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

It transcends February

AFRICAN… BLACK HISTORY Just like Black history has become the flavour of the month of February, I can’t separate the African history of the Caribbean, Latin America (especially Brazil), the nations of the South Pacific, North America and Europe from the continent of Africa. Diluted by time as Black history might’ve become in some places, the reality is always there to see… African history must therefore be addressed holistically. If what’s happening there, where it all began, does not resonate, then… That said, it truly is disheartening watching and reading the news coming out of a handful of African countries …

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Commentaries

Like shattered glass we must put our pieces together

A Fractured History A Fractious People In a global context, our history is not about little islands in the Caribbean, each with specific and unique customs and historical facts (like the region’s multi-racial, -ethnic composition, etc.). It’s not about the South Pacific’s or India’s Andaman Islands’ African peoples. It’s not about Europe’s peoples of African heritage, or North America’s African peoples, descendants of the slaves… Actually, our history is comprised of the totality – all those places along with (and most importantly) the primary source from which, centuries ago, our ancestors were forcibly extracted and stripped of those things that …

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Commentaries

THE HYPOCRISY OF RELIGION AND POLITICS…

The Religion… I went to Union United Church the end of January to worship, something I do occasionally. And each time I pull on that big brown door it’s with great expectations of hearing some “good news” from the pulpit and the good members of the Union family, especially that the seemingly endless contention, which has resulted in the polarization of the congregation, has finally ended, and that everyone is now on the same page, singing from the same Hymn book, and working cooperatively. So there I was. After greeting familiar folk I settled in for another Sunday session of …

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Commentaries

It’s code for exclusion

Peddling Values In recent years, a newfangled term has rooted itself into everyday public discourse: values. Not a day goes by that I do not hear. Canadian values, western values… and I imagine in Europe the term European values is been tossed around in the media on a daily basis. There was a time when the only thing that immediately came to mind when I hear the word was (in reference to) money: the price of commodities one wished to purchase and so on. Now it has taken on a new meaning; whenever I hear it it’s in reference to …

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Commentaries

It’s a world they’ve imposed on us

MORE OF THE SAME IN 2017 And as 2016 ground to a screeching halt there was a resounding sigh of relief around the world by that international constituency that still cares about how the world is revolving. It was because of all the wanton violence, especially in those regional pockets of the globe where images of people walking, running for their lives with sounds of explosions, raging fires, billowing smoke and mounds of rubble entombing the dead and dying – sometimes the mangled bodies were visible or covered with blankets – an almost daily news staple. Especially those tens of …

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Commentaries

So it’s the season of peace, Christmas

In addition to the Nobel Peace Prize and what it symbolizes, there should be one awarded to those nations and political leaders that have been, and continue to be, complicit in helping the vaunted Nobel Peace Prize, for whatever its worth, lose its glitter. It’s time to seriously consider such a yet-to-be-named prize. The Nobel thing is simply not living up to its billing… How so? Simply because for generations and all those years I have been living and hearing about (and coming to understand) the significance of the “prize” there hasn’t been any peace to think of. And at …

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Commentaries

Fidel Castro was about solidarity with some

Fidel Castro was many things to many people, among which was a polarizing figure. That’s irrefutable. Some people loved him and others loathe him. When the legendary Cuban revolutionary leader died on Friday, November 25, it was international news. His life and times became the lead story of daily newscasts for the next nine days, a period of mourning (or celebration) of his life, which began in Havana and culminated with hundreds of thousands of people lining the 800km route waving Cuban flags and shouting “Long live Fidel!” as the urn bearing his ashes arrived in Santiago de Cuba, his …

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Commentaries

AMERICA: THE UGLY, AND SOME BEAUTIFUL

“It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House,” a white woman in a place called Clay County, West Virginia, wrote in a Facebook post the other day. I assume it was her way of finally seeing the brightening light at the end of the tunnel in white people’s slow, long march back to the White House after eight years of political and racial consternation. What with the darkness that has permeated the White House that the slaves built centuries ago, and where come January 20, a Black family having occupied the place …

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Commentaries

A One-Of-A-Kind Human Being

IRRIPRESSIBLE AND IRREPLACEABLE Just after 8 PM the night of Thursday, November 4, I received a call informing me that “Bob’s in the hospital… he’s down…” It sounded like “breaking news” I would sometimes joke with Bob whenever he called me to discuss something… My Initial thought was to get dressed and head to the hospital. But after listening to the ominous tone of the caller’s voice, and sensing the seriousness of the situation, I concluded that I shouldn’t be there. Bob’s family was present, and under the circumstances, aside from taking up space my presence there wouldn’t do anything …

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Commentaries

WHO’S LEADING THE UNITED FLOCK?

Amidst the contention the STM quietly bides its time Generations of Black people from various parts of the world have written or told their stories about when and why Union United Church was established, and why it has special meaning to them. There are many versions, but when all is said and done, all will invariably agree that the historic church was established over a hundred years ago as a haven from the nefarious social forces of the day who weren’t open, let alone welcoming, of the presence of Black people in their particular houses of worship or the human …

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