New Canadian Media

by Sam Minassie (@SamMinassie) in Mississauga, Ontario

“Soulful.”

“It’s just the truth, it’s one of my favourite plays.”

“I look forward to seeing more from the writer and what he does in the future.”

Those were just a few of the sentiments heard from audience members leaving the showing of Secrets of a Black Boy at the Maja Prentice Theatre in Mississauga, ON Tuesday night.

Six years after its initial debut, Darren Anthony’s hard-hitting comedic drama was still met by positive feedback from the crowd that gathered to watch the first show of a tour that will eventually move on to major American cities like Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

The play touches on a number of controversial themes that exist within the black community, but are rarely discussed within the public sphere. No topic is off limits as the drama portrays the everyday struggles of what it is like to be a black man within society today.

“We don’t really discuss the hard-hitting issues, issues like suicide, transgender, sexuality,” explains Anthony. “… I wanted to be a voice for the voiceless, [for] my peers, as well as the youth that I work with.”

“I find as a black man, we’ve conditioned ourselves to be strong as nails, not have any emotions or talk about our issues and those qualities are very problematic.” - Darren Anthony

The plot follows five black men as they reveal intimate accounts of events that have taken place within their lives over one last game of dominoes at their local recreational centre – right before it is scheduled to be torn down. Each of the characters represents a man at a different point in his life, who is going through problems that he has never been able to share with his peers.

Anthony says that this fear of opening up to one another served as a huge motivator behind his desire to be the one to start a dialogue on a lot of the issues covered.

“I find as a black man, we’ve conditioned ourselves to be strong as nails, not have any emotions or talk about our issues and those qualities are very problematic,” he says, adding, “I want to make sure that men seeing this realize that they can articulate their feelings and they can be vulnerable.”

Breaking Out of Society’s 'Sanctions'

The play gives viewers an in-depth look into the mind of a black man through a series of soliloquies, in which characters are able to share their innermost feelings. The pent-up emotion explodes from within the actors on stage as they reveal a side of them that is rarely, if ever, seen.

This was something that clearly resonated with several audience members including Lavelle Adams Grey, a post-secondary student who made the trip from Brampton to see the production.

“[The aspect that] I could relate to most, [would have to have been] trying to adapt to what society makes out of us as being a black man.” - Lavelle Adams Grey

“[The aspect that] I could relate to most, [would have to have been] trying to adapt to what society makes out of us as being a black man,” says Grey. “Trying to come up on your own and society putting sanctions on what you can do and trying to break out of that.”

The tension built up during the play’s dramatic scenes eventually eased through comedic interludes that provided a laugh without straying too far from the topics at hand. Edgy one-liners like, “If there wasn’t a black man around, a cop wouldn’t have a job,” kept the mood light during some very pressing discussions.

First-time viewer, Jeleesa Walker, commended the actors and Darren on this, stating, “They connected with the audience and not every movie or play that you see connects with the audience like that. They incorporate the crowd so that keeps your attention and keeps you happy.”

More Storytellers Needed

While Anthony indicates he had several motivators, he credits his older sister, Trey Anthony, as one of his biggest inspirations.

Trey, also a successful playwright, is most notably known as the mastermind behind the award-winning, da Kink in My Hair, which focuses on the difficulties black women must face and has since been remade into a television series. She was the one who initially challenged her brother to write about a lot of these issues from a black male’s perspective – something rarely seen within media outlets. Anthony’s continued appreciation for his sister’s support was put on full display during an emotional embrace following the conclusion of the play.

“I find that when it comes to urban stories, there’s a lot of people who are telling our stories, but they don’t come off as being authentic.” - Darren Anthony

Moving forward, Anthony says that in order for more realistic portrayals of black men to become prevalent within the media, more individuals from within these communities must step up as storytellers.  

“I find that when it comes to urban stories, there’s a lot of people who are telling our stories, but they don’t come off as being authentic,” Anthony says. “And I wanted to make sure that I was that individual, being in social work and being a storyteller for so many years, I have some credibility and I know what I am talking about, I’m on the front lines.”

Stage Photo By: Sam Minassie

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in Arts & Culture

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne told an appreciative audience of more than 700 people at the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and UJA...

