My Blackness, My Truth

Hosted By: Jayde Symone

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Frank and candid conversations about race and identity, with a special focus on the African Nova Scotian experience.

  • My Blackness, My Truth: Poetic Justice Mon, May 14, 2018

    Poetry is used to fight for social equity and to soothe the soul. As long as people have been communicating poetry has lived, starting from the throat and transitioning to the paper. No matter the method it’s power illuminates.
    Host, Jayde Symone, opens the show with some of what she calls “pre-teen poetry”. Poems she wrote when she was 12-years-old and still has today. She is joined by dancer, and poet Abena Beloved Green. Who has recently published her first book of poetry titled “The Way We Hold On”. Her poems address cultural, social, and environmental issues, relationships, and reflect on everyday life as a small-town raised, semi-nomadic, first-generation African Nova Scotian.

  • My Blackness, My Truth: This is my North End Fri, Apr 27, 2018
    Displacement is becoming a larger issue across the globe, areas that were previously considered undesirable are now being built up as more and more people move into urban cites. But, what happens to the people who lived there first, to the community they have built for themselves? Halifax Nova Scotia’s North End has a long and rich history that has created a unique identity but as the North End changes so does the distinct community.
    Host, Jayde Symone, opens the show with one of many stories she has about growing up in the North End. She is joined by educator, writer and artist Wendie Wilson Poitras. She shares how her community of the North End shaped her and how she fears the impending change my erase her history.
  • My Blackness, My Truth: Artistic Oppression Thu, Apr 19, 2018

    Artistic expression is present in those who self-identify as an artist and those who do not because art has been meticulously layered within African Nova Scotian culture for over 400 years. Through church, hair, language, and community gatherings many forms of artistic expression exist. