAN, IN YOUR
EXPERIENCE?

Andray says WHAT IT HAS
TO DO WITH ME IS SOMEONE
DISTANTLY RELATED TO ME WAS SHOT
IN PEEL.
IF I WAS TO HAVE A CONVERSATION
WITH THE FAMILY OF ANDREW LOCEU,
THEY WOULD PROBABLY HAVE A FEW
WORDS TO SAY TO YOU.
IN CANADA WE LIKE TO THINK...
WE'RE NOT KILLING PEOPLE.
AT LEAST WE DON'T HAVE POLICE
SHOOTING PEOPLE DOWN IN THE
STREETS, EXCEPT WHEN THEY DO.
WE DON'T HAVE PEOPLE BEING
DISCRIMINATED AGAINST EXCEPT
WHEN THEY ARE.
WE DON'T HAVE PEOPLE SPITTING ON
BLACK PEOPLE IN THE STREETS
EXCEPT WHEN THAT HAPPENED TO MY
BEST FRIEND A COUPLE OF YEARS
AGO.
THE PERSON WHO SPIT IN HIS FACE
CALLED ANYMORE THE N-WORD.
THESE THINGS HAPPEN HERE.
BEYOND THE OVERT ACTS OF RACISM,
IF YOU LOOK AT OUR POLITICAL
STRUCTURE, LOOK AT OUR
PARLIAMENT, LOOK AT TORONTO CITY
COUNCIL, LOOK AT OUR
PROVINCIAL -- LOOK AT OUR
PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT -- I WAS
GETTING TO THAT.
THANK YOU.
LOOK AT OUR JUDICIARY, LOOK AT
OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT.
BLACK PEOPLE ARE ERASED FROM
EVERY POSITION OF LEADERSHIP
THAT THERE PRETTY MUCH IS IN
THIS PROVINCE AND JUST ABOUT IN
THIS COUNTRY.
WE ARE FAR UNDERREPRESENTED.
WE'RE OVERREPRESENTED IN PRISONS
BUT NO ONE CARES ABOUT THAT.
BLACK YOUTH MAKE UP 41 percent OF
CHILDREN INSIDE OF THE CARE OF
CHILDREN'S AID SOCIETY.
NOBODY CARES ABOUT THAT.
NOBODY WANTS TO TALK ABOUT THAT.
THE MOMENT WE SAY GIVE US A
LITTLE BIT OF A SPACE INSIDE OUR
JUDICIARY, LAW ENFORCEMENT,
BUSINESS -- ALL OF A SUDDEN
WE'RE TRYING TO PUSH INTO PLACES
WE ARE AREA NOT WANTED.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH IS IMPORTANT
NOT JUST FOR TALKING ABOUT THE
CONTRIBUTIONS THAT WE HAVE MADE
BUT TALKING ABOUT THE
CONTRIBUTIONS THAT WE CAN MAKE
TO THIS COUNTRY BUT WE'RE NOT
ALLOWED TO DO SO BECAUSE OF
SYSTEMIC RACISM.

Piya says SYLVIA, THROWING THIS
ONE AT YOU BECAUSE AGAIN I SEE
PARALLELS WITHIN THE INDIGENOUS
EXPERIENCE IN HISTORY.
I KNOW YOU'VE HEARD THIS BEFORE.
LET ME THROW IT OUT THERE.
THAT'S NOT MY HISTORY.
WHY DO I NEED TO LEARN ABOUT
YOUR HISTORY, SYLVIA, OR ANDRAY?

The caption changes to "Beyond school walls."

Sylvia says WELL, THE
SIMPLE ANSWER FOR ME,
PARTICULARLY WHEN OUR YOUNG
PEOPLE ARE TALKING TO ME ABOUT
IT, IS OUR CREATION STORY SAYS
WE WERE CREATED HERE BUT THAT
OTHER PEOPLE AND OTHER RACES
WERE CREATED OTHER PLACES.
THE WORD WE MOST USE IN OUR OWN
LANGUAGE TALKS ABOUT BEING
NATURAL PEOPLE.
IT DOESN'T TALK ABOUT BEING
BLACK OR RED OR WHITE OR YELLOW
OR BROWN OR WHERE YOU WERE BORN.
SO IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THE
ULTIMATE EXPRESSION OF PEACE IN
ALL OUR RELATIONSHIPS IS BECAUSE
WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT THESE
THINGS.