-- Delivered by Feed43 service

The Canadian Jewish News

Read Full Article

Published in Israel

Highlights: Not an "unwitting dupe", says minister + It's a civic debate, not a "culture war" + Politicians are courting the immigrant vote  + Radio Mango anniversary + Take a peek inside the Governor General's + Exclusive interview with Deepak Obhrai + much more 


 

NCM NewsFeed

Subscribe to Our Newsletter
 

Here and Now

 

Tired of being portrayed as the "unwitting dupe of a foreign government," Ontario's cabinet minister Michael Chan has published an open letter aimed at his critics, including the Globe and Mail. Chan faces allegations that his ties to China compromise his commitment to national security

 

"Nothing I have done in any way supports any suggestion that I am a possible threat to Canada or to Ontario."

 
The longest-serving visible minority MP sits down with New Canadian Media in an exclusive interview about ethnic identity, foreign policy and the shifting support for Conservatives. Tory MP Deepak Obhrai is facing re-election in Alberta, where a rival party, the NDP, recently scored a major victory. He reveals how he feels about facing the "orange wave" at the ballot box. 
Media, a "gateway for terror groups?" NCM mentee Maria Ikonen writes how the "media hysteria" surrounding Muslims and other minorities might actually contribute to increased radicalization

It was the first time a high-level Lebanese delegation had come to Vancouver in 50 years, and author Hadani Ditmars was eager to catch up with them. But as she rushes to meet with the Lebanese foreign minister and his entourage, she recalls her own family's history of immigration and integration.

Degrees, credentials, references... But no job. That's a problem facing many local and international graduates living in Halifax. But a new program has claimed to help 556 job-hunters find work, by connecting them with local employers and community leaders.
Fewer hate crimes, except for Muslims? The overall number of hate crimes in Canada has dropped in recent years. But while every other hate crime statistic is down, anti-Muslim crimes are on the rise. That's why the National Council of Canadian Muslims is striking back, with an awareness project aimed at encouraging Canadians to report hate crimes

 

Labelling Ontario's sex-ed controversy as a "culture war" is dismissive to multicultural voices, Robin Brown argues in an opinion piece for NCM. Brown explores how the term is used to pit "religious" immigrants against "Western, secular liberalism."

 

"Ugly" changes coming to Canada's citizenship laws? Immigration lawyer Will Tao breaks down what's new for Canadian citizenship applicants, thanks to recently enacted amendments to the Citizenship Act. Find out what measures might endanger immigrants' "security of citizenship and permanent peace of mind."

 

Time to court the immigrant vote! Foreign policy research fellow Anita Singh explains how the immigrant community can make waves in this year's elections-- and how politicians need to go beyond "shaking hands and baby kissing" to earn immigrants' votes. 
 

Ontario's NDP leaders Andrea Horwath and Jagmeet Singh met with ethnic media outlets on Monday to discuss how politicians can better connect with immigrant communities. They warned that some candidates might offer a “false sense of support” to ethnic groups, rather than meaningful policies

 

"An expensive under-performer."That's how iPolitics correspondent Wayne Kondro describes Canada's health care system. He reports that Canada is failing to offer "consumer driven" health care, continuing instead to over-test and over-treat its patients.

 

"If you try to expose it, they’re going to face you with some kind of backlash, which can be tough when you feel somewhat marginalized." 

Roger Love, on reporting hate crimes in Canada

Ripples


       
 

An ulterior motive behind Stephen Harper's Euro-trip? A critic from the New Democratic Party suggests Harper is visiting countries with large diaspora communities in Canada, as a strategy to drum up votes at home. Harper's much-documented tour passed through Ukraine and Poland, two countries with substantial immigrant populations in Canada.
Head coverings now get twice the screening at Canadian airports, as the result of new security procedures. The World Sikh Organization of Canada has condemned the new measures as "discriminatory" against Sikhs, who wear turbans for religious reasons.
Anti-Semitic incidents reached a record high in Canada last year, according to an audit by B'nai Brith. Over 1,600 cases of harassment, vandalism or violence were documented, surpassing the previous all-time high in 2012.
A political crisis verging on civil war in Burundi is forcing many residents to flee, but Canada might not be a safe haven for them. Fifty-three Burundians in Canada have already been notified to leave. The Burundi diaspora is calling on Canada to stop the expulsion and to condemn the "illegal" presidential campaign that's causing the crisis.

Harmony Jazz

Would-be refugees are drowning as they cross the Mediterranean in rickety boats, in order to seek asylum in Europe. One French editor argues that lives would be saved if refugees could board flights, rather than risk the "death-boats."

