To celebrate Black history and culture, Word Up Barrie organized a Black History Month Panel discussion last week. It moderated by founding member Linda Laforge and featuring Barrie’s Poet Laureate Tyneisha Ternet, songwriter and performing artist Oliver Joseph, and poets Tru and Louise.
They answered questions educating people about the importance of diversity, need for comprehensive school curriculums that highlight Black culture, their inspirations, and their plans for the near future.
“I don’t necessarily see it as our responsibility or our job to educate people that’s really comes down to the person,“ said Joseph about educating people about building diverse and equitable society. “If they want to do that themselves. They gotta go do their due diligence, and look into the history and do their research and educate themselves further as well.“
Louise, who went to school in Barrie, stressed on the importance of diversity in Barrie. “I just believe in an inclusive environment. Like truly I believe in love beyond everything,” she said.
Tru said “I myself have been programming trying to decolonize my own mind. There have been times I’ll see a Black man walking on the street. I want to clench my jaw. Where did that come from? Feel me. I did not teach myself that. I was raised with a bunch of black brothers. That’s very loving and caring.“ Tru also said that media needs to focus on Black success.
Ternet said despite of facing racism, she tries to focus on poistive. “One thing I’ve learned to do is not let it stop me from going off to my dreams, not let it stop me from doing what’s on my heart, are living the life that I hope my daughter have a better one (life).