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.

Commentaries

SIMPLY PUT…

Africa is the world’s bitch, its dubious leaders the pimps. But all bad things will end – one day Watching a BBC program a few weeks ago, an African businessman in Djibouti, that small country on the northeastern tip of Africa (known as known as “the Horn…”), in talking business prospects for the country and continental economic development in general, said “Africa is the richest continent on the planet with the poorest people on the planet…” An interesting, insightful and thought-provoking statement that resonated with me and I’m sure other people who might’ve seen that particular program. It is a …

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Commentaries

POLITICAL WOMEN

They will be Africa’s deliverance and salvation Last time I mentioned that on his [GPS] program a couple weeks ago, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria discussed how the world would fare if more women were in national political leadership positions. It’s an interesting notion to ponder, just because except for a few countries the world for far too long has been led by an unbroken parade of white projecting and implementing their testosterone-induced agenda on the international landscape. It’s no wonder, then, that the world is currently in the tumultuous state it is; too many men have been vested with political power …

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Commentaries

POLITICAL WOMEN PLEASE

More women, international political leaders, are what the world needs. On the African continent it’s an urgency. Political men have outlived their useful… uselessness.   When I’m not in church on a Sunday morning, I use the time to partake of the religion of politics by watching and listening to the ideological ponderings of diverse characters that saturate network television. And there’re enough characters every channel espousing individual political and ideological perspectives to nourish and satiate viewers’ political bents. I especially like CNN’s Global Public Square (GPS) hosted by Fareed Zakaria, an award-winning journalist, political scientist, and author. And his …

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Commentaries

When, where, how will the hate end?

On March 27, the CAQ government finally delivered on its promise to restrict the wearing of religious garb and symbols of any kind  where government business is conducted. This (restriction), known as Bill 21, only applies to the employees of the state: health care professionals, teachers, police, and so on. At the source of this religious symbol angst and conversation is religion, specifically Muslims, practitioners of the Islamic faith and what’s perceived (by some)as creeping Islamisation of Quebec society – hijab, niqab, etc., and then there’re Jewish religious symbols – Star of David, yarmulke, Kippa… The only reason why the …

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Commentaries

Of Humans, Blood, Tears and Prayers…

Each time another human massacre is perpetrated by another white male, it’s as if it’s unprecedented so nothing changes As usual, wherever it happens and innocent blood flows, come the sadness and extended mourning… and people trying to come to terms with man’s capacity to wreak havoc on his fellowman… woman. There are prayer vigils for victims, along with what have become moot calls for political intervention — gun control. But in what’s regarded as civil North American, European and other societies where people of European progeny constitute a majority, the perennial conversation about (the right to bear arms…) inevitably …

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Commentaries

THE BLEACHING…

The word and definition tell the story. Naturally or chemically, it speaks to the dangers – various side effects – some Black people are subjecting themselves to in order to acquire (a semblance of unnatural) lightness, and by extension, a false sense of specious social acceptance, or tolerance. And so it is, not only in predominantly white societies, but also on the African continent where some Black people have bought into the bleaching aesthetic and farce. The belief being that lighter is better than dark. The irony and paradox are that even on the African continent (Africa!), people are shamelessly …

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Commentaries

WHAT COULD’VE BEEN?

It’s BLACK HISTORY MONTH, so among the conversations about ‘history and blackness’ is that perennial one about building an economically vibrant Black community. Some conversations are uplifting, others are rife with hopelessness… nourished by the absence of tangible evidence to suggest that the community is finally on an upward trajectory, which only nourishes that sense of hopelessness. So at this time of year especially, people are wondering if this community will ever exit what seems to be a permanent socio-economic morass. Sure the community is economically comatose, not a personal opinion, but a general view of the state of our …

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Commentaries

WHAT COULD’VE BEEN?

Conversations about elevating the Black community are endless. Some are uplifting… others rife with hopelessness; absence of tangible evidence to the contrary only nourishes that sense of hopelessness. So each year at this time, many look in the rearview mirror and ponder… From her enviable vantage point, a place far outside Montreal called retirement, which she has been occupying now for a couple or three years, my dear friend of over four decades and counting can’t help thinking of a Black community she was born and raised in that begs the question: what could’ve been if…? So whenever Black History …

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Commentaries

IMITATION IS THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY

Laughter Is Remedy/Anodyne for the pain in society’s heart and soul [So] watching CTV news the evening of Wednesday 16th, I was taken aback by a story about a white comedian, a man with a dreadlock hairstyle. His name is Zach Poitras. According to Zach he was banned from participating in a comedy event because of his hairstyle. My immediate thinking was, what! This is nonsense, ridiculous, can’t be serious… Seems like the organizers of the (laugh) event deemed his “do” culturally inappropriate; more to the point, “cultural appropriation… and racist.” In a Canadian Press story the “aspiring Montreal comedian” …

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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 …

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