But those African refugees often get stopped at airport check-in counters without a visa, as one professor explains in a YouTube video. He claims that Europe is shirking its responsibility to protect refugees by transferring the task of deciding who's worthy of refugee status to the airlines themselves.

 

The Islamic State, also called Daesh,is exploiting the "rootlessness" and alienation felt by so many young people, according to Marine General John Allen.His speech on ISIS recruitment was praised for its deep understanding of how young people feel separated from mainstream culture, thanks to migration, technology and global conflict. 

“Daesh is practiced in exploiting a sense of rootlessness and separation that many young people feel in their communities.”

Islamic scripture to blame for Muslim terrorism? Not so, says Middle East expert William McCants. He responds to claims from the controversial author Ayaan Hirsi Ali that Islam needs reform to prevent its followers from turning to violence

Back Pocket

Celebrating three years of broadcasting in the western Indian language Konkani, Radio Mango is preparing an anniversary extravaganza. When the show first aired, it made history as Canada's first Konkani-language radio program. Its anniversary celebration will kick off at the Red Rose Convention Centre in Mississauga on Friday, September 18. 
Hang out with David Johnston, Canada's governor general, as he presides over the annual inspection of the Ceremonial Guard at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 27, at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. And while you're there, join Johnston and the Ceremonial Guard as they celebrate literacy with the launch of "Storytime at Rideau Hall," starting at 11 a.m.

Want to peak in the governor general's house? Here's your chance. The Citadelle of Québec is offering free tours of the quarters where Canada's governors general have been staying since 1872. Tours are available from June 24 to August 30. 
Retreat from the summer heat and catch a "hot doc" indoors. The Mosaic Institute presents a series of four thought-provoking films that explore the relationship between Armenians and Turkey, starting June 21 at 1 p.m. The event will be held at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema in Toronto. 

With that, have a great weekend and don’t forget to look up the next edition of NCM NewsFeed every Friday!

Publisher’s Note: This NewsFeed was compiled with input from our Newsroom Editors and regular columnist, Andrew Griffith. We welcome your feedback.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

 

Follow us on:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Published in Top Stories
Friday, 19 June 2015 02:01

OHRC Targets Bias-free Policing

By Gerald V. Paul Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released its 2014-15 annual report with a focus on bias-free policing, mental health disabilities and addictions, gender identity and gender expression…

-- Delivered by Feed43 service

The Caribbean Camera

Read Full Article

Published in National

By Gerald V. Paul Ontario Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Yasir Naqvi answered the call for political action by announcing plans for regulations to standardize the controversial police…

-- Delivered by Feed43 service

The Caribbean Camera

Read Full Article

Published in Top Stories

Ontario cabinet minister Michael Chan is firing back at the Globe and Mail for front-page articles in the last two days suggesting he could be a threat to national security over close ties to the Chinese consulate in Toronto. The citizenship, immigration and international trade minister said the Globe stories are “little more than a […]

-- Delivered by Feed43 service

Canadian Immigrant

Read Full Article

Published in National
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 19:16

I'm No Dupe of China, Rebuts Michael Chan

by Ranjit Bhaskar (@ranjit17) in Toronto

Ontario cabinet minister Michael Chan has joined issue with the Globe and Mail over its reporting this week suggesting he could be a threat to national security on account of his close ties with China.

In an open letter, the provincial Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade said the articles “are little more than a re-hash of ludicrous allegations published – and debunked – five years ago. Indeed, the Globe & Mail at that time properly called the suggestions 'reckless, foolish and contradictory.'"

The allegations Chan was referring to spring from a CBC interview with former Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) director Richard Fadden aired in 2010. Fadden did not identify anyone in that interview nor did he elaborate on specific concerns. After a backlash from politicians and Chinese-Canadians, Fadden recanted and the controversy subsided.

Persistent Theme

"There is a persistent theme that there is a perceived risk that I am under undue influence and that I am an unwitting dupe of a foreign government," Chan asserted in his open letter today. 

However, following the Globe and Mail articles, federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay said there is an “ongoing investigation” involving Chan. “Clearly there are people outside our country, as inside our country, who would seek to exert influence,” MacKay, who would not comment on specifics of the probe, said.

MacKay’s comments highlight the difference between Ottawa and Queen’s Park over the issue. Premier Kathleen Wynne on Tuesday defended her minister, saying any concerns about Chan were “baseless,” and the federal spy agency’s suspicions lacked substance. “He has my trust.”

