Raymond Sheppard: “Many African Canadians are seriously struggling To see their efforts to pay for the bare necessities and try to keep up with utility bills and such is heartbreaking. Many have been forced to take out payday loans at unreasonable interest rates just to survive.”
Raymond Sheppard on the George Floyd verdict and why Canadians shouldn’t be smug about policing in Canada.
Raymond Sheppard: It is not enough just to speak the truth inside our homes or as a one-on-one with another African Nova Scotian. Action toward our true emancipation is crucial and critical.
Long time anti-racism activist Raymond Sheppard offers up some ideas on meaningful long-term police reform.
Raymond Sheppard: “It’s hard to believe, but African people in North America and beyond are still in a state of slavery. For most of us the chains are gone, but the system of slavery is still intact, through power, control, privilege and profit. Slavery did not end; it merely morphed into a mental system, a planned system of limitation and falsehood.”
Raymond Sheppard writes about the role of racism in the Lionel Desmond case. “In the African Nova Scotian community, after facing anti-Black racism and hate trauma, individuals and the community try to move on and we have been taught to rise above it. However, the effects of this kind of trauma run deep and do not just go away.”
Raymond Sheppard: “Based on prolonged exposure to the effects of racism, intergenerational racism and poverty, I believe most African Canadians suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. This is part and parcel of the experiences of most in the African Canadian community.”
Raymond Sheppard usually writes about the many ways racism manifests in Nova Scotia, but today he tackles positivity. “We should try to focus more on what we can do and not what we cannot do. Sometimes this is challenging, but positivity improves our mental health and self esteem, and without positivity dreams seems to evaporate,” he writes.
Raymond Sheppard: We are proud of our culture, heritage and lineage. The strength, spirit, courage, resilience, faith, hope, indomitable spirit, perseverance, pride, dignity, respect and honor that is in us is our inheritance from Mother Africa.
Raymond Sheppard: Sisters and Brothers, in closing, we must never let others define us. We are beautiful and we are here.