Showing posts from October, 2019

Writing While Black

World Premier For Copy That At The Tarragon Opens Next Week By Stephen Weir Hey, most folks don’t care that cop shows don’t let the truth stand in the way of an action packed storyline when shown on prime time TV.   But, what happens when the Black writer of said police stories is censored when he tries to work in a true account of his own painful encounter with the police into a new television episode? Later this month the Tarragon Theatre is staging the World Premier of Jason Sherman’s new play Copy That .   The comedy drama takes a caustic look at the entertainment industry by taking the audience behind the scenes of network television.   Jason Sherman This is the story of four writers struggling to get their new cop show script approved for production. When the team’s only Black writer (Toronto’s Tony Ofori) is roughed up in an actual cop encounter, the fallout threatens to not only kill the show, but expose the systemic racism at the heart of popular

Grace Kennedy’s Jamaican Birthright Program Back For 2020

Birthright Programme Brings Jamaican Canadians Back Home For A Month Students will visit JA cultural sites - Coke Methodist Church By Stephen Weir Jamaica’s Grace Kennedy Company is once again offering 2nd and 3rd generation Jamaicans who have never actually lived in Jamaica the opportunity to spend a month next summer in the homeland. Every year four Jamaican Canadian university students are brought back to the island to learn about their heritage through Grace Kennedy’s Jamaican Birthright Program (JPB). “The GraceKennedy Jamaican Birthright Programme is a cultural and professional internship geared at highlighting all aspects of Jamaican life while furthering the career goals of the selected candidates,” explains Petronilla Marchan, a JPB assistant here in Canada. “It is a programme that will give students a well-rounded Jamaican experience!” JPB provides round-trip transportation, accommodation, a stipend and an internship in Jamaica. The students will be on th

2017 Review Reposted After Amanda Parris Wins GG For Play

It Isn’t A Game In The Other Side Of The Game Amanda Parris Toronto fervently wishes that the name Lester Donaldson would not be spoken and that 29 years after his death the city could return to being known as Toronto The Good.   But if wishes were kittens, Amanda Parris’s debut play, Other Side Of The Game, would still be a lion’s roar against Toronto’s treatment of the Black community – from police shootings in the last century to carding in the 2000s. Lester Donaldson is a name from way back.  He was a mentally disturbed Black man who was shot dead by police in a Toronto rooming house.  It was 1988 and the community rose up and marched, shouting Lester’s name at the police and City Hall. It was the spark that lit a roman candle under Dudley Laws who shortly thereafter formed the Black Action Defense Committee (BADC). There were more shootings of innocent Black men and BADC hit back with more  and larger demonstrations and finally a riot. In Other Side Of The Game, a B

TD Canadian Children’s Literature Awards

Two Children’s Books Win Big In Toronto Tuesday Windsor's  Christopher Paul Curtis Two children’s books written by prominent Black Canadian writers won big on Tuesday evening. Children’s books were celebrated with more than $100,000 in prizes given to authors and illustrators at the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Awards ceremony.   Nova Scotia author Shauntay Grant won $20,000 on Tuesday night for her book Africville (illustrated by Eva Campbell).  It won in the Picture Book category. Shauntay Grant is an award-winning Canadian poet and author with strong Jamaican Maroon roots. She tells the story of  Africville , the vibrant Black community in Halifax which thrived for 150 years before being demolished by the government in the 1960s. The illustrated story is brought to life through the eyes of a young girl taking in the Africville Reunion Festival Also winning was Christopher Paul Curtis.   His “The Journey of Little captured a $5,000 prize for the best hist

But leave your King and Queen costumes at home Saturday

Good live Caribbean Music coming to Scarborough this month  and Ossie says that is The Truth! By Stephen Weir: Next Saturday night Ossie Gurley wants people to wear costumes to his new gig at Scarborough’s Spades Night Club, but cautions anyone dusting off   and climbing into their Caribana gear.   “Sure come in Mas, but please make sure your costume isn’t too big for the door!” Ossie Gurley and his band, The Truth, have signed up to perform the last Friday and Saturday of every month at Spades.   Their first night is next Friday, October 25 th . Saturday October 26 th is their Halloween costume party! “ There hasn’t been a regular commitment by bands in the city for a longtime,” Ossie Gurley told the Caribbean Camera.”   We are doing this to get the community out, have fun and support the culture. We will do this every month for as long as people come out!” Ossie Gurley and The Truth  has been entertaining audiences across Canada since 2009 with its musical style