November Vol 2, Welcome!
Looks like the snow has arrived! Snow is magical, and in Simcoe County we sure do encounter a lot of it throughout the winter. In the past two days I have had to clean off my car four times already – and it’s 9am on the second day.
One thing I know is that there is a general trope that Black people don’t like the snow. This is, of course, an absurd generalization that is not true of all Black people. Plus, winter activities in the snow are great for anyone to enjoy! However, do Black people feel safe in snowy spaces?
If the NHL is 99% white, if the winter Olympics are mostly made up of white countries, if the ski hills are populated with only white faces, then why would Black people feel safe to join in?
As a young person, hearing the only representation of Black winter sports as the Jamaican Bobsled Team made me think that it actually was ridiculous that Black people would like snow. All this while there were Black people around me, going outside at recess in winter, shoveling out their cars after a large snowfall, going to the grocery store in a snow squall, and sledding with the rest of the neighbourhood kids.
This cultural perception is harmful. It stereotypes Black people in such a way that it hinders people from being physically active in the winter when they otherwise would be. It makes Black people feel unsafe in the spaces held for winter activities.
The answer is more representation. When you see yourself reflected in the faces on the ski hill, you feel more like you belong on the ski hill. If the only reference our culture currently has for Black winter sport is the Jamaican bobsled team and Cool Runnings it leads to the incorrect perception that Black people don’t like winter sports.
So get out there! Get on those ski hills! Take up space! You deserve to feel like you can do whatever you like doing! Skiing and enjoying yourself as Black Joy and Black Resistance.
Enough from my white perspective: read more on the topic (as well as a hilarious anecdote) from a Black voice (Zaron Burnett III), here!
Christopher Fee (he/they)- 2SLGBTQPNIA+ Coordinator
In this edition of the UPlift Black Voices Newsletter you’ll find Art, Project UPdates, Terms to Know, Book Recommendations, Important Dates, 2SLGBTQPNIA+ and UPlift Spotlight!
UPlift Black Art
This week we wanted this section to speak for itself. No further explanation, no description, nothing. All we ask is you open your ears, hearts and minds. Hear what they are sharing, let it wash over you like a wave in the ocean. Allow it to soak in, sit with it. Now what? What will you do?
Crystal Valentine – “Black Privilege”
(CUPSI 2015 Finals) – Button Poetry
Porsha O. – “Angry Black Woman”
IWPS Finals 2014 – Poetry Slam
Alok Vaid-Menon – “Funeral”
Are you a local (Simcoe/Muskoka) Black artist or do you know one that should be featured? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPlift Black YouTube Channel
Did you hear UPlift Black has a YouTube channel?! Well you have now! Subscribe to our channel here, you can catch up on all the episodes of the Web Series. Next Friday 27th a new episode will be released! You won’t want to miss it! Make sure to like, comment and share!
UPlift Black Merchandise
Come find us tomorrow Saturday 21st at Sonder Studio + Event in Barrie at 132 Penetang st for all your UPlift Black merch needs! We have hoodies, tshirts, toques, travel mugs, water bottles, and masks. Can’t make it to the local holiday market? No worries, our merch is now live on our website! Click on the merch shop tab to order online, supporting never looked so good!
Hey y’all we have extended this run of book club by a month, meaning there’s still time to sign up, read the book and join in on the fun! The books this time are Muslim Cool: Race, Religion, and Hip Hop in the United States by Su’ad Abdul Khabeer (Adults) and The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste (Youth). First check in will be next month, more details to come in the next newsletter. Don’t want to miss out on the fun? Sign up for book club here!
Pay it Forward – The Good Food Boxes
Each month UPlift Black has the opportunity with the support of Urban Pantry Barrie to participate in the “Pay it Forward” Barrie Good Food Boxes. What does this mean? It means that every 3rd Wednesday of the month, based on availability, we have Good Food Boxes filled with fresh, high-quality, seasonal fruits and vegetables. The amount of boxes to give each month depends on donations that come from the community. If you and/or those within your household are members of the Black community in Barrie and Innisfil please register to receive a Good Food Box. Boxes will be given out on a first come, first serve basis – one box per family, every 6 months. Your privacy is important to us, all information remains confidential. We all deserve delicious fresh food, please fill out the form here to receive your box. To purchase a pay it forward box for UPlift Black visit www.barriegoodfoodbox.com.
