An international conference in literature by women from African and the African Diaspora has been hailed an overwhelming success by its organizers. Held in New York and coordinated by New York University’s Africana Studies Programme last fall, the conference brought together world-renowned writers to this first-ever scholarly conference that explored black female authorship. “Yari Yari – Black Women Writers of the Future,” celebrated the creativity and diversity of black women writers. Among the 120 writers who attended were Ghanaian poet and novelist Ama Ata Aidoo, Maya Angelou, Gloria Naylor, Angela Davis, Sapphire, Haitian Edwidge Danticat and Maryse Conde from Guadeloupe. The conference also included notable filmmakers, artists, storytellers, journalists, children’s authors, playwrights and publishing executives. Continue reading
Monthly Archives: July 2014
In Greek, Bernice means “one who bears good news of victory.” Bernice Moreau’s life is a testament to achievement in the face of struggle.
When Moreau first came to Centretown in September 1991, she was called a “nigger” y three white youths at the corner of Bank Street and Laurier Avenue.
She walked away from the experience feeling great. Continue reading
Few people know that Matthew DaCosta, black fisherman and Micmac interpreter for Samuel de Champlain, played a role in Canadian history.
Historical information on black Canadians is almost absent in our classrooms and libraries.
“I’m on a hunt now to try and find information (on black Canadian history), but I haven’t been very lucky,” says Marva Major-Cosper, Connaught School. “That gives an example of the need that’s out here because we don’t’ have a resource centre of information. It’s so necessary.” Continue reading
What does a business of frozen cassava and fresh crushed peppers have in common with a business of permed hair and painted toes? It’s the Black Business and Professional Association.
Black professionals and black-owned businesses have a chance to build contacts with other association members and in many communities, which will help them to succeed. Continue reading
When Halima Ali, an immigrant from Somalia living in Toronto’s west end, was 20 she decided that she wanted to get married and have a baby.
She did just that. However, her decision came with some unanticipated problems.
Three years later while pregnant, Ali had morning sickness like many other normal women. She kept getting sick and so weak that she had to stop working and was hospitalized. Continue reading
In Berlin, 11-year-old Leli came running to her home, digging her nails in her flesh so hard that blood was almost drawn. Tears were running down Leli’s face as she fell into the arms of her mother, Tsion Letta-Teferra, an Ethiopian woman who had lived in Germany for 16 years.
“My daughter had just come from the house of the old lady who lived next door,” says Letta-Teferra. “The old lady told my daughter that she is dirty, and that’s why she has brown skin. Leli was trying to scratch her skin off.” Continue reading
Five-year-old Heather Keogan smiles at the reflection in the mirror. Pushing her blonde hair off her face, she touches her blue nose and red cheeks. BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! The sound of African drums draws Heather’s attention away from the mirror.
Heather goes to a corner of the room in the YMCA-YWCA in Ottawa [Ontario, Canada]. She joins about 14 other painted faces that were also lured to the same spot by the drums. The rhythms touch the children’s feet and slowly they begin to dance. The children shake wildly, trying to follow the beat. Some children hold hands while dancing. White hands hold yellow hands, brown hands hold red hands and black hands hold white hands. Continue reading
The greatest challenge to Big Brothers of Brantford and District is attracting volunteers, says executive director Pam Blackwood.
“It’s hard getting the volunteers to commit,” Blackwood says. “And they’re hesitant to work with the teenagers.”
But the agency may have found a solution in Digital Heroes, a new e-mentoring initiative by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada (BBBSC). Continue reading
Charles may not see his Big Brother often, but he talks to him a lot – online that is.
The 13-year-old Barrie youth started to E-mail and chat online with his Big Brother, Darryl Ingham, about sports, humour, video games, family life and his favourite Web sites after the two were matched in a new Big Brother Big Sisters of Canada (BBBSC) program, Digital Heroes.
The program, available through the Big Brothers of Barrie, matches volunteers with Internet access to children, allowing a Big Brother Little Brother relationship to flourish online. Continue reading
A typical preteen girl, Amanda enjoys going to the mall, socializing with her buddies and chatting long distance about life’s trials and tribulations with her Big Sister.
The Cambridge girl and her Big Sister, Lindsay Serbu, who works in Windsor, have chatted regularly online since being matched in Big Brother Big Sisters of Canada’s (BBBSC) new Digital Heroes program. Continue reading
My first hobby was playing hairdresser to my Barbie dolls. I had my childhood in the 1970s and 1980s but I was not much different from Black children in the 1940s who chose White dolls over Black dolls in a landmark study that lead to the desegregation of American schools.
It was not that I liked chocolate skin over the cream of white colour; it really came down to the hair. I wanted straight, long, blonde, brunette or red hair, hair that blew in the wind and that I could toss over my shoulder. And when I could not wish it on my head, I used a towel instead. Continue reading
Distance education can be seen as quite a sedentary act. If you are sitting at the computer for hours on end, without any exercise…this could be something that could help someone put on weight.
Even for people who go to school that is not online, reports have shown that many young people are gaining 15 pounds from eating cafeteria food in their first year at college or university. What happens if you are studying by correspondence? Does online education pack on the freshman 30? Continue reading
It seems as though anyone can pick up a video camera, a microphone and start a blog today and call themselves a journalist. What does this mean for journalism education?
Journalism education does not have a long history. Actually the first journalists, such as Ernest Hemingway were not actually trained in journalism. Journalists like William Zinsser were not trained in journalism either. Journalism education is a fairly recent phenomena especially in places such as Canada, where Carleton University was the first journalism school back in the 1940s. Before that, the newspaper men and women who delivered the current events were trained in other areas. Continue reading
He’s young, hip, running a raw food and vegetarian restaurant downtown and owns a couple of properties for rental. His name is Chris Italiano and where he calls home is a two-storey loft at 1029 King Street West.
“It’s a nice open space, that’s what the advantages are,” Italiano says. “It has bright high ceilings, big windows. It’s an open space you can do pretty much what you want to it.”
The loft development went up six years ago. Italiano is the original owner. Continue reading
On my way to Urban Textures Salons on 44 Gerrard St. W. I lost the hat that was covering the recent and awful weave I had received. It was an afro weave, done with synthetic hair, but I came with great expectations to put my head in the hands of Urban Textures’s owner Christos Cox and his team.
He’s come a long way from his first salon in Glendower. The décor of the place is welcoming, down-to-earth and warm.
“Everyone comes in here and they feel comfortable. We put a lot of effort into creating the atmosphere of the salon – everything from the colours to the logo on our shirts,” said Cox. Continue reading
Scene 1 – (Sun is setting and Jake Watkins sits at his dining room table snorting fine white powder into his nose. When he is done, he clears away any remaining traces of the powder and sits back in the chair and waits to feel good. Soon a smile appears on his face and he knocks over the chair when he gets up).
Jake: (screaming to an empty room) I need a par-tee, man! (Jake starts dancing around, swinging his arms, and knocking over a pot of flowers and a sculpture that were in his way. Then he grabs his car keys from the dining room table and leaves the house, wit h the door left wide open).
Scene blacks out
Scene 2 – (After midnight, Mrs. Watkins is packing across the floor, while on the telephone, in the kitchen.)
Mrs. Watkins: I wouldn’t be so worried if he would have at least left a note…(pause)…Well, Jake has been acting very strange lately, I just don’t know why. He fights with Rikki all the time, he’s always disappearing like this. I just don’t know what to do with him anymore…(pause)…OK…thank you Wendy, I’ll call you if I go into another frenzy. (Mrs. Watkins hangs up the phone).
(Rikki and Clyde enter the kitchen).
Rikki: Hi Mom, what’s up?
Mrs. Watkins: (glaring disapprovingly at Rikki and Clyde) Where have you been?
Rikki: Clyde and I went to see a movie. Is something wrong? Where’s Jake?
Mrs. Watkins: Your brother is missing again. He wasn’t at school all day. I was just talking with Milo’s mother. Milo isn’t at home either. Mrs. Redmond doubts that Milo is with Jake.
Rikki: (sounding nervous) Have you tried calling his regular hangouts? He might be at the Pizzaplace or Walt’s Bar?
Mrs. Watkins: No, I haven’t, but he should be home by now. I think it is time that I called the police.
Rikki: That’s not a good idea, Mom. Jake hasn’t been missing for 24 hours yet. If he’s at some party with people we don’t know, and we get the police after him, he’ll be embarrassed.
Mrs. Watkins: (frustrated) Then he should have told me where he was going. Why is he doing this to me? Why does he think he can do whatever he wants?
Rikki: Why don’t you give me a chance to find him before you involve the police?
Mrs. Watkins: Fine, Rikki. I just hope that you do find him. I had to cancel a date with Richard tonight because of Jake. Let him know, if you find him, that I am very upset with him.
Rikki: Yeah, anything you say, Mom. (Rikki grabs Clyde and steers him out of the kitchen).
(Rikki and Clyde exit the house and enter Clyde’s car).
Clyde: Your mother really hates me, doesn’t she?
Rikki: Honestly, yes. (Rikki laughs at the horrified look on Clyde’s face). Don’t worry about it though. It really doesn’t matter to me what she thinks. She knows I hate her boyfriend Richard, but she doesn’t let that bother her. My mother hates to let anything bother her. That’s why Jake is really going to get it when he comes home.
Clyde: What’s wrong with Jake anyway? He seems to be throwing his life away. I remember the days when he was just like Milo, nauseously nerdy. Football hero, a brainer, Mr. Popularity. Now his name gets called to the vice-principal’s office almost as much as mine does.
Rikki: I don’t know (a distracted look appears on her face). He used to tell me everything that was on his mind. All he ever seems to enjoy anymore is being by himself, or with all these scummy people who don’t go to Leabay. Half of them look like high school dropouts. I don’t know what’s going on, unless, it has something to do with…
Clyde: (He turns into the parking lot of the Pizzaplace) Something to do with what?
Rikki: (Lowering her voice) When I was looking for my Beatles album in his room, I found a bag of cocaine under his bed.
Clyde: (nervously) Cocaine? (He parks the car and turns the engine off).
Rikki: Yup. When I asked him about it, he got really upset and told me to mind my own business. I decided to try and forget about it. My brother is not the type to do drugs. If he was doing them, I would know.
Clyde: I’m sure that Jake wouldn’t be mixed up with the drug scene. (Rikki and Clyde looked for Jake at the Pizzaplace with no luck. Next they check Walt’s Bar also with no luck).
Clyde: I guess your mother is going to call the police (he pulls away from Walt’s Bar).
Rikki: Just stop at a pay phone. I want to at least try Milo. (They go to a phone and dial Milo’s number).
Voice through the phone: Hello, Redmond residence.
Rikki: May I please speak to Milo?
Milo: Rikki, it’s me. I’m really glad you called. Jakes’ here and he’s in pretty bad shape.
Rikki: Where has he been? My mother almost phoned the police.
Milo: Well, tell her not to worry anymore, but don’t tell her where he is. Your mother shouldn’t have to see this.
Rikki: What the hell is going on, Milo?
Milo: Besides a few bruises, some which I think he did to himself, he’s alright.
Rikki: (yelling) What happened, Milo?
Milo: Rikki, shut up and get over here. (Rikki hears a dial tone and hangs up the phone. Soon she enters Clyde’s car).
Rikki: Step on it, Jake is at Milo’s house.
Scene blacks out.
Scene 3 – (Clyde’s car pulls into the Redmond’s circular driveway. Rikki hops out of the car).
Clyde: Rikki, I hope you don’t’ mind, but I should really get home now.
Rikki: Bye, Clyde. (Rikki keeps running as she sys be to Clyde. Before she rings the doorbell, Milo opens the door and grabs Rikki’s hand to pull her inside).
Milo: What took you so long? He’s sleeping now. (Milo leads Rikki up to his bedroom. There, Jake is lying face down on Milo’s bed with a bucket next to him).
Rikki: (Frightened) My God, Jake! (She runs over to him and cradles his bruised face in her arms). Who did this to his face?
Milo: (He grabs Rikki’s arms). Let him sleep, Rik. He’s been having a lot of nightmares. Come on. (Milo leads Rikki out of the bedroom and into his living room). He was here when your mother called my mother for the second time, but I promised him that I’d pretend I didn’t know where he was. (Milo sweeps away the hair out of Rikki’s eyes) You look terrible. Should I get you something to drink? A scotch on the rocks, maybe?
Rikki: (Shouting) No, I don’t want anything to drink, Milo. Just continue the story, asshole.
Milo: OK…calm down. I felt bad to lie to your Mom, but I promised Jake. When he came, he was shaking badly. He was sweating all over the floor, he was so pale. From what he was trying to tell me it sounds like he owes some guy a lot of money, and when he didn’t have it, the guy beat him up.
Rikki: (Confused) Why would Jake have money problems? Mom gives us more than we need. Jake doesn’t even spend money. He seems to just wear the same old things all the time.
Milo: He spends his money on drugs, Rikki. Don’t you know that?
Rikki: (Defensive) He’s not addicted or anything, Milo. I know he has tried it a couple of times, but that’s only at parties. It’s not like he’s…
Milo: Rikki, when is the last time you’ve seen Jake in school?
Rikki: So, his grades are slipping. Jake can afford to goof off. He’s always gotten good grades.
Milo: When’s the last time you’ve seem me at your house, or Jake over here in the past few months? He’s my best friend and I hardly hand out with him anymore.
Rikki: I know that you and Jake haven’t been as close as you used to be. That doesn’t prove anything.
Milo: Rikki, remember when Jake almost got run over because he roamed out in the streets in the middle of the night?
Rikki: He was sleepwalking.
Milo: (Shouting) He was high! Remember the last time he was in school? He was sent to the office because his nose started to bleed.
Rikki: (Screaming) So what! My brother is not some fucking druggie. I would know. He tells me everything.
Milo: (Screaming) He used to. Does he still? I bet he doesn’t. He used to tell me everything too. He doesn’t do that anymore. He’s a different person now. Stop denying it, Rikki.
Rikki: (Bursts into tears) How did this all happen? Could anyone just answer that for me? How did my brother get this way?
Milo: I don’t know, Rikki. (Milo puts his arms around her). It’s been so long since the old Jake has been around, so long. (Sighs) I remember the first time I started to notice the change in Jake. He was getting so obsessed with his future. Maybe the pressure of always trying to be perfect was too much for him to take.
Rikki: (Mumbling) I know, he has change. I guess he does have a drug problem. (Getting angry) We can’t just let it keep happening. We have to get Jake some help.
Milo: (Sighing) I don’t know what to do.
Rikki: (Wipes away the tears and says sarcastically) Should we throw away all of his drugs? He won’t be able to use them, then.
Milo: No, Rikki, he’s only get more, I know that. He should be in a rehab centre.
Rikki: Sometimes they don’t work.
Milo: They don’t work when the person addicted doesn’t want them to work.
Rikki: Maybe we should go after the bastard who beat Jake up.
Milo: That’s the police’s job.
Rikki: Are they doing it right? I think not. They obviously need some help. (Rikki walks over to the bay window in the living room). My father always told me that if you want something done, it has to be done yourself. Even on his deathbed he would tell me that if you have faith in yourself, you don’t need to have faith in others. I’ve always believed, anybody can do anything that they really set their mind on doing.
Milo: (Shaking his head) I don’t think you’re making much sense. What are you saying, Rikki?
Rikki: (Serious) I’m saying that if we really want to help Jake, we have to do it ourselves. It’s up to us. We can help Jake by eliminating one his major problems, the drugs. We an deliver to the police the drug dealer.
Milo: That is a stupid idea, Rikki! It will never work, and it’s far too dangerous to get involved in.
Rikki: Do you have a better idea, Milo?
Milo: Yes, I do. Jake should go into a rehab centre. The only way we can help him is to notify the police, and give him all the love and support he will need to combat his problem.
Rikki: Fine, Milo, I agree with you. However, just because we go with your idea, doesn’t mean that mine couldn’t work. We can still get the police on the case, but we’ll just do a bit of our own investigative work.
Milo: We don’t have the right to interfere, Rikki.
Rikki: My bother and your best friend is addicted to drugs. Leabay is swarming with drugs, and there’s a code of silence that police officers would find difficult to break. However, we could do it Milo. Detective work isn’t that hard. All we have to do is come up with a good plan, follow it through, and be happy. It’s that simple.
Milo: We don’t have the right to interfere, Rikki. Drug dealers handle their business in a way that is out of our league.
Rikki: The scum that’s helping to destroy the people at Leabay, people like Jake, has to be stopped. People die from drugs every day and all the time. If we can do anything to help the situation, let’s go for it. Do you want to help Jake or not?
Milo: Rikki, I really don’t think…
Rikki: Milo, I’m going to help my brother with or without you.
Milo: (Staring into Rikki’s eyes). I guess I have no choice then.
Rikki: (Throwing her arms around Milo) You won’t regret this.
Milo: I already do.
Scene blacks out.
Scene 4 – (Milo’s bedroom next morning – following scene plays out with music) Jake awakes and instantly wants more drugs. Milo and Rikki urge him to admit that he has a problem with drugs. When Jake takes a good look at himself in the mirror, he admits he has a problem, but refuses to go into a rehab centre. Jake promises to go cold turkey with drugs from then on. He lasts for a week. He crashes up his car and almost kills a pregnant woman in the other car of the accident. The woman has a healthy pre-mature baby, and Jake enters the Carry Crescent Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre. Milo and Rikki try and get information from Jake about who was selling the drugs to him, he’s not much help.
Scene blacks out.
Scene 5 – (At Rikki’s locker in Leabay High) (Clyde gives Rikki a goodbye kiss by her locker. Milo watches in the distance, and waits until Clyde leaves to approach Rikki).
Milo: (Agitated) You spend way too much time with that clown.
Rikki: His name is Clyde, now clown. He happens to be a very nice guy.
Milo: (Looking at the diamond on Rikki’s finger) Did he give that to you?
Milo: How can he afford that? Actually a better question would be, how can you accept that?