Piya says THIS IS OUR SHARED
HISTORY.

Sylvia says THIS IS OUR
SHARED HISTORY.

Supriya says THAT'S A
MUCH MORE POLITE ROUTE THAN I
WOULD HAVE TAKEN.

Piya says OFF YOU GO, SUPRIYA.

Supriya says OF COURSE
IT'S OUR HISTORY.
WE'RE ALL CANADIAN.
WHOEVER HELPED SHAPE THE COUNTRY
THAT WE NOW LIVE IN AND WHERE WE
ARE IS A PART OF THAT HISTORY,
WHETHER OR NOT IT'S INDIGENOUS
OR BLACK OR WHITE.
AND THE FACT THAT WE ONLY LEARN
ABOUT, YOU KNOW, EURO CENTRIC
AND IN MY CASE IN Québec, IT'S
Quebecois, WHICH IS PURE LAND
Quebecers IS WHAT WE WOULD SAY
IN FRENCH, PURE WOOL I GUESS IS
THE TRANSLATION.

Andray says YOU CAN SAY WHITE.

Supriya says IT'S VERY GALLING.
IT'S INSULTING AND IT'S
OFFENSIVE AND THE FACT THAT WE,
YOU KNOW, STILL HAVE TO HAVE
THESE SORTS OF CONVERSATIONS IN
2016 AND WE DON'T HAVE PROPERLY
INTEGRATED CURRICULUM, WE SHOULD
ALL BE ASHAMED AND I'M GLAD
WE'RE HAVING THIS CONVERSATION
BUT AT THE SAME TIME IT'S LIKE,
WHY DO WE HAVE TO HAVE THIS
CONVERSATION?

Andray says SORRY.

Piya says GO AHEAD, ANDRAY, AND
I'LL COME TO SYLVIA.

Andray says WHEN I WAS
IN SCHOOL I REMEMBER ALMOST
HAVING TO APOLOGIZE -- LIKE, I
WAS JUST TAKING UP A SPACE IN
SOMEWHERE I WASN'T SUPPOSED TO
BE BECAUSE BLACK PEOPLE AND
AFRICANS DIDN'T CONTRIBUTE MUCH
TO HISTORY.
I HAD NO IDEA WHAT AFRICANS
CONTRIBUTED TO WHERE WE ARE
RIGHT NOW.
I DID NOT KNOW THAT THE BULK OF
WESTERN CAPITALISM WAS BUILT OFF
THE BACK OF AFRICAN SLAVERY.
I DIDN'T KNOW THAT.
I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT THE HISTORY
OF AFRICAN EMPIRES.
I DIDN'T KNOW THAT THE FIRST
EXPLORATION PARTY INTO CANADA
INCLUDED A BLACK PERSON.
I HAD NO IDEA.
WHAT I DID LEARN, THOUGH, THIS
IS FROM MY CLASSMATES, IS IN
AFRICA WE JUST HAD MUD AND ROCK
AND STICKS WE BUILT STRUCTURES
OUT OF.
IT'S LIKE WE NEEDED PEOPLE TO
COME INTO OUR COUNTRY AND BRING
US OVER HERE AS SLAVES TO
CIVILIZE US.
THAT'S WHAT I LEARNED.
THAT'S WHAT I GREW UP WITH.
AND I GREW UP WITH SELF-HATE
BECAUSE OF THAT REASON.
OUT OF EVERYTHING THAT I LEARNED
WHEN I WAS OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL,
THAT'S HOW I GOT TO BE WHERE I
AM RIGHT NOW, OUT OF
ORGANIZATIONS LIKE YOURS, NIKKI,
WHO HELPED ME UNDERSTAND MYSELF
THIS WAY.
THIS DOESN'T HAVE TO HAPPEN.
THIS IS ENTIRELY AVOIDABLE IF WE
START INTEGRATING MORE STORIES
INTO OUR REGULAR CURRICULUMS.
THE FACT WE LEARNED EURO CENTRIC
HISTORY IS NOT AN ACCIDENT
WHATSOEVER.
THAT'S AN HISTORICAL HOLDOVER.
I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT INDIGENOUS
HISTORY UNTIL I EDUCATE MYSELF
IS NOT AN ACCIDENT.
I'M GLAD WE'RE GETTING TO WHERE
WE ARE NOW WHERE WE CAN HAVE
THESE CONVERSATIONS MORE OPENLY,
BUT WE'RE NOT THERE YET.
THIS IS NO TIME TO SIT BACK AND
BE HAPPY AND SAY AT LEAST WE'RE
TELLING THESE STORIES NOW.
WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO.

