Novel Thomas

About the Author Novel Thomas

Novel is a well-respected columnist and a foundation member of the CONTACT team. He graduated from Concordia University’s English department. His writing is insightful and thought-provoking.

Community NewsLife & Style

Community stalwart NANCY MACKENZIE to receive BTW’S award

Novel Thomas In Montreal’s Black community the name Nancy Mackenzie has been spoken of for generations. Those who have met and come to know her speak positively and proudly of the person; others have never met her, but readily admit to hearing of her Black and extra-community initiatives. It comes as no surprise then, that after her many years of grassroots work Nancy Mackenzie’s name is among the list of recipients at Black Theatre Workshop’s 2019 Vision Celebration Gala. She will be honoured with the Dr. Clarence Bayne Community Service Award. Always soft-spoken and humble, Ms. Mackenzie admits to being …

Read more 0 Comments
Commentaries

Did I have a nice holiday Christmas season, you ask?

Well… Yes, I did. But that’s old news right now. With a little more than eleven months to go before we do it all over again, that’s truly a long, long stretch to cover. But as the saying goes, “good things come to those who wait.” I can. It’s a new year new year, 2019, so here we go again. Let’s put Christmas behind us. It will come again to be enjoyed, so long as we do all the necessary things (whatever they may be) to stay healthy. That done we will make it to December 2019 and do the …

Read more 0 Comments
Commentaries

RACE AND PROFILING…

In one of his songs at the height of his career, “Inner City Blues (Make me wanna holler) throw up both my hands…” Marvin Gaye laments some social realities… Merry Christmas! When Marvin sang those lines decades ago, he was addressing some of the issues, especially Race and one of its derivatives, racism, and how it was impacting Black people. Years on, the institutional social cancer is affecting Black people more than ever. In fact, it’s still front and center in America, fuelled by a powerful political force and constituency. Marvin is long gone, but his sentiments continue to resonate, …

Read more 0 Comments
Commentaries

IMAGINING THE WORLD IN ITS ORIGINAL STATE

People are inherently migratory, so for multiple reasons they’re coming here from everywhere… As I boarded an STM bus last Saturday morning to run some errands around town, there was a sense of excitement among several Black passengers – children and adults alike – but especially the children. They were headed somewhere, evidently for some event. It couldn’t be church (Seventh Day Adventist notwithstanding); people, especially children, do not get that excited about going to church unless it’s for some special non-religious event. As the bus continued along the route, more and more adults and children of different ethnic backgrounds …

Read more 0 Comments
Commentaries

Where We Live, How We Living…

The event was free, always a good reason to show up anywhere, for anything, and be seen. But this one was special, as advertised, free, nothing about that marketing selling strategy: x$, more at the door, the latter always an incentive to get your tickets early…). So on arrival at the venue it was simply a matter of walking in and joining in one or another conversation as guests socialized and organizers awaited the arrival of other panelists. So it’s only fall, but a relatively light first snowfall of the season – the winter season – was ongoing, as a …

Read more 0 Comments
News

Just ask the purveyors of racism…

WHY THEY HATE? The late legendary comedian, social commentator/activist/humourist… Dick Gregory once said, “Racism is a form of societal insanity…” He should know. In his 85 years of life, especially during those heady days of racism when he took his life’s existence and experiences [with racism] to the stage, the social cancer was grist for his work on stage. Although he knew that there was nothing at all funny about that institutionalized social practice and its detrimental effects on many, Dick Gregory injected humour into the subject, which many at different levels – political, judiciary, socially – refuse to address …

Read more 0 Comments
Commentaries

JUST LIVING BLACK…

One of the things about being Black is When I heard the news story early last Monday morning I immediately thought, ‘there they go again’, another person trying to impose [his] racial birthright – whiteness – on another Black person, this one a 77-year-old Black woman who had boarded a Ryanair aircraft for a flight to London, England. Having heard the story that morning I couldn’t wait to get home to see if the story made the evening news. And there it was on the NBC evening news. Here’s the literal setup on the plane, according to an eyewitness account …

Read more 0 Comments
Commentaries

IMMIGRANTS, MIGRANTS, REFUGEEs

Global Political Capital It’s a “modern” world, one that has morphed into what’s referred to as a “global village,” spawning the concept of globalization… It is the reality, the world has shrunk, so people are taking advantage, are constantly on the move, landing at airports, crossing lands and borders (legally and illegally), or by sea, landing on different shores, or being rescued at sea (some, the unfortunate, washing up on beaches…). Meanwhile, in former “welcoming countries” the discussions have become discordant, contentious, heated… as certain domestic forces suffering from “migrant fatigue” begin to show their colours. The immigration/refugee/migrant issue (all …

Read more 0 Comments
Commentaries

THE POLITICS OF QUEBEC POLITICS…

So next Monday Quebecers will elect a new government. It will be led by one of the leaders of the two major parties vying to govern the province for the next four or five years, le Parti Liberal du Quebec, or the upstart CAQ (Coalition Avenir du Quebec) party. Heading into the final days of the campaign the incumbent premier, and leader of the governing Liberal Party, Philippe Couillard, and leader of the opposition CAQ, Francois Legault, were running neck and neck, with the latter party holding a slight lead, heading into minority government territory, according to pundits. And so …

Read more 0 Comments
Commentaries

We’re Not A Monolith, Just Living Black…

IT’S TRUE An online article goes like this, “San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick did not stand during the national anthem during a pre-season game…” “After the game, Kaepernick stood firm in his decision to choose not to stand for the anthem saying, “I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed.” Another person stated, “Kaepernick’s protest is just as American as the flag.” And a gold medal winner in a different sport opined that she “supports Kaepernick’s right to protest.” Former NBA player, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf supports Kaepernick, having made a similar statement …

Read more 0 Comments