Black History Month: Storytellers’ Symposium
After extreme weather conditions closed the university on Thursday, February 23, the Department of Family Medicine is thrilled to present the new date for the Black History Month Storytellers’ Symposium!
Join us on Thursday, March 23 from 8 to 10 a.m. and enjoy the same curated lineup and delicious catering!
This event will be an opportunity to showcase the beauty and resiliency of Black stories, art and talent, from poets to dancers and musicians. We hope to amplify the power of storytelling, while celebrating and honouring Black existence and resistance through the arts.
We invite all faculty, staff and learners to register for this free, hybrid event — even if you registered for the first event, please register again for the new date.
The in-person event will be hosted on the 2nd floor auditorium of the David Braley Health Sciences Centre (DBHSC). There is a maximum capacity for in-person attendees, so please register as soon as possible. For people attending remotely, the event will be live-streamed, and you will receive virtual meeting details on the week of the event.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to our EDI & Anti-Racism Partner – Nirosha Balakumar (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A message from Aunt Jean
“Porridge is an inheritance from our African ancestors and the Scottish migrants who came to the Caribbean around early 1900s — the Scottish traditionally had porridge for breakfast. The breakfast tradition carried on by enslaved Africans working on plantations, who added their own ingredients and preparation has passed down to Caribbean people of today. Aunt Jean Creams method for cornmeal porridge remains the same recipe handed down by our ancestors.”
Storyteller line up
Renata Hall | Land Acknowledgement
Renata Hall is the Manager of Inclusion and Anti-Racism Education at McMaster where she is also a PhD Student in the Department of Social Sciences. Drawing from her ability and commitment to amplifying voices and building connections, Renata manages critical aspects of the EDI programs at McMaster University, specifically the Inclusion and Anti-Racism Education Programs. Beyond McMaster, she has also lent her strategic planning capabilities and advocacy to a range of initiatives in the broader Hamilton and Halton community.
Eddie Lartey | Spoken Word Artist
Eddie Lartey is a Hamiltonian wordsmith, poet, and spoken word artist who uses his gifts to address love, devastation and triumph within the Black experience. Using words to create a better life for all, Lartey is dedicated to the poetics of world-making and world-breaking. Through his collective, Hamilton You Poets, Lartey also conducts writing and performance workshops for a community of all ages and stages. His work has been performed on national and international stages for almost a decade. He is the 2019 Toronto International Poet Slam Champion, the 2021 Human Rights Festival Poetry Slam Champion, the 2022 Top 40 Under 40 recipient, and the 2022 Canadian Individual Poetry Champion, and has just won the 2022 Copa “Americas” de Poetry Slam, in Brazil.
MACaws | Dance Team
The goal of the McMaster Association of Caribbean & West Indian Students’ is to bring the rich and diverse culture of the Caribbean to McMaster University. The MACaws dance team is dedicated to bringing our community together to engage in creative expression.
Emmanuel Aduwari | Spoken Word Artist
Emmanuel is a 4th year Automation Engineer student at McMaster University. Born and raised in Nigeria and having moved to Canada, he has developed a curiosity towards nature, culture, and people. He also seeks to satiate a creative desire through photography, poetry, electronic design, and any other means he discovers throughout his life.
Sounds of Africa | Drumming, Song, Storytelling & Dance
The founder of Sounds of Africa, Noxolo ‘Noxy’ Goto was inspired by stories of her Southern African heritage, customs and practices. She is accompanied by the future generation of storytellers, her children Sebastian and Vanessa Goto, and her niece Gabriella Ncube who share the same passion. What better way to share culture with the world than through drumming, song, storytelling, and dance?
Aaron Parry | Hamilton Black History Database
Aaron Parry is a local Hamilton-based artist and community leader who is active within youth development and Afrocentric history strategies in Hamilton’s Black community. He attended McMaster University for Indigenous Studies and African & Black Diaspora Studies, is a recipient of the Lincoln M. Alexander Award, and in 2021 he created the Hamilton Black History Database in conjunction with the Hamilton Black History Council and the Afro Canadian Caribbean Association.
EnShauntee Music | Vocalist
Shauntee Agro is the beautiful radiant face behind Enshauntee Music. She is an R&B inspirational singer with many influences who have inspired her (Laruyn Hill, Jennifer Hudson,) to say the least. Shaunte started singing at the age of 7 in a church. She has been a part of many choirs, different bands and also accompanied local Hamilton artists. Shauntee is currently working on her independent music while also actively apart of the Legends of Motown.
A Cause to Support: The Nia Centre for the Arts
This year we have chosen the Nia Centre for the Arts: First Black Arts Centre in Toronto as our cause to support. The Nia Centre is a Toronto-based not-for-profit organization that supports, showcases, and promotes an appreciation of arts from across the African Diaspora. While supporting creative capacities and the development of a healthy identity in Black Youth, the Nia Centre creates countless opportunities for community building through artistic and cultural experiences. We are proud to share that the McMaster Museum of Art partnered with the Nia Centre to pilot a Curator-in-Residence program to support an emerging Black curator as they work across community and institutional settings with the aim of producing a public exhibition. The Nia Centre has been raising funds for their re-development, and their grand opening is scheduled for early this year as they take the honour of being Canada’s first professional, multi-disciplinary centre for Afro-diasporic art.
We invite all attendees that are able to make a donation to support this cultural milestone as we collectively contribute to building and sustaining a legacy that celebrates Black art and stories. You can donate online through the Nia Centre’s website. However, if you plan on attending the Storyteller’s Symposium in-person, we encourage you to participate in our DFM fundraiser.
The DFM Viola Desmond Fundraiser
In honour of celebrating Black Canadian history, we will be inviting $10 (bill) donations as we share the story of Viola Desmond – an iconic Black civil and women’s rights activist, a businesswoman and the first Canadian woman on a Canadian bill. We will also be having a Toonie Drive as another option for those that wish to donate in-person. All donations collected will be donated to the Nia Centre for the Arts.