Many join in Black history online event

·2 min read

Almost 100 people from Southgate and beyond joined in last Friday’s Black history commemoration and concert.

Dr. Jean Augustine, Canada’s first female Black MP who championed the unanimous vote to designate February as Black History month 25 years ago contributed her thoughts to the group by video.

Other striking moments included a powerful performance of Change is Gonna Come, sung by an eight-year-old girl.

Performers from Southgate included Satyander Singh, a member of the local Youth Action Committee, who played the tabla drums.

Good-natured hosts who helped navigate a few of the usual Zoom and internet challenges were Kwadwo Adusei of JunCtian and actress Zan.

Mr. Adusei joked that the occasional sound issue and internet lag “only makes it authentic.”

Suzanne “Zan” Coy is an actress who during the pandemic has created an online series for children to help them cope with challenges from the presence of COVID and the shut-downs.

Joan John of JunCtian told the audience she plans to bring the live version of the show to Dundalk when it’s possible.

Dr. Augustine is also supporting the launch of a book associated with the Miss Bonita series: The Case of the Girl who had to be Perfectly Perfect.

One crowd-pleaser was Anslem Douglas who sang three numbers – including an audience participation version of his hit, Who Let the Dogs Out. Several viewers brought their dogs onto their laps to add to the effect.

Among those bringing greetings were members of Southgate Council, Michael Sherson, Martin Shipston and Mayor John Woodbury, several from Grey Highlands and the first Black warden of Grey County Selwyn Hicks.

As well, Ms John introduced many members of JunCtian Community Initiatives. She reflected later that her highlight was “just the unity of everyone that was on and how much they enjoyed themselves.”

M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald