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

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 …

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Commentaries

TRUMPETING FOR A RACE WAR?

Racism thrives in America, now he’s attempting to foment racial conflict overseas in a country that’s still trying to come to terms with its racist past.   If for one reason or another you missed, or have forgotten about, that long period of dehumanization of Black people in South Africa – a slice of one of the most mineral-rich and most beautiful parts of Africa – here’s an excerpt from an online article that sums up the dawn of white minority (supremacy, reign of terror and) lording over South Africa’s majority Black and other nonwhite peoples. “[…] After the National …

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Commentaries

The unending talk about race, racism…

I don’t know about you, but hearing all that talk about race, racism and its deleterious effects (on Black people in particular) last weekend just about drove me nuts. Especially because all the politically and racially fuelled angst and outcome are being pinned on one individual, who some in Black America refer to as “#45.” Understandably, his arrival on the political global stage, his ascension to what many consider to be the supreme political office in the world, still have people befuddled, scratching their heads, pulling out their hair, tongues wagging, and more… Many contend and have concluded that he’s …

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Commentaries

Africa Musings…

A CONTINENT OF PARADOX AND IRONIES For over a decade – actually it seems more like forever – the world has declined into a sort of chaotic state as primarily man-made conflict, natural disasters, drought, famine, starvation… continue to impact certain countries, which have people running away from all these crises. The visible result is thousands landing and/or washing up on Mediterranean seashores, with the fortunate ones trekking westward, crashing international borders. All of them seeking refuge and safe havens, to borrow that usual cliché, “start a new life.” The response to this ongoing human tsunami impacting western countries is …

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Commentaries

THE INTRINSIC VALUE OF THE 21st CENTURY SLAVES

Call it what you will, “me too” will call it what it is: cultural appropriation. When I turned on the radio early one morning the beginning of last week and heard about a gathering at a downtown venue where people were protesting the staging of a special musical performance as part of this year’s Jazz Festival, the thought that immediately came to mind was “Oh boy, here we go again…” It was almost natural. Over the years I’ve heard of so many instances of [Black] cultural appropriation in its various forms. All to tacitly illustrate and/or demonstrate that in both …

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Africa’s twenty-first century children are stepping up

ALWAYS PLAYING CATCH-UP   Are four young Africans on the cusp of a viable 21st century discovery, or will this one be like others I’ve heard about, but which quickly evaporate like steam? So, someone recently sent me a WhatsApp message with a bold message: “Share this! Let’s make them famous because the media won’t.” Below is the notation @BLACKBUSINESS. I consulted Google and a world of Black businesses exploded on the computer screen. Tapping into a few of them, I wasn’t seeing what I wanted. After trying a few other search phrases, a whole lot of phrases germane to …

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Commentaries

RACIAL TERRORISM…

They stopped using guns to subjugate and placate, now its words to dehumanize… Each time I hear another story about the matter dealing with the issue of race and racism, ethnicity, the manifestations and ramifications all I can think of is here we go again. About a week-and-a half or so that I first heard about a group of First Nations kids in Quebec City for a hockey tournament. I refer to it as another ‘here-we-go-again’ incident. Then watching the news a day later I was able to see footage of the incident: First Nations kids were being subjected to …

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Commentaries

THAT FILLY IS NOT JUST NEIGHING…

Don’t dismiss her; she’s speaking of her experiences…   Matters of race and racism, their manifestations and ramifications are always so hard to talk about publicly, and are often dismissed… But when coming from the horse’s mouth, the afflicted, it is time to listen, not simply dismiss it with a yawn… So when, about a week ago, 21-year-old Françoise Abanda said some things, which, I’m sure, many people thought she should’ve just kept to herself, tongues started wagging and lips flapping… It was one of the lead sports story that day. Abanda was apparently responding to a Twitter user who …

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Commentaries

IN THE UNFORGETTABLE WORDS OF JOHN AND YOKO

All those two Korean men, and many people around the world were thinking, saying and singing…   I watched with great interest on CNN, a late Thursday night here, a couple weeks ago, 13 or so hours later on Friday in Northeast Asia. Another page was been added to the world history book as leaders of the two Koreas, President Kim Jong Un of the North and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in were preparing to meet for the first time at a concrete separation referred to as the demarcation line). Why did that so-called Breaking News story matter to me? Because …

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Commentaries

TRAINING SOME PEOPLE TO BE BETTER PEOPLE

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea of “diversity training…” What exactly is the expected outcome for people with that certain affliction, which they continually use to afflict those they perceive to be socially vulnerable?   Each time there’s another egregious white-perpetrated, anti-Black [people, particularly male] incident in the news, words like “diversity… racial sensitivity… training… anti-bias” and other hackneyed terms along those lines get tossed around in the media, becoming the flavour of the moment—for a day or three—then evaporate. That recent racially tainted incident at that Starbucks store in Philadelphia was just another of those …

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