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Black History Month: The African Diaspora & The City of Dreams

Toronto the “City of Dreams” welcomed the Abolitionist movement in the early 1800′s by taking a high moral ground against slavery in the West. Canada’s illustrous Lieutenant General John Gray Simcoe of the then Upper Canada proclaimed emancipation and freedom to all black people seeking refuge in Ontario from slavery in America. The phenomenal underground railway supported and facilitated the exodus of black slaves from America, hence Ontario was dubbed a “haven” by the early black settlers in Canada. Toronto then emerged as a ”City of Plenty” and black people too worked deligently to support its growth, stability and diversity. Today Toronto has truly emerged as a vibrant multicultural city with growing aspirations by African immigrants from diverse communities city-wide who hunger for stability, education, family, wealth etc .

As Canadians reflect on the historic and cultural significance of this great city, BH Music Association welcomed Mayor Rob Ford’s stance to rid the city of falsehood by demonstrating responsible leadership, good governance and fairnees at City Hall, which in turn would lend increased benefits to Torontonians and the African diaspora as well. Hence I too stand to be corrected that the City of Toronto however serves as the guarantor for freedoms and cultural expressions across the African communities here as it did for the many black slaves who fled oppression and inhumanity in America. By and large, the Mayor’s deligence and “listening post” approach to youth, urban and community development continues to galvanize grassroot support and would eventually incorporate a critical mass having the capacity to bring about tolerance, effeciency, growth and stability going forward.

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