Our Community and Possibilities       

What if from within our own community we could… would see and realize these ideals?
Our Youth:
What if we choose four of our best bilingual minds from each of our wonderful Islands, say two older, experienced members, two young college or university students and/or corporate minds in training, male and female, young and old, together?
What if our remaining organizations pooled all their assets, what power, how viable would that be?
What if a community building was constructed, one that could meet our various needs?
Unified, out of many one people.
No matter where we come from we are all Africans.
If we go to Methodist or Catholic Church all they see is a Black person. Whether we are Quebecers… Canadians, or from the Caribbean all everyone sees is a Black person.
What if we saw one people, Black? What if we used the same fairness in voting people in as all others do: on a person’s education, experience, character, honesty, etc., and vision for the future?
What if we invited and encouraged our brilliant, bilingual young minds to be part of our (remaining) organizations? After all, it is their futures at stake.
What if we started doing for them what we ask of others for them?
What if the word “I” was replaced with the word “We” as a community?
Who is truly addressing the needs of our Black Canadian youths of Caribbean heritage?
Our community and Its Survival:
We do not realize the huge financial damage we continue to do to each other, which impedes the progress of the whole community. Knowledge is supposed to be power.
Blacks in another time, a more difficult era, were living with more blatant and subtle racism, lack of jobs and opportunities, poor living conditions, yet they [we] were able to acquire a Black Community Center on Old Orchard Street, as well as others.
Today we are more educated, have more resources available to us, more money, yet we have lost all our organizations, worth millions of dollars: Where did all the money go, who makes these decisions that affect us all?
What legacy are we leaving our youth?
What if we respect instead of disrespect each other? What if we spent our money in Black businesses as we do in others?
What if we gave Black employers and employees the same energy and respect that we demand of others?
What if we paid the Black employee as easily and fairly as we do Kentucky Fried Chicken or McDonalds?
We do not ask corporations for credit; they can afford it.
Why does a Black person work in your house, then he/she must often wait to get paid? A white person will not wait; they get their money right away.
We go to a small Black-owned restaurant and we want credit that the owner cannot afford.
The same with the tailor who takes one’s money and material for that wedding dress or suit, which often is not ready on time, so one must go buy another one.
Why does one have to hire a lawyer to get the Black repairman to finish work he has already been paid to do? Or the other way around.
A Black woman will get her hair relaxed, and has no money to pay, but says so only after the work is done? How often do we go to others outside our community for manicures and pedicures with money in hand, yet a Black lady will drive to your home (gas) and she is not paid?
How often do we turn our own illegal immigrants over to the authorities? How often do we borrow money from each other, but never repay?
What of the many Black businesses that have been lost because of the actions of a few [Blacks]? Not much is ever said.
The Black-owned restaurant in Cote des Neiges, where a few years ago a Black man and his gun closed that one down, two men died one was paralyzed, two brothers out of thousands of dollars and a community business destroyed.
Then there was a very funky new Black-owned club at Sherbrooke and Marcil where again thousands of dollars were invested. The first week it opened the liquor license had not yet been granted because of a shooting outside the place. It was also closed down.
Many of us are violently killed by others in our community: What is ever said or done?
And the beat goes on…
Leaders publicly lie for each other and we condone their (bad) behaviour. Yet we expect better from our young.
What if we started treating each other with respect and fairness? What if we thought of each other as brothers and sisters, all African descendants?
I wish all Blacks could see and appreciate where the creator placed us on Earth, Africa.
In my opinion it is the most resource and culturally rich place, with the most beautiful people, on this planet.
At least it was before the white man came with the Bible and his gun.
In order to change our community we must first change the people – ourselves – since we the people are “the community.”

Rhema Walters