“All of those have been addressed. There was nothing of substance that has been brought forward to me,” the Premier said during an unrelated factory tour in Cambridge, Ont. “Michael Chan has done his job with respect and with honour. He has worked incredibly hard for the people of Ontario and he continues to do so.”

Chan first became a cabinet minister eight years ago under former premier Dalton McGuinty and has continued to serve under Wynne.

“On our trade mission together last fall to China, Michael was instrumental in attracting to Ontario almost $1 billion in new investment by Chinese companies, creating 1,800 jobs,” said Wynne. “There are some who may believe that there is something sinister about maintaining deep ties with one’s country of origin, or one’s culture. I believe the opposite and so do millions of Canadians who have immigrated to Canada.”

“There are some who may believe that there is something sinister about maintaining deep ties with one’s country of origin, or one’s culture. I believe the opposite and so do millions of Canadians who have immigrated to Canada.” - Wynne

Globe reporting

Chan in his letter says the banner headline of the first article on Monday gives the impression that it contains a major revelation, with a  headline in bold type in the print edition stating that it has been alleged that “this Minister” could be a “threat” to Canada.

“Although I have been a minister for eight years, it is probably true that most Ontarians do not know me well. For many, their first impressions of me will be from the headlines in the recent Globe articles. It hurts me that this is the case,” Chan wrote, saying the body of the article contains a blend of innuendo and half-suggestions although “nothing I have done in any way supports any suggestion that I am a possible threat to Canada or to Ontario.”

A second story that followed on Wednesday details his emigration to Canada and his rise to success in business and politics.  Chan, in his open letter, said maintaining deep, meaningful connections with one’s culture, with one’s country of origin, is something millions of Canadians cherish. “I came to this country as a young man. Canada welcomed me. While I am proud of my Chinese heritage, I am a Canadian first and foremost. I owe all the success I have had to this country and, most particularly, to the province of Ontario.”

"There is a persistent theme that there is a perceived risk that I am under undue influence and that I am an unwitting dupe of a foreign government." - Chan

Chan, a prominent Liberal fundraiser in Chinese circles, said he would like to think that in some small way he has served as an example to all Canadians who may wish to take part in public affairs. He concluded his letter by saying he will continue to encourage newer Canadians to take an active role in public life.

“They should not be discouraged by the fear of allegations that the everyday actions of newer Canadians need to be minutely examined to determine if they somehow have lesser loyalties to this country.”


This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in Top Stories

AN open letter from Ontario’s Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade Michael Chan about recent Globe and Mail articles on him (the newspaper carried two front-page articles suggesting he could be a threat to national security over close ties to the Chinese consulate in Toronto):   I wish to make a statement about […]

-- Delivered by Feed43 service

Indo-Canadian Voice

Read Full Article

Published in National

by Robin Brown (@RobinBrown) in Toronto, Ontario

In 1988, at the age of 21 in my native England, I marched through London to protest against the introduction of a law called Clause 28. The law, introduced by the Conservative Party, banned the “promotion of homosexuality” in British schools.

We saw it as discrimination. The use of the term “promotion” was disingenuous. It would prevent gay teachers from being honest about their sexuality and it would prevent teaching children the facts about sexual orientation.

A lot has changed since then. A couple of years ago, my son, aged 11 and at school in Ontario, casually mentioned his teacher was gay, with no judgment or surprise. That change is a result of what has been called a “culture war” that has occurred in Europe and North America in the 27 years since I joined that march. That “war” has involved ongoing debates about gender roles, sexual freedom and discrimination. 

At this point in history, it seems that I and the tens of thousands of others who marched that day have, at least to some extent, won. Clause 28 has been repealed in England. My children’s teachers can present them the facts about sexual orientation without fear of the law. They actively prevent bullying and discrimination based on sexual orientation. I am proud of being part of a generation who helped bring this about.

The Return of the “Culture War”?

So when I heard that parents in Ontario were opposing the new Health and Physical Education curriculum, my immediate reaction was, “Oh no, here we go again.” I felt the progress we fought for was being threatened.

I immediately reverted to the culture-war paradigm. Within that paradigm, there are always two sides. From the progressives’ perspective on one side, there is progress, enlightenment and freedom. On the other side, there is intolerance and ignorance. And the debate around the curriculum now is being framed within this context.

So, it came as a surprise to me when one of my Chinese colleagues said that she and many of her friends are opposed to the curriculum. She did not fit the mould of my culture-war opponents. She is not motivated by religion. She said she opposes discrimination based on sexual orientation and absolutely supports the right to same-sex marriage. Nor does she want to revert to the norms of her native China where she believes that sex education is inadequate.

