Black in Halifax: Metro's editor on why this special feature is long overdue
Over the next five days you will hear stories from the city's Black community on issues impacting their everyday lives.
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Halifax, it’s time for something different — and much needed.
Over the next five days, your Metro will give many of its pages over to a special series, titled Black in Halifax.
More than two months in the making, this feature is the result of a partnership with important voices in the Black community: from Coun. Lindell Smith to renowned activist and poet El Jones to anti-violence advocate Quentrel Provo.
We have also brought in three Black journalists and a guest editor, Carlos Beals. He is a long-time community activist who ran for council last year in District 6.
The stories you will read over the next five days are wide-ranging.
They are stories you don't often see in the mainstream media.
They explore the real triumphs and trauma of being Black in Halifax.
It's the pride of a Black police inspector serving his community. It's the terror of families whose loved ones were innocent bystanders to gun violence. It's the wisdom of a motherly mentor teaching kids how to behave while teaching them how to bake. It’s the story of a church pastor bringing Black and white people together in faith and, yes, healing.
The United Nations — yes, that United Nations — released a damning report in September noting there are still “serious concerns regarding ongoing systemic discrimination faced by people of African descent” here.
This isn’t right. Frankly, in 2017, it’s downright shameful.
That’s why I believe this series is so important and long overdue.
Now, this feature isn’t meant to simply point fingers. It’s meant to amplify voices that too often go unheard. It’s meant to show this city the lived experiences of a community with a long and complicated history here.
It's also to acknowledge that we haven't done a good enough job to amplify those voices. We want to do better.
We want to hear from you too, the Black community, during the feature.
Tweet at us using the hashtag #HalifaxWhileBlack to tell us your experiences of being Black in Halifax. Email me at Philip.firstname.lastname@example.org and help shape future stories that need to be told in Black communities. You can also go to our Instagram page @metronewsca and share photos of your community with us. Some of your best contributions will be shown in an upcoming issue.
Meet the journalists contributing to Black in Halifax
• Jayde Tynes grew up in HRM and is studying for her master's in journalism at the University of King’s College. She is the producer and host of My Blackness, My Truth, a podcast that explores the complexities of Black identity locally and abroad. You can find her podcast on Soundcloud and Spotify.
• Tundè Balogun lives in north-end Halifax and is a journalism student at the University of King’s College. One of his specialities is shooting videos for the web, and he has compiled three for our series.
• Perry King is Metro Canada's social-media editor. As a graduate of the University of King's College, he calls Halifax his second home.