“The black history that has not been told needs to be told. There are all kinds of role models in Canada we [as blacks] can look at. I would like to see us look more at the accomplishment of Canadians when we celebrate black history. We seem to take our cue from the States for a lot of our celebration. We should also be teaching black history 12 months a year, because we are shown so negatively so often. It's destroying our self-esteem. I would also like to see us not focus so much on the efforts of individuals, but on community groups like the Jamaican Canadian Association or Tropicana, whose work [in the black community] we should be highlighting.
Community is a major issue for me. I think a lot of what's happening in terms of violence speaks to the community we are. I don't think we're doing too well in looking after our own. We're fighting our own individual battles, but not together. We're getting away from what we are - people who depend on one another to take care of our own.
Where I come from [Barbados], you weren't raised just by your parents. The church played a role. The schools played a role. The neighbourhood you grew up in played a role. I could not have been where I am without the help of my community. When all else fails, your community will never turn its back on you.”
Keith Forde is a deputy chief of Toronto police email@example.com