What Christmas means to North Preston artist Keonté Beals

·1 min read
What Christmas means to North Preston artist Keonté Beals

For singer Keonté Beals, Christmas in North Preston has always been about faith, good food, and packing as many family members into one house as possible.

The 23-year-old, who released his new album KING earlier this year, grew up in the historic Black community about 25 minutes northeast of peninsular Halifax.

His childhood Christmases were always busy, spent visiting the homes of different relatives and attending service at St. Thomas Baptist Church.

His mom, Amanda Beals, jokes that by the time his family returned home on Christmas night, he was too tired to play with his new toys.

Ryan Williams for CBC
Ryan Williams for CBC

"We would definitely see family throughout the year, but that was the one time where we saw everybody," he said.

This Christmas will be very different with restrictions on the number of people who can gather together. But the spirit of Beals's childhood Christmases in North Preston is still very much alive.

CBC Radio Mainstreet host Jeff Douglas joined him recently for a tour of North Preston to talk about some of the reasons he loves his community, especially at this time of year.

LISTEN: CBC Mainstreet's one-hour special with Keonté Beals in North Preston

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

CBC
CBC

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