RE: A Class Act, Finally (NOW, January 31-February 6). I’d like to commend Andrew Cash on a well-written article. But I take issue with a statement attributed to trustee Josh Matlow, who is quoted as saying that “we may be authorizing something illegal” with Africentric schools. Should the other alternative schools in the system be considered illegal as well, then?
Trustee Stephnie Payne’s comments clearly illustrate her lack of knowledge of Africentric programming. As you can see, we are clearly divided, a product of colonization, slavery, Willy Lynch.Karlina Mahmoud, meanwhile, states that she doesn’t see her community reflected, and claims the emphasis on American symbols – Martin Luther King, the Underground Railroad and hiphop – leaves out the continental African.
You cannot teach African history without teaching world history, since African history is the foundation of all history.
A Yearning To Learn
I’ve previously argued against black-focused schools, but I think now that such schools can succeed. The creation of an appropriate curriculum is the key to success.
It should be Africentric enough to inspire a sense of ethnic pride in students of African descent.
What do you think about replacing French immersion with Swahili immersion? Sounds a bit radical, but it might work.
Money where the Finch is
Noticed on page 62 of your current mag that you’re one of the sponsors of North By Northeast. As well, an ad on page 68 says you’re helping sponsor Worldstage 08.
I also read in your fine mag about Paul Nguyen’s website (www.jane-finch.com) in Nine Things We Love About Jane-Finch (NOW, January 31-February 6).
You mention that Nguyen’s efforts are self-financed and add, “Now, if he could only get a little funding.” Well, how about NOW, eh?
Alan L. Brown
RE Hiphop Freq Fest (NOW, January 31-February 6). Hold on, hold on! For the record (pun intended), not only did I e-mail in MP3s of two tracks from my album Escape From The Pigeon Hole to FLOW station manager Justin Dumont for consideration, but I also dropped off a hard copy of the album at the station.
And MySpaced P-Plus personally to get his mailing address so I could send the Real Freq crew their own copies of the vinyl. (Never heard anything back.)
C’mon now. Hands have to be open to receive the records I’m trying to put into them! Don’t worry, though, Arcee – I still love ya.
You’re lucky Essay On Pseudoism is still so bangin’!On another note, happy birthday to me... peace.
Sour on Harlem
I’m curious to know the reason for Harlem co-chef Ange McClusky’s sour expression in the photo accompanying your review (NOW, January 31-February 6) .
I can only assume that a) she hates having her photo taken; b) she hates her job; or c) she’s trying desperately hard to curdle some milk!
Zaki chases away the blues
Thank you for featuring Zaki Ibrahim on your cover (NOW, January 24-30). Ibrahim’s show at the Mod Club was an outstanding testament to the unique musical talent in our city. If the audience came in with the winter blues, they walked out feeling lifted and inspired. Keep it up!
Manley’s big miscalculation
Manley’s report on Afghanistan (NOW, January 24-30) is unrealistic in suggesting 1,000 more troops will make a substantial difference. A contingent of 7,500 British troops has been unable to bring stability in neighbouring Helmand province.
Both there and in Kandahar, the only territory effectively controlled is the camps and the ground traversed by NATO patrols.
The rhetoric of the Manley report is that there are winning conditions. The reality, based on the history of the Pashtuns, is that there are none.
Bring the boys home
The Harper government extended a mission that began as one of reconstruction into pacifying a conflict among tribal warlords in Kandahar province, where torture and family feuds dominate. Now the government wants this mission extended indefinitely. It’s time to thank our troops and bring them home.
Oak Bay, BC
Eco horror will save lives
RE: The Nano Protocol, by Gwynne Dyer (NOW, January 24-30). Those who are deeply critical of India’s new Nano automobile should grasp that it will actually save many lives.
As Dyer points out, because of the low price, many citizens of that country will now be able to afford a car instead of a scooter.
Although scooters are cheap and environmentally friendly, they result in a staggering number of injuries and deaths. Surely, in the short term, the Nano will be beneficial. However, from an environmental standpoint, the big picture becomes smoggier.
Yes, we have bananas
In response to Fairville, Canada (NOW, January 17-23), I just wanted to let you know that fair trade bananas are available in Toronto. Karma Co-operative (www.karmacoop.org) stocks them.
If outspoken Canadian marijuana activist and seed entrepreneur Marc Emery is guilty of anything (NOW, January 17-23), it’s telling the truth about marijuana prohibition.
If health outcomes determined drug laws instead of cultural norms, marijuana would be legal.
The University of Michigan’s Monitoring The Future study reports that lifetime use of cannabis is higher in the United States than in any European country, yet the U.S. is one of the few Western countries that use their criminal justice system to punish citizens who prefer marijuana to martinis.
Canada should follow the lead of Europe and just say no to the American Inquisition.
Common Sense for Drug Policy
What readers are saying on nowtoronto.com
RE Standing Rec on its Head (NOW, January 31-February 6). It’s really sad that the people who are going to have their quality of life slammed if this plan is not changed are too damn busy making ends meet to e-mail their city councillor and demand they vote against it. The city already uses a sliding scale for child care subsidies, so it wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel. That administration costs are too high doesn’t justify being grossly unfair to the working poor! I hope low-income working families speak out before the meeting at City Hall February 21. Otherwise, it may be too late.
A school for fools, too!
RE No Substitute for Black Teachers (NOW, January 31-February 6). Let’s have schools for blacks, yellows, lefties, the colour-blind, Conservatives, Liberals and on and on and on! Another world-class idea from Toronto.
Size isn’t everything
RE Metamorphic Jolts the Eye (NOW, January 24-30). Hey, Leah Sandals, how about getting out of the worn-out stereotypes about printmaking? Julie Voyce is a highly original artist who has chosen to work in this medium all her career. That alone should make you sit up and take notice. She has always challenged the limits of the medium her way. Take a look at the roots of printmaking – its affordability, versatility and the options for experimentation – and give it some respect. Size and surface aren’t everything.
English takes a beating
RE Dyeing for a New Life (NOW, January 24-30) What the? This is the worst piece of writing I have seen in a very long time. It’s completely unfocused. There appears to be a main idea about friendship, but then it goes off on the clothes tangent. What were the editors thinking in letting this through? Seriously, I have years of experience as an ESL writing teacher and editor of a community newspaper, so I’ve seen the worst of the worst, but this is truly astonishing to see in print.