Because it’s 2015.
And there’s women in the cabinet
But that might not seem so adequate
To women in the custody of the state
It might not seem that late for black women imprisoned at ever rising rates
Positioned by the colour of her skin to be a criminal by definition
Or it might just seem too soon for indigenous teen girls in Saskatoon
Kicked out of school in the afternoon
At night she’s trafficked on the streets and arrested as suspicious
Should we measure if our progress is finished
By the number of women ministers
Or maybe it should be the number of women prisoners
Perhaps we should consider the condition of women denied tampons or conditioner
Or something even simpler like extra squares of toilet paper.
Her body on camera so demeaning
In addition her visitors
Can be turned away for no particular reasonContinue Reading Women in Prison
When Black Loyalists came to settle in Birchtown, Nova Scotia, in the late 1700s, most arrived as “free blacks.” They were former slaves who fought for the British in the American Revolutionary War in exchange for land and freedom. When they arrived in Birchtown, however, they found themselves still indentured to wealthy white Loyalists in order to survive the harsh conditions. For many, promises of land, food and lodgings never materialized. Birchtown residents did the best they could to take care of each other, but many starved or died from disease. This so-called paradise was a living hell, but it was better than slavery and a master’s whip.
“Grace and Roberta” tells of two such settlers and the night of the Shelburne Riots, the first recorded race riot in Canada.
The story, I am told, is that my great-great-grandfather came to Nova Scotia from Ireland once slavery was abolished in Great Britain. Despite the many hardships he faced, he managed to send his three sons to university and dream into the future so I can have the life I now live.
I am Black History
The story, I am told, is that my white great-grandmother came to Nova Scotia from France. She met and fell in love with a Black man. Her family said, “You can have him or you can have us.” Their union produced my grandfather, who produced my mother, who produced me.