This Black History Month has been beautiful; it brought us another year of unapologetic celebration and education of a history that is often ignored. It brought us an even stronger sense of togetherness than usual. And most importantly, it brought us Black Panther.
But just like there are thousands of ways to exude our Blackness, there are just as many ways to celebrate BHM, and what I enjoy most- not just now, but especially now- is highlighting the Black excellence that exists around me. This means buying from Black businesses, supporting local Black art, showing up for events put on by Black folks. Supporting our communities and ensuring Black innovators have opportunities to thrive is so important. So now that BHM has quickly come to its end, make sure you keep these local Black creators in mind all year long.
1) Sayless Movements
Looking for something stylish to wear? Well sayless and look no further. Sharano Hanna, a Bahamian-born local student believed that Sayless Movements was worth bringing to life because it's "more than a brand, It's a lifestyle!" Luckily he did, because there is so much to love about this clothing brand and the people behind it! With a variety of amazing clothes, a CEO who possesses a warm and uplifting attitude, and an awesome, hardworking team, Sayless Movements is one to look out for.
2)Tyonna's Landscaping Company (TLC)
She's well dressed, always smiling, and wants to help you with your lawn-related needs! Tyonna Roberts, a recent university graduate, created her own personal landscaping company last year to assist homeowners in the Niagara Region. With clients in St. Catharines, Welland, and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Tyonna enjoys working hard in the landscaping business. She's an intelligent young professional who is incredibly accommodating and loves to help others. This is a whole lot of #BlackGirlMagic.
3) Divine Royalty
The brilliance behind Divine Royalty, Josh Miah, manages to be involved in the community, work as part of his university's Black History Month committee, and cater food, all while keeping on top of his studies. From Ghana, to Toronto, to Niagara, Josh's culture is shown through his exquisite soul food. Jerk chicken, fried chicken, macaroni pie, plantain (you'll have to take up the plantain pronunciation argument with him, I'm not the one,) fried rice, mashed potatoes...need I go on?
4) Royal Black
Opuda Horsfall put a lot of time into Royal Black before sharing it. As mentioned on the brand's website, "the idea came in 2010, the designing started in 2015 and in May 2017, Royal Black Official was introduced to the world." There's a variety of designs to choose from making it hard to choose just one item. Royal Black thrives with a great team who works endlessly to provide unique clothing that everyone can enjoy!
5) Faithfully Faith
Faithful Poku is a recent university graduate who has put her creativity and passion into something new, exciting, and very entertaining. As a content creator on Youtube, her videos so far have been hilarious, informative, and quite useful. She gets real with us even if we aren't ready for it, but it's so needed. She doesn't hold back, and that's what I love most about her. Click below to check out her most recent video and see for yourself!
Youtube: click here to watch her most recent video!
Zomy Ibe and Kellian Gordon are here to remind you to prioritize your fitness. I know, I know, you're probably dreading it, but they've actually really managed to make exercising fun. Their videos are entertaining to watch, but also bring a sense of motivation and empowerment, making you want to be right there working with them! New to the fitness world? No worries! They give tips, tricks, and details on how to properly execute certain workouts. So what are you waiting for? Get to it!
Emmanuel Harawa is a current university student studying in Sport Management, athlete in track, and brilliant musician. His voice does more than gives chills; it resonates inside of you. His music is meaningful, soulful, and goes back and forth between singing and rapping. Want to know for yourself? Find him on itunes, or click the soundcloud link below!
Itunes: album- To Love A Woman
8) Stay Woke Radio
Don't sleep on these three, because they're doing big things this year. I've said it before and I'll continue to say it forever: unapologetically taking up space is a form of activism, and that is exactly the kind of activism I see in the work of Tianna Thomas, Donte Rolle, and Tash'i-nga MaBonzo through their local radio show "Stay Woke". These three students discuss various topics, and play afrobeats, hip hop, reggae, and soca on a predominantly white campus radio station. That, to me, is pretty bad ass. Tune in every Thursday from 8-10pm!
9) Chris Lawrence
An activist, creator, future filmmaker, and full time student, there really isn't much that he doesn't do. You might've seen Chris Lawrence at the local donut shop, on Twitter saying all the things the rest of us were thinking, or taking photographs around the neighborhood. He's made short films such as Being Black Is, and blesses our timelines with his photography skills, and loud activism towards injustice. He is bold, brilliant, and dripping with melanin-infused excellence.
10) Benny Miakanda
Ever need a good, quick laugh? Well I think I've found the medicine. Benny Miakanda is a young, local comedian who specializes in short videos that he shares on Instagram and Youtube. His content, acting, and overall video production is stunning. His jokes are often rooted in lived experience of culture, race, family, friends, and more. He's funny, creative, and relateable. This new comedian is on the come up, and exudes so much Black excellence.