Black Activism: Toronto
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Politics and Activism

Black Activism: Toronto

Recently in Toronto Canada, the black advocacy group “Black Lives Matter Toronto” briefly interrupted the “Pride Toronto Parade” set for the LGBTQ community in the area.

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Black Activism: Toronto

Recently in Toronto Canada, the black advocacy group “Black Lives Matter Toronto” briefly interrupted the “Pride Toronto Parade” set for the LGBTQ community in the area. This being one for the largest parades in Toronto, co-founder of the group, Alexandria Williams (a black queer woman), staged this protest to fight for the inclusion of Black LGBTQ representation at Toronto Pride and addressing issues surrounding Black queer erasure and sexual violence at the hand of police officers in the Black queer community in Toronto and around the country. She stated:

“Today we held “PRIDE” accountable for their anti-blackness, for there , and for the fact that we have been push to the margins way too long.” – Alexandria Williams.

Along with a list of other demands, the group has demanded that the Toronto Police Parade Float not be allowed in the Parade line up for next year for this reason, and that certainly is not too much to ask. This is a prime example of how apparent racial inequality is reflected among ALL groups of Black people. She mentioned that the Toronto PRIDE Fest should not be a place where homophobia is addressed and confronted but, Black queer erasure is ignored considering that the two should be operating at the same level. This narrative suggest a dichotomy has been constructed that denies a space for “black issues” and puts real “LGBTQ issues” in the center point, as if the two existed in completely different arenas. This gets into problematic territory when the activist conversation centers on homophobia in the LGBTQ community and completely disregards and minimizes racial issues in the LGBTQ community, especially at an event like “PRIDE Toronto”. If this festival was meant to “unify” any group, then it is important that these things are brought to the forefront.

Personally, as an individual who is not a member of the LGBTQ community, I cannot speak to any personal experience stemming from this injustice however, as a member of the black community, I am all too aware of the erasure of black bodies in white owned multi-media platforms ( Walt Disney, ABC Family, MTV etc..). This gives us a sense of what black LGBTQ communities are dealing with as far as representation is concerned especially at an event like PRIDE, where the only people who seem to be represented are white, able-bodied, men and women.

It is important that black people as a whole understand the dynamics behind this type of oppression, even if it doesn’t look like what we have been used too from the 80’s and 90’s. These people looking for accountability are not looking to push a gay agenda, or an anti-white agenda, but this is very much so a Black agenda that we need to concern ourselves with, especially as “pro-Black people” who only seem to be able to identify with mass incarnation, police brutality, and “regaining our African roots”; not to mention our avid pacification of some toxic and destructive behavior attached to black masculinity.


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