Piya says SYLVIA?

Sylvia says I WANTED TO
RAISE THE ISSUE, WE HAVE THESE
CONVERSATIONS.
THERE IS ALWAYS UNIQUE
EXPERIENCES, IN MY NOTION, OF
WOMEN IN COMMUNITY.
I KNOW YOU DON'T LIKE THE WORD
COMMUNITY.

Piya says IT'S OKAY.
IT DOESN'T MATTER IF I LIKE IT.
I USE IT ALL THE TIME DESPITE MY
NOT LIKING IT.

Sylvia says I'M NOT
TALKING ABOUT A SINGLE COMMUNITY.
I BELIEVE ONE OF THE THINGS
THAT'S IMPERATIVE FOR ALL OF US
TO DO, AND I'M GLAD YOU RAISED
THE ISSUE EARLIER WITH RESPECT
TO THE STAMP, BUT WE DON'T DO
ENOUGH EVEN WHEN WE'RE TRYING TO
TRANSMIT THESE HISTORIES TO
BREAK DOWN SOME OF THE GENDER
DIVIDES THAT HAVE OCCURRED.
AND WOMEN HAVE ALWAYS, AROUND
KITCHEN TABLES, IT DOESN'T
MATTER WHOSE KITCHEN TABLE,
TRIED TO CHANGE THE WORLD AND
HAVE THE DISCUSSION.
THEY HAVEN'T HAD THE ACCESS AND
POWER.
AND WE NEED TO MAKE SURE AS WE
TELL THESE STORIES THAT THOSE
STORIES DO COME OUT.

Piya says BY THE WAY, JUST SO
NO ONE YELLS AT ME ON TWITTER,
IT'S NOT THAT I DON'T LIKE THE
WORLD COMMUNITY, IT'S JUST THAT
IT ALLOWS EVERYONE TO BE PAINTED
WITH THE SAME BRUSH THEN, OKAY?
CLEAR THAT UP.
NO HATE MAIL ON THAT ONE ANYWAY.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Tvo.org, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, @theagenda"

Nikki says DECEMBER 9TH,
MYSELF AND A NUMBER OF OTHER
LEADERS IN THE COMMUNITY...
THERE I GO SAYING IT AGAIN, THE
BLACK COMMUNITY -- WE'RE INVITED
TO THE MAYOR'S OFFICE, MAYOR
TORY, TO START THE DISCUSSION
FOR A BLACK MUSEUM IN TORONTO.
SO WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT?

Piya says I THINK THAT'S PRETTY GOOD.

Nikki says I THINK
THAT'S PRETTY GOOD, YEAH.
WE'RE MEETING MONTHLY AND WE'RE
PUTTING TOGETHER THIS VISION.
BUT AS YOU ALLUDED TO EARLIER,
THE FACE OF THE BLACK DIASPORA
KEEPS CHANGING DAILY WITH THE
IMMIGRATION WAVE.
SO WHO DO WE CREATE THIS MUSEUM
FOR?
WHAT ARE THE ORAL HISTORIES THAT
ARE GOING TO BE PASSED DOWN?
WHAT IS IT GOING TO LOOK LIKE?
IT'S A WORK IN PROGRESS.

Piya says WE'RE MAKING STRIDES.
WE'RE CLEARLY NOT WHERE WE WANT
TO BE YET.
DOES BLACK HISTORY MONTH,
THOUGH, ONE MONTH OUT OF 12, LET
US OFF THE HOOK FOR THE OTHER 11?

