“ Every month we make history, regardless of what month it is. I always said we're not making records, we're making history. Anyone can make a record.
As Pierre Elliott Trudeau said, Canada has no official culture, so you can be Polish and still Canadian and Jamaican and still Canadian. That means I have to embrace the Polish community, the Italian community, the Jewish community - just like those communities have to embrace my community.
We're part of Canadian history all together.
But there are things out there we have to break as a community. On December 13 Stanley "Tookie" Williams was executed by the state of California. He was a co-founder of the Crips gang. What a lot of people don't know is that he was nominated for a Nobel peace prize while he was behind bars. At the same time, he was the one that put guns in the middle of South Central Los Angeles.
Twenty years later, look at what's going on in Toronto. It's crazy right now. I think we have to be leaders, man. When a co-founder of one of the biggest gangs in the world is executed, it's a wake-up call for everybody.
Prison is not the place to be. Death row is not the place to be; that's not cool. Because that's what's expected, people think of us as Neanderthals. We're giving people the opportunity to continue those stereotypical thoughts.
There's things out there that are making it easy for us to continue being the court jester. But people died for us to be where we are right now in the community. So Black History Month or no Black History Month, we just have to wake up and be leaders. ”
Wes 'Maestro' Williams is a hiphop artist and email@example.com