As we spoke I realized that, although I was viewing this issue through the culture-war lens, she was not. Growing up outside of the “West,” she did not share the same frame of reference.  Nor do many of the immigrant parents in Ontario who oppose the curriculum.

As we spoke I realized that, although I was viewing this issue through the culture-war lens, she was not. Growing up outside of the “West,” she did not share the same frame of reference. Nor do many of the immigrant parents in Ontario who oppose the curriculum.

Time to Reframe the Controversy

Many Canadians are surprised by the strength of opposition to the curriculum from the foreign-born population in Ontario. And the Canadian-born tend to try to understand it in the context of the culture war.

The media have framed it in classic culture-war terms: “socially conservative” or “religious” immigrants standing in opposition to Western, secular liberalism.

Many assume that is it driven by prejudice. No doubt, sometimes it is. The media have framed it in classic culture-war terms: “socially conservative” or “religious” immigrants standing in opposition to Western, secular liberalism.

But many of the foreign-born parents who oppose it do not see themselves on either side of a culture war. That frame of reference simply does not exist for many of the Ontarians born outside of Canada. To debate it on those terms does not help those wanting to either understand their opposition or to engage them in debate.

To date, the allegedly socially conservative foreign-born populations have largely avoided picking a side in Canada’s culture war. They have not organized against same-sex marriage or any other progressive changes in Canada and polls do not show them keen to do so. Conservative attempts to motivate them using decriminalization of marijuana as a wedge issue have largely fallen flat.

The Health and Physical Education curriculum issue is unique. And to understand its uniqueness, you have to attempt to truly understand differing ethnic cultural values.

Yes, some of it is due to religion, but that tells only a small part of the story. Much of the opposition is driven by differing perspectives, rooted in ethnic culture, on parenting and the role of the family and the child within it. Studies of ethnic culture have shown vastly different attitudes on that aspect of human life. That topic alone could expand this column into a book, but the key point is that it does not necessarily relate to attitudes to sexual orientation in the way that looking at the issue from a Western culture-war perspective would lead you to assume.

Dismissing Difference Is Not the Answer

I support the new curriculum one hundred percent and will argue strongly in its favour. I hope it prevails, as I do see it as a necessary continuation of the progress we have made since I joined that protest almost 30 years ago.

I urge the government of Ontario to truly try to understand the perspective of parents who oppose it and not to drown out the voices of those who object. Many of them are engaging in a true civic debate for the first time since their arrival in Canada. 

But I urge the government of Ontario to truly try to understand the perspective of parents who oppose it and not to drown out the voices of those who object. Many of them are stepping up to make their voices heard and engage in a true civic debate for the first time since their arrival in Canada. Dismissing them as ignorant or intolerant is neither useful nor just.

It requires that we jettison some of the frames of reference that we find so comfortable when making sense of the world.

Multiculturalism is not always easy. It doesn’t simply mean a few extra “exotic” items on restaurant menus. It requires genuine understanding and respect for ethnic cultural differences. And it requires that we jettison some of the frames of reference that we find so comfortable when making sense of the world.

In this case, for me, that means standing down in the culture war to try to understand a truly different perspective. 

Isn’t that also progress?

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in Commentary

ONTARIO is moving to standardize police street checks across the province, and will establish rules to ensure these encounters are without bias, consistent, and carried out in a manner that promotes public confidence, the provincial government announced on Tuesday. Over the summer, the province will consult with community organizations, policing partners, civil liberty organizations, the […]

-- Delivered by Feed43 service

Indo-Canadian Voice

Read Full Article

Published in National

Poll Question

Do you agree with the new immigration levels for 2017?

Yes - 30.8%
No - 46.2%
Don't know - 23.1%
The voting for this poll has ended on: %05 %b %2016 - %21:%Dec

Featured Quote

The honest truth is there is still reluctance around immigration policy... When we want to talk about immigration and we say we want to bring more immigrants in because it's good for the economy, we still get pushback.

-- Canada's economic development minister Navdeep Bains at a Public Policy Forum economic summit

Zo2 Framework Settings

Select one of sample color schemes

Google Font

Menu Font
Body Font
Heading Font

Body

Background Color
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Top Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Header Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Mainmenu Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Slider Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Scroller Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Mainframe Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Bottom Scroller Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Breadcrumb Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Bottom Menu Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Bottom Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image
Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image