Andray says I WOULD LIKE
TO SEE US GET TO THE PLACE WHERE
WE DON'T NEED A BLACK HISTORY
MONTH, IS THE COMMON REFRAIN.
THAT'S ACTUALLY NOT MY REFRAIN
ANYMORE.
I USED TO THINK -- LET'S
ACTUALLY TEACH HISTORY SO WELL
WE DON'T NEED A BLACK HISTORY
MONTH.
NOW I'M STARTING TO CHANGE MY
MIND A LITTLE BIT.
WITH EVERYTHING THAT'S BEEN
HAPPENING LATELY WITH THE BLACK
LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT, WITH SO
MANY AMAZING BLACK LEADERS
STANDING UP -- BY THE WAY, JUST
TO YOUR POINT, THE BLACK LIFE
MATTER MOVEMENT WAS STARTED BY
QUEER BLACK WOMEN.
THAT'S THE THING WE SHOULD
UNDERSTAND.
IT'S A POINT IN TIME FOR US TO
MAKE HISTORY, NOT JUST FOR US TO
REFLECT ON HISTORY.
I THINK THE NOTION OF BLACK
PRIDE HAS BEEN SO PRESSED OUT OF
BLACK PEOPLE FOR SO LONG AND I
THINK IT'S NOW BECOMING
ACCEPTABLE FOR US TO SAY, YOU
KNOW, I'M BLACK AND I'M PROUD.
THAT'S BECOMING A THING AGAIN.
THE THING ABOUT BLACKNESS THAT'S
HARD FOR ME TO EXPRESS AND I
THINK HARD FOR A LOT OF OTHER
PEOPLE TO EXPRESS, ALMOST
EVERYTHING THAT NORTH AMERICA
HAS AS FAR AS ITS CULTURE GOES
WAS IN SOME WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM
DRAWN OUT OF BLACKNESS.

Nikki says ABSOLUTELY.

Andray says IF YOU TALK
ABOUT OUR MUSIC OR CULTURE OR
INTERNET.
BLACK PEOPLE MAKE MUSIC ALSO,
DON'T WE?
IT'S BECOME OKAY FOR US TO SIT
BACK AND SETTLE ON OURSELVES AND
SAY, NO, I REALLY AM HAPPY WITH
WHO I AM.
I'M PROUD OF MYSELF AND MY
PEOPLE.
WE USED TO HAVE TO MINIMIZE OUR
BLACKNESS.
FOR ME TO BE ABLE TO GET TO
WHERE I AM AT WORK.
TO GET BY DAY-TO-DAY, I ALMOST
HAVE TO SHRINK INTO MYSELF AND
NOT ALLOW MY BLACK MALENESS TO
BE OFFENSIVE OR INTIMIDATING TO
SOMEONE ELSE.
NOW WE'RE GETTING TO THE POINT
WHERE I CAN WALK WITH MY
SHOULDERS BACK AND CHIN UP AND
BE MYSELF.

Nikki says ARE YOU
SAYING BLACK IS THE NEW BLACK.

Andray says BLACK IS THE
NEW BLACK, THAT'S RIGHT.

Piya says WE DO THIS FOR A
MONTH AND WE ALL GO ON OUR MERRY
WAYS AND DON'T PAY ATTENTION
ABOUT THIS ANYMORE.

Sylvia says I'M ALL
ABOUT CELEBRATION.
I GET IT.
I THINK THERE ARE SAFE WAYS FOR
PEOPLE TO COME TOGETHER AND HAVE
DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS, SO I
BELIEVE IT SHOULD PERMEATE ALL
OF THIS EDUCATION, ALL OF THIS
CHANGE IN ATTITUDE, IT SHOULD
PERMEATE EVERYTHING WE DO.
BUT I'M FINE FOR CELEBRATION.
SO DO THEM ALL.

Piya says OKAY.
SUPRIYA?