Terms to Know
Always with a capital B, Black is a word that describes anyone of African descent, regardless of nationality. Black is used when referencing the Black experience in North America. Say it loud: I’m Black and I’m proud!
This term was coined to describe Black people who were enslaved from the 17th through 19th centuries and brought to the Americas through the slave trade. Not all people who are Black are African-American; the African implies direct recent lineage to Africa. Many Black Americans are from the Caribbean, West Indies, are born directly in America, or now from all over the world, such as Europe, Asia, and the Pacific Islands.
This acronym stands for People of Colour, and represents any person who is visibly not white (Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Indian, Asian, Pacific Islander, etc.). POC tend to experience racist systems, where white counterparts do not.
This acronym stands for Black and Indigenous People of Colour. It is a more nuanced version of POC, pointing to the commonalities between the Black and the Indigenous experience in North America. Black people suffer because the colour of their skin is not valued in a white society, and Indigenous people are continually erased and stolen from. Remember that this is an acronym, and the words should still be said out loud. BIPOC is not a word.
This is the UK version of the term BIPOC, alluding to the unique experiences of Black and Asian people in Europe. The acronym stands for Black/Asian/Minority Ethnic.
When in doubt, be as specific as possible. Ask the person you are addressing what they would like to be addressed as. For example, ensure that you are using BIPOC instead of POC if you are talking about Black or Indigenous experience in North America specifically.
- Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed
- Splash, Anna Hibiscus! by Atinuke
- Baby Goes to Market by Atinuke
- Smash It! by Francina Simone
- Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
- Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
- Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James
Date: Saturday November 21st 12-4pm
Event: The [East End] Shop Local Market Christmas Edition
Location: Sonder Studio + Events 132 Penetang St, Barrie ON
Come visit us at our table alongside other local vendors! Get your hands on some UPlift Black merch while chatting with us to find out what we’re up to, plans for the coming year(s) and all the ways you can Share, Support and Show UP! See you there 🙂
Have any UPcoming Important Dates? Let us know, email us at email@example.com
Have you heard? Africa has 2SLGBTQPNIA+ people living there!
Unfortunately, due to the detrimental effects of colonization across the continent by Europeans who enforced a strong gender and sexual binary, Indigenous Africans in general have been socialized to believe that gender and sexual diversity is abnormal or unnatural. This is a similar experience to the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island (what is now known as North America); those who were forced against their will into Residential schools were subject to harsh enforcement of the gender binary. ‘Males’ were socialized to be men, and ‘females’ were socialized to be women, according to the European culture.
There are currently movements across North America and Africa to decolonize gender and sexuality. Indigenous Africans, as well as Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island, have had more than two genders for centuries. Gender and spirituality are closely linked together and people who were hxstorically gender or sexually variant were revered and considered to have spiritual powers above others.
Sadly, because of colonization, Africa has a long way to go to be accepting of gender and sexual diversity. Homosexuality is still criminalized in 38 of 54 African countries. In order to help move the African 2SLGBTQPNIA+ community forward, a website called ‘Kuchu Times’ has been formed and helps to amplify the queer and trans narrative within Africa.
Two terms you should know:
Kuchu is a slang term adopted by the Ugandan 2SLGBTQPNIA+ community to secretly identify themselves and easily talk to others about issues affecting them while in public. 2SLGBTQPNIA+ issues are still heavily stigmatized.
Ubuntu is an African term that translates to ‘I am because we are’. It refers to offering humanity toward others, and philosophically represents the idea that all humans are connected through a universal bond of sharing.
Alright, here is the website! https://www.kuchutimes.com/about/ This website is a fantastic source to help understand the issues facing the African 2SLGBTQPNIA+ community.
Christopher Fee – 2SLGBTQPNIA+ Coordinator
Need a lawyer or notary public? Lexon Law has you covered. Located in Innisfil at 15-1070 Innisfil Beach Road, visit their website for more information here or call 705-294-5100. Simple. Good. Advice.
Midhurst Family Eye Care
Dr. Naghmeh Thompson and Midhurst Family Eye Care proudly serve Midhurst, communities in Springwater township and surround, located at 23 Finlay Mill Rd Midhurst. Offering services such as examinations, specialty testing, emergency eye care and more. For more information visit their website here or call 705-722-8548.
Do you know a Black individual or a Black Owned Business that should be Spotlighted? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.