Views from Here: My Blackness
Published on March 31, 2023
Views from Here is a youth guest blog series featuring voices from youth from our COM-Unity partner organizations. In the series, English-speaking youth share what it means to them to find— and sometimes struggle for— a sense of belonging in Quebec.
by Ayana Monuma
As smooth as a coffee bean
and as dark as a locked screen.
Sheathed in ebony
rich, lush creamy.
Polished in cocoa butter
and as delightful as a satisfying shiver.
Like butterflies make the heart flutter,
my Blackness makes the world stutter.
Black, Indigenous, People of Colour,
My identity is swallowed by an acronym.
Or convenient for the oppressor?
Is my assigned flock
Worded and herded
No longer deserted.
My Blackness is recognized before my name
Screaming as I walk through the doorframe
How I am received is determined
Before my mouth opens
Standing out loud
I hold my head up, proud
My Blackness will never cease
Nor am I here to appease.
The idea of promoting diversity is to allow various people from all walks of life to share common spaces and just be. We all need to be recognized as independent beings with various lived experiences. There must be a common desire for awareness, openness, and acceptance to create such an atmosphere, especially in Quebec, where identity and language are at the forefront of debates. English-speaking Quebecers are often treated like outcasts or, even worse, rejected. Black English-speaking Quebecers are discriminated against twice, once for their skin colour and again because of their spoken language. To promote an equitable society that prioritizes diversity and a sense of belonging, individuals must first seek knowledge of different realities. Secondly, individuals must actively listen to differing ideologies, experiences, and beliefs. Lastly, individuals must accept the presence of these diverse ways of being. In other words, there must be a consensus to live and let live and to do it together.
About the Author:
Ayana Monuma currently works in the community sector, specifically with Black-English-speaking youths. She is also a full-time Concordia student completing a Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education. Prideful of her Haitian heritage, her ultimate goal is to give back to Black students by equitably impacting the pedagogical educational curriculum.