Supriya says I'M KIND
OF IN THE SAME BOAT.
JUST TO BRING IT BACK TO YOUR
EARLIER POINT ABOUT IT BEING 20
YEARS SINCE WE'VE ESTABLISHED
BLACK HISTORY MONTH.
WE'VE ONLY REALLY JUST SEEN THE
VIOLA DESMOND HERITAGE CLIP, SO
TO ME IT'S LIKE, EVEN THAT ONE
MONTH THAT WE HAVE, ARE WE
REALLY DOING IT RIGHT?
ARE WE REALLY DOING IT TO ITS
FULL POTENTIAL?
ARE WE REALLY MAKING IT ALL THAT
IT COULD BE?
I DON'T THINK SO.
THERE ARE SO MANY BLACK STORIES
OUT THERE THAT HAVE YET TO BE
TOLD.
TO YOUR POINT EARLIER, PIYA,
WHEN YOU TALKED ABOUT ROSA PARKS
OR DR. KING, CANADIANS DON'T
NECESSARILY KNOW OUR OWN
HISTORY, AND THAT'S PROBLEMATIC.
SOME OF THAT IS UNDERSTANDABLE
BECAUSE SO MUCH OF OUR MEDIA AND
ENTERTAINMENT IS IN FACT
CONSUMED -- IS AMERICAN AND WE
LEARN VIA OSMOSIS.
I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO BE
ABLE TO HIGHLIGHT OUR OWN
STORIES AND OUR OWN BLACK
CANADIANS, AND I THINK WE'RE ON
THE RIGHT TRACK, BUT, YOU KNOW,
WE'RE NOT THERE YET.

Piya says WE HAVE A ROLE TO
PLAY, WE BEING THE MEDIA.
YOU HAVE A DEGREE IN FILM AND
COMMUNICATION, YOUR WORK IN
INTERNET AND TELEVISION AND
RADIO.
WHAT IS THE MEDIA'S ROLE IN ALL
OF THIS?

Nikki says IT'S TO PICK
UP THE STORIES, NOT IGNORE THEM,
AND TO REFLECT WHAT PEOPLE ARE
REALLY SAYING, TO GET OUR THEIR
FRONT LINE AND TO LISTEN TO
THESE STORIES AND SHARE THEM.

Piya says I THINK IT'S FEBRUARY.
I HAVE 18 DAYS.
WHAT SHOULD I LEARN?

Andray says 18 DAYS
TO...

Piya says I'M BEING TRITE.
WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO LEARN IN
18 DAYS.
GIVE ME SOME HOMEWORK.
WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO LEARN?

Supriya says ANDERSON
ABBOTT A GOOD PERSON TO LEARN
ABOUT, THE FIRST BLACK PHYSICIAN
IN CANADA.
I WAS TRASHING THE FACT THAT WE
CONSUME AMERICAN MEDIA AND
STUFF, BUT HE WAS ACTUALLY AT
ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S DEATH BED.

Andray says A COUPLE OF THINGS.
THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE SLEEPING
CARPORTERS, WHICH WAS THE FIRST
BLACK UNION IN NORTH AMERICA.
IT WAS OUT OF WORK IN
CONJUNCTION WITH OUR BROTHERS IN
THE UNITED STATES THAT THAT WAS
CREATED.
AND BLACK
(INAUDIBLE).
WE HAD A ROLE TO PLAY IN WORLD WAR I.
EVEN THOUGH OUR ARMY WAS
SEGREGATED AT THE TIME.
THEY WERE HONOURED FOR THEIR
VALOUR AND WORK ETHIC.
I'M TRYING TO GET LITTLE TIDBITS
OUT OF BLACK HISTORY TO
CELEBRATE INDIVIDUAL PEOPLE.
I THINK ONE THING WE OUGHT TO
GET OUT OF THIS MONTH IS PRIDE
AND KNOWLEDGE OF SELF.
THE SECOND THING IS TRYING TO
CREATE HISTORY, NOT JUST LOOKING
BACK AT PEOPLE AND SAYING, HEY,
THEY WERE GREAT, AND HAD A HUGE
CONTRIBUTION, BUT FOR BLACK
PEOPLE IN NORTH AMERICA TO SAY
WHAT STORY DO I WANT TO BE TOLD
ABOUT ME?
WHAT IS MY LEGACY.
IN THE TIME YOU HAVE LEFT IN
BLACK HISTORY MONTH IS TO UPLIFT
PEOPLE TRYING TO DO THE WORK
RIGHT NOW AND HELP THEM GET TO
WHERE THEY NEED TO.

The caption changes to "Producer: Gregg Thurlbeck, @GreggThurlbeck"

Piya says THANK YOU FOR THE GREAT CONVERSATION.
I APPRECIATE IT.

Watch: Black History Month Matters