Rikki: When my boyfriend gives me such a generous gift, I accept.
Milo: Well, he’s definitely not rich. I’m just wondering how he manages to shower you with diamonds.
Rikki: I don’t know. He works a lot, that’s why I hardly see him. But you know, absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Milo: Or buying love makes the heart seem bigger.
Rikki: Got to hell, Milo. Do you have anything interesting to say?
Milo: Actually I do. I have come up with a brilliant plan.
Rikki: Well, what is it?
Milo: What better way to get in deep with drug dealers then to buy their product. Or, at least pretend to buy it. The regular users are easy to spot. All we have to do, or me…
Rikki: If anyone is going to pretend to be a buyer, it’ll be me. You’re too visible in this school. The minute anyone found out that you were interested in buying they wouldn’t be convinced, and it would be the talk of the school.
Milo: Must I remind you once again about the danger of the situation, there is danger.
Rikki: The point I’m trying to make, Milo, is that if I am the buyer, people would believe it. I am considered the bad Watkins kid around this school, at least before Jake started messing up.
Milo: Rikki, you’re not Nancy Drew, OK? What we’re about to do is not some adventurous plot line to some fictitious book. This is the real thing. There might not be happy ending to all this.
Rikki: Just because I’m younger than you Milo, I don’t deserve to be treated like a child. In my 17 years of living I have learned a lot of things about myself, one of them is that I’m not stupid.
(The bell rings for class).
Milo: Fine, Rikki, I’ll give in to you once again. (Milo turns on his heel and heads towards his class).
Rikki: (Quietly to herself) There’s no time like the present. I should start putting my Nancy Drew impression to work right now. (She puts her books back in her locker and takes her jacket out. She heads outside of the school to the tennis courts. She spots who she’s looking for and approaches the girl).
Rikki: Hey, Pats, what’s up?
Pats: (Getting ready to light a joint) The sky’s up, Rik. What do you want?
Rikki: Is that any way to talk to your long lost friend?
Pats: Long lost is right! Ever since you’ve been going out with Clyde, you don’t even have time to blow your stinking breath in my face.
Rikki: Sorry, Pats.
Pats: Don’t sorry me, just try and remember who introduced you to him.
Rikki: Of course I remember, pats. Why do you think I’m here now, I’m craving for your company.
Pats: (Surprised) Really? (She hands the joint over to Rikki) After what happened to your brother, you can probably use this more than I do.
Rikki: (She takes the joint, turns her head, and pretends to take a drag). How do you know about that? My brother is confidential information.
Pats: Everything that happens in Leabay never remains confidential. You have to be pretty crafty, or dangerous to keep secrets in this school.
Rikki: (Handing the joint back to Pats) Where could I get this stuff, Pats?
Pats: (Laughs harshly) If you only knew.
Rikki: What do you mean by that?
Pats: Nothing, Rik. Why do you want to know anyway? Drugs aren’t your scene.
Rikki: Well, I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. My mother’s dating a major league loser, my brother’s going to court for driving intoxicated, and I’ve been having horrible nightmares about my Dad. Is that enough reason for you?
Pats: That sounds real rough, Rik, but I don’t know. My supplier is real picky about who he sells to.
Rikki: Pats, I don’t see the problem here. I just need a little to help me feel more up. Just enough to get me through the times I’m having now.
Pats: (Reluctantly) OK Rik. I’ll see what I can do. I’ll you tonight.
Rikki: Thanks, Pats. You’re a true friend. (Rikki starts heading back to school).
Pats: Only when you need something, Rikki.
Scene blacks out.
Scene 6 – (Rikki’s bedroom – scene plays to music). Rikki gets the phone call from Pats. Pats gives her a time and location to meet the dealer the next afternoon. Rikki fills Milo in on what’s going on. Rikki gets to Walt’s Bar at 3:00 p.m. to meet the dealer. He never shows up. Next day, Rikki tries to find Pats to ask her what happened, but Pats won’t talk to her and she also has a black eye. When Rikki questions Pats about the eye, all she says is that Rikki better find another dealer because hers won’t sell to her. Pats warns her that if Rikki keeps trying to get drugs from her dealer, Pats is the one that will get hurt. Rikki and Milo both discouraged, question Jake some more about who his supplier is. Jake tells them he never got a good look at the guy’s face because he was always wearing a hat and sunglasses. Rikki, Clyde, Milo and Mrs. Watkins all go with Jake for his court trial for driving under the influence of drugs. Jake gets his license revoked for three years, has to stay in the rehab centre for at least three months, and is on probation for six months after that. Jake takes the verdict hard. In a long conversation with Milo after the trial, Rikki confides in Milo that she is really worried that they’ll never find the drug dealers in their school. Milo encourages her that he has a strong suspect in mind, and if he’s right, then they can call the police. The next day, Milo skips school and follows around a guy, dressed in a hat and sunglasses, the camera never focuses on his face, but Milo knows who it is. Milo witnesses the disguised man selling joints to Pats.
Scene blacks out.
Scene 7 – (In the school’s library. Rikki comes in to look for Milo. She finds him trying to get some homework done).
Rikki: Milo, I’ve been looking for you. Why weren’t you in school yesterday?
Milo: I had a little investigating I had to do.
Rikki: Did you find out anything?
Rikki: (Angrily) Don’t be an asshole, Milo. What did you find out? Is it time to call the police or what?
Milo: You might not want to that anymore.
Rikki: What the hell is going on, Milo?
Milo: (Looking Rikki directly in the eye). The drug dealer we’re about to throw in jail is Clyde.
Rikki: (Confused) Clyde who?
Milo: Your boyfriend, Rikki. (Rikki stays silent for a good minute).
Rikki: I can’t believe that, Milo.
Milo: It’s true, Rikki. I’ve had this funny feeling for a while now that Clyde isn’t what he appears to be. I thought maybe if I tapped in the gossip grapevine I could find out something about him. But no one has anything to say about Clyde Allen.
Rikki: I can’t believe it.
Milo: The description that Jake gave us about his dealer, the height mats Clyde’s and the build. The way Jake says that the guy had such a strong jaw, it sounded like Clyde. That only fueled my suspicions.
Rikki: I can’t believe it.
Milo: I followed him all day yesterday. I saw him selling drugs to Pats. When he gave the drugs to Pats, he took off the sunglasses, I could make a positive ID.
Rikki: If Clyde was a dealer, especially Pats’ dealer, she would have told me.
Milo: Not if she thought it was going to get her another black eye, or worse.
Rikki: If Clyde was a dealer, Jake would have recognized him.
Milo: Not with the hat he wears. It covers any trace of his hair. Plus, the sunglasses cover half his face, and he puts on a fake earring and moustache.
Rikki: How could it be Clyde, he’s just not like that. Clyde is not like that.
Milo: (Grabbing Rikki’s finger with the diamond ring on it). How did he afford this, Rikki? How does he afford that flashy blue convertible of his? How does he afford to take you out all the time? He spoils you, you love it, but he’s spoiling you with drug money.
(Rikki jumps up and runs out of the library. Milo follows her. Rikki heads towards the empty tennis courts straight towards Pats, who is smoking a joint).
Rikki: Pats, I need to ask you some questions, I need the truth.
Pats: Leave me along, Rikki, Every time I talk to you, trouble starts.
Rikki: (Tears staining her cheeks) Is Clyde a drug dealer?
Pats: (Shocked and frightened) Who the hell told you that, Rikki?
Rikki: Never mind who told me that, I’m asking you to tell me now.
Pats: That’s ridiculous, Rik. Clyde would never…
Rikki: Pats, if you don’t tell me the truth, I’ll go to Clyde and confront him. I’ll also tell him that you told me. If he’s the one that gave you the black eye, you’ll be lucky to be alive once I…
Pats: Fuck off, Rikki, just leave me along. Clyde’s not a dealer.
Rikki: (Angrily) I meant it pats, either you tell me the truth, or Clyde will.
Pats: (Taking a deep drag on the joint) Oh shit, please leave me alone, Rik. None of this is my business.
Rikki: Tell me Pats, I need to know.
Pats: Leave me alone, bitch.
Rikki: Fine. I’ll have to talk to Clyde then. (Rikki starts walking away quickly towards the school).
Pats: Wait! (Pats catches up with Rikki).
Rikki: What do you have to say, Pats? I’m in a hurry.
Pats: (Hesitatingly) Clyde is a dealer. He doesn’t use the stuff himself. He just does it for the money. Makes him feel like a big man to act rich. And he enjoys impressing you with all that shit he’s always giving you. Don’t be so hard on him, Rik. Just pretend you know nothing.
Rikki: Pats, he was knowingly selling drugs to my brother. He’s probably the one who beat him up. He’s kept this all a secret from me, and has done nothing but lie to me. He told me that he’s a dishwasher at some diner along the highway. I admired him for being so hardworking.
Pats: Rik, do you really think that a rich girl like you would have stayed with a poor ass like Clyde for long? If he wasn’t constantly flashing his money around you, you would have said ‘so long’ a long time ago.
Rikki: I don’t care, Pats. He’s a drug dealer, a liar, and a fake. He’s going to get what’s coming to him.
Pats: Rikki, I beg you, don’t do anything. (She clutches on to Rikki before she almost falls. He’ll kill me, Rikki. He’d kill you too if it kept him from jail).
Rikki: (Surprised) He would?
Pats: He wouldn’t do it himself, but he’d get someone else to do it.
Clyde: Who would do what?
(Both girls turn around shocked to see Clyde approaching them).
Pats: Nothing, Clyde.
Rikki: Clyde, I was just about going to look for you. (Acting sweet).
Clyde: (He tries to kiss Rikki, but gets her cheek instead) I’ve been looking for you too, but I didn’t expect to find you here.
Rikki: I just wanted to say hi to Pats. We haven’t said much to each other in a while now…(awkward silence)…Clyde, I wanted to make sure that we were still going to that Spanish restaurant tonight?
Clyde: Definitely, I’ve already made the reservations.
Rikki: Good, I’ll be waiting at 8…(awkward silence)…Pats, I have the car today. Why don’t I give you a ride home?
Pats: (She notices the expression on Rikki’s face) Sure.
(Rikki and Pats say goodbye to Clyde and head towards the parking lot).
Scene blacks out.
Scene 8 – (Rikki’s bedroom – scenes under music) Milo already knows what happened because he was watching the whole thing behind some bushes. Rikki tells Milo her plan over the phone, and how she had to threaten pats to be a part of it. The plan is that Pats will call Clyde for a buy to be done while he’s having dinner with Rikki. That’s when Rikki would call the police. Pats will be a little late, to give the police more time to arrive. Hopefully they’ll be on time to catch Clyde. Rikki uses her acting skills to be with Clyde that night. The plan was put into action when Clyde left the table saying he had to go call his mother. Pats shows up, then the police. Clyde takes Pats as hostage to save himself from the police. His getaway is interfered with by Milo. Milo uses a knife to try and get Pats away from Clyde, Clyde has a gun and shoots Milo to get out of his way, the bullet hits Milo in the arm. Rikki runs after Clyde and begs him to let go of Pats. Clyde lets go of Pats in return for Rikki. Rikki begs him to give up. The police thinking that Rikki is an accomplice with Clyde, threatens to shoot both of them. Clyde decides to give himself up.
Last part of scene is of Jake, lying still on the floor of his rehab centre room. A nurse finds him and calls for an ambulance. When the paramedics come they pronounce him dead of a drug overdose.
Scene blacks out.
Scene 9 – (After Jakes’ funeral, Milo and Rikki sit silently by Jake’s grave. Milo’s arm is in a cast).
Milo: (Sadly) I’ll never be able to understand any of this. He threw away his life. Then he had a second chance, and he threw that away too. I don’t’ know if I’m mad or sad.
Rikki: I know, you almost lost your life for him, and he decided to throw his life away. (Rikki laughs sarcastically). What good has come out of this?
Milo: (Shocked) What are you saying, Rikki? Clyde’s in jail now. Maybe he’ll start choosing an honest profession from now on. Pats realizes that she needs help, she’s getting it.
Rikki: My brother is dead. I miss him so much already.
Milo: (Putting his arms around Rikki) So do I. Don’t ever forget that I’ll be there for you, Rikki. We’ll survive this together. OK?
Scene blacks out and a list of statistics of how many people are addicted to drugs and die from every year appears.
Come join me to launch the book How To Talk To Crazy People at A Different Booklist at Bathurst and Bloor in Toronto!
What?: Copies are available of How To Talk To Crazy People by Donna Kakonge at A Different Booklist in Toronto
How?: Go to the store :-)!!!!! Check out the opening hours on the website 🙂
When?: How To Talk To Crazy People Book Launch at A Different Booklist
Location: 746 Bathurst Street Thank You and See You There!
How?: Go to the store :-)!!!!! Check out the opening hours on the website 🙂
Sitting on a couch in her living room, 10-year-old Michelle Lucien points to a bruise on her left ankle. Her crutches sit in a corner of the room.
“My ankle got sprained when this boy at school kicked me and me trip,” says Michelle. “He called me a black bitch.”
Michelle is a grade 5 student at Bayshore Public School. Her mother, Girlsen Lucien, says Michelle has experienced racial discrimination at school for over two years. Continue reading
You have been looking around for that perfect dream home or condominium and you are constantly astounded by the beauty or the décor and how clean the environment is. It helps you to picture yourself living there. Who helps to design this space you are dreaming of living in?
Well, there is a special name for creating new home spaces through cleaning and décor so you will want to live in them – it is called home staging. Colleen Palmer with Distinctive Nest is one of the people who creates these beautiful spaces you see when you are out house or condominium shopping. Continue reading
Listen to How To Talk To Crazy People written and narrated by Donna Kakonge here:
You can purchase the book and others here:
Employment and Those Labelled Mentally Ill (reading from How To Talk To Crazy People and Young Black Women in Toronto High Schools: Portraits of Family, School and Community Involvement in Developing Goals and Aspirations) – Mad Pride 2014 – July 8, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at 246 Sackville Street
Donna Kakonge is selling her books at the Mad Market July 12, 2014 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
246 Sackville Street
Here is a treat for you instead of a trick for Halloween. Zeny Maninang is a sales representative since 1985 with HomeLife, Bayview Realty. She has learned a lot about developing your luck through your home. Paul Ng, philosopher and geomancer who also specializes in feng shui, was able to bring good luck to her home that helped her business and personal lives.
“What he did is he took the birth date of everyone in the family,” says Maninang. “Because my house is facing west and he thinks it is not suitable for us, he felt it was better to go south exposure. Usually it is not a good sign to have a post. He asked me to get six turtles…three turtles on the right hand and three turtles on the left hand side of the house as you are facing the house. They have to be exterior ones and they are hard to find.” Continue reading
Kevin Fairweather manages the business K2 Contracting Ltd. that does about $3.5 million to $5 million dollars a year.
“We do some residential homes and light commercial work,” says Fairweather. “We’re in the construction area so our number of employees fluctuates depending on what we’re doing. We have about 30 employees, have had up to that. Now we have 18. Most of them are apprentices, they are finishing their last years of apprenticeship.” Continue reading
Look forward to hearing from you!
Whether you are looking for your dream home or looking to organize your existing one – Nada Thomson, former founder and chief consultant of Artful Organizers has some tips for you. She starts off with people who are looking for their dream home.
“I would want them to plan how long they would plan to be in the next place,” says Thomson. “If they are thinking that this move would be for five years would there be space, would there be children, would it be just themselves. They really have to see the place they are in right now and see what they love about it. Their closet space, and a room they really like – those qualities stay…that is something you want to be looking for in the new space. The place – did it have a lot of shelves? Did it have a lot of storage space? They do not want to lose the things they love about the place they are in right now in the new place.” Continue reading
Your months, or even years of searching for your dream home is over and now what? You have to adjust to this new place and make it your home.
Monique Le Ray of Le Ray Design and also a member of the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario has some tips on how best you can get comfortable in your new surroundings. Continue reading
Many companies do not feel it necessary to create advertising aimed specifically at Black communities. Sometimes Trevor Campbell, president of Porter Novelli, is asked in his public relations practice whether he has experience in ethnic media outreach? He says it is hard to measure the media that reaches ethnic communities.
“There’s media monitoring companies and they do not necessarily track those papers, there may be language barriers,” says Campbell. “You’re seeing in some ads that it’s not just a white person, you’re seeing people of all shapes of sizes and people are recognizing that the city is diverse. Ads are a bit easier. The thing with PR is that a spokesperson is interviewed by Sway Magazine by ex-product, many people are going to use that product. We’re looking to target Torontonians that drive fast cars. Perhaps it’s more inclusive that way as well.” Continue reading
Since I was seven years old I knew I wanted to write. My master’s degree in media studies from Concordia helped me reach that goal — and much more.When I entered the master’s program in 1997, I was quite depressed. I had been living and working in Uganda, but health problems had forced me to return to Canada earlier than expected. I was staying with friends I knew from my undergrad years in Ottawa. The only place that came close to providing me a sense of home was Toronto; I just hated Montreal. I wasn’t doing any writing, the medication I was putting pounds on and I was generally unhappy with myself. Continue reading
Juno-nominated Jully Black kicked off the presence of the African-Canadian women performing at the Toronto Street Festival on July 8th to 10th. Black rocked the big crowd at Yonge & Dundas with jazzy R&B sounds.
To add that club feel, Black even had her own DJ who is featured on City-TV’s “Ed the Sock.” But, it was Black’s voice, singing live, not like Ashley Simpson, which kept it real. Continue reading
It’s a life journey renovating a house. Anke and Kirk Simpson saw their Edwardian house in Riverdale only twice before everything was finalized with the sale. They knew for sure it needed work. A house that had two apartments inside, with a boy and girl under three they wanted a house the whole family could enjoy.
The work began in November of 2007 and they started blogging about their renovation on 247reno.ca. The site gets about 6,000 to 7,000 visits a month. They also get about 15,000 to 20,000 page views a month. Continue reading