Updated: Mar 25
February was Black History Month and at work we were with a lot of advocacy effort surrounding that. Prior to Emancipation, Black people, in North America and the Caribbean faced terrible hardship through the trade in enslaved people. We all understand and accept that reality. What we fail to understand is that in our current context, Black people still face tremendous through systemic racism. Although as a person of colour I have faced – and continue to face – my fair share of racial prejudice, there is no way I can compare my experience to that of my Black brothers and sisters. There are entire communities of Black people in Canada that face barriers to health and wellbeing. This includes barriers to better education, jobs, housing, access to finance, equal treatment under the law … the list goes on and on. The same is true for the First Nations and Indigenous peoples in Canada. This is the reason for the use of the acronym BIPOC – Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. Until society in North America can acknowledge and address the racial prejudice faced by these peoples we will never move forward.
Although the paradigm might be slightly different in Trinidad and other Caribbean islands, the principle remains the same. We have all suffered at the hands of the colonial masters. They used our colour against us – pitting Black against Brown – to divide and rule. That is how a small group, or a minority rules over a majority. They find differences and exploit them. Unfortunately, even when we rid ourselves of the trappings of colonization, we did not rid ourselves of the mindset. So, we still fight amongst ourselves.
If you can, read my articles about Black History Month - links below.
It is my sincere hope that no matter where you are in the world, we speak out against racial prejudice and advocate for equity for all people.