“I was growing toward a quiet confidence that I could not yet articulate, even in my thoughts. I had learned more about my family’s history, about what it meant to be Black in North America, about my own blackness, in eight months than what I had cared to know in all the previous years of my life. I was beginning to understand that I had the right to exist in my world.” This may be comprehensible to someone who has not lived as a peculiarity, the idea that a child must one day tell herself, “I am allowed, I was meant to be, I have the right to exist.” But when you are a Black child who looks out into the world and sees hostility toward blackness, you begin to ask why, you look for rationality behind hostility, until the day you realize that racism is not your responsibility, it is the responsibility of its perpetrators. That day, you say, “I belong in the world. I belong here in Western Canada where my family has lived and worked for four generations.
Written by Cheryl Foggo