•What’s your ethnic and religious heritage?
I am African Canadian. Born and raised in Canada by parents born in Ghana, West Africa. I am a Christian.
•What’s your earliest memory of becoming aware that some people looked different from you?
I would say preschool. Thankfully I grew up in a racially and culturally diverse environment. What’s your earliest memory of becoming aware of racism? Unsure of how young I was, but I remember in our family home seeing clips from movies like Roots and talk shows interviewing skin heads/white supremacists who were very vocal about their hatred. On a personal level, I would say my first experience dealt with a white friend who was allowed to have me over, but was not allowed to come to my home. This rule didn’t seem to apply with her white friends.
•What’s one way you think your life would have been different had you been born another race?
Honestly, as an adult I don’t think about this. I’m created in the image of God! I love being me and love the color of my skin! As a child though, there were times I thought I would be considered prettier/more desirable if I were white.
•How can white people be better allies to the black community?
Well, first to fellow followers of Jesus, I would say to start by loving your neighbor as yourself. We could all use this reminder! Second, I believe dialogue is important. I am open and willing to having conversations with white people about racism and how they can be an ally. Honestly I’ve had some very encouraging dialogue so far. I don’t represent every African Canadian/American person, so I would also suggest speaking with more than one person in the black community about their experiences. Finally, I would recommend doing some research and viewing documentaries and movies that speak about racism.