As part of the College’s commitment to anti-racism, we recognize the importance of elevating diverse voices of leadership within the profession, and the benefits of discussion and sharing of experiences, perspectives and reflections. This space is dedicated to RECEs who identify as Black, Indigenous or Persons of Colour. If you’re interested in contributing to this conversation, please email us at email@example.com.
My Racism Story
It’s losing the innocence of being my young self, just me To a world that screamed loudly that there’s a difference in me Where a society said that my beautiful black face Was not good enough for many a place Where prejudiced educators give others your due Yes even in the learning place and space the struggle begins in you It’s visiting a sacred space and sitting in a pew, just my offspring and me Our small hope is that this one maybe different, let’s just see Just there to worship our creator God with others Lifting our voices together as sisters and brothers But no one ever comes over, says hello, smile and just be kind Yes even in sacred spaces swell the prejudiced mind It’s being asked the question, “So are you just passing through?” I sense the hope that my time here in this sacred space should be few My DNA knows the recognition, it knows the question code Not welcomed! Not needed! Not here in this sacred abode Just a tepid greeting, no warmth, no smile to appear to be kind Yes even in sacred spaces can dwell the prejudiced mind It’s the anger when listening to our very young teenage son Tell of walking from school with friends, hues of black and brown They were ‘carded’ for nothing, someone else had committed a crime But they had the audacity of ‘walking while black’ just at that time They dared walk in a space not sacred but a place all the same Yes the law can be a beast to us and is definitely not tame It’s visiting a town in Ontario to watch a parade, on Canada Day Not imagining that our presence is not welcomed, and judgment come into play Flags are given to all, in front of us, in back and even by our side But to us none is offered, guess the thinking was black folk can’t have Canadian pride We stand in silence too stunned to speak, recognizing that Ignorance still thrives In this small town, yes here too reside those who refuse to acknowledge our lives It’s a story of listening to friends say they are colourblind But this expression is hurtful and is definitely not kind It means you don’t see me, eyes closed to all that I bring Your words have no comfort and are not healing songs you sing My talents, my joys, my history and differences Your saying it denies all my lived and varied experiences – That can enrich all the spaces and places and free the prejudiced minds These are a few of the experiences that are a part of my story As I Journey, I am assured that I am created as part of Gods glory Each dawn will see me celebrate the accomplishments of my kinfolk Even ‘living while black’ with racism evil and burdensome yoke Bodies aching with centuries of pain, the horror in stories we often retold But few arms of comfort around our weary being did enfold I will speak truth to power in all the spaces and places where there is a prejudiced mind Even as I tell my story, where silence is violence, under the guise of being kind When opportunities are bequeathed, though no labour is done The reason is simple, it’s privilege based on the required skin tone But, given nothing, we have made something by surviving, though weary The mountains we climb daily, bloodied feet, anxious minds and eyes bleary It’s the trauma that occurs over and over with the knees on the neck On our bodies, in our souls, no relief as daily aggressions go largely unchecked Words are used as weapons, when authorities are summoned The spaces and places we occupy, always watched, actions always questioned As others play God, no dawn we awake to, can we exist and be totally free The sunset gives some solace as in our abodes we may exhale and just be I will not accept it Get comfortable in it In the places and spaces Where we show our faces And where reside prejudiced minds May my words find an open ear That listen and care That no one is free In any space where my humanity And face In a place And space That denies my right to just be God’s image bearer That’s My Racism story C. Elias RECE