Local author Akilah Newton joins forces with Vancouver’s Tami Gabay for insightful book

Black History Month is just around the corner and with it comes  a slew of events in our community across Montreal.
With so much going on its best to take notes and save the dates.
This year Overture With The Arts founder and  executive director Akilah Newton embarks on a cross Canada tour.
In addition to her work with OWTA,  this young Kirkland native recently co-authored Big Dreamers with Vancouver’s Tami Gabay.  Released in October 2018, this is a must-have student activity book that highlights the achievements of a range of Black Canadians.
While we are all familiar with names like Martin Luther King , Rosa Parks and Malcolm X, we are less aware of Rosemary Brown, Isaac Phills or Viola Desmond who was recently featured on our ten dollar  bill.
All of these incredible Black Canadians have made huge contributions to society. To discover more, get yourself a copy of Big Dreamers The Canadian Black History activity book for kids.
Starting in Montreal on February 1 until the 19th,   Akilah will embark on a nation wide trek to promote the book.   With a quick stop in Toronto, the tour will then go cross-country with presentations in Calgary and Edmonton before wrapping up in British Columbia.
In addition to sharing the untold stories of countless Black Canadians. Akilah will be putting an emphasis on the Black female, through an initiative known as BRAWL, (which stands for Black Revolutionary Activists Women List). This is the only group  of its kind highlighting Black history across Canada.
Overture With The Arts  also promises an education-meets-entertainment style format, using Slam poetry , hip-hop, and stand up comedy to boost audience participation. The 60-minute  presentation  includes a Q&A  and will feature topics on trailblazers Harriet Tubman right up to the founders of the Black Lives Matter.
As a father of two, I believe it’s crucial that we share these stories with our youth. Let them hear about all the great accomplishments of our community.
Unfortunately the school systems in Canada and America  only talk about slavery and the civil rights movement. They can pretend black excellence hasn’t existed long before it became a popular #hashtag but we should not. Lets celebrate our heroes male  and female everyday and continue to contribute to human history.
There will  be a Caribbean Lunch to raise money for OWTA in Montreal on Saturday, February 2 from 1 to 3:30pm at the Pierrefonds Cultural Centre (13850 Gouin Blvd. W., H8Z 1X7) catered by Tasty Touch. Media celebrity, Catherine Verdon-Diamond, will host the event with live entertainment.
Ms. Verdon-Diamond will also animate the Triple “A” Conference, with panelists Omari Newton and former CFLer, now municipal politician,
Balarama Holness, discussing Black activists, artists, and athletes who have made or are making positive strides against racism.
The conference is scheduled for Friday, February 8 from 7:00  pm to 8:30 pm, also at the Pierrefonds Cultural Centre. All are welcome and tickets for each of these events are $20, available through www.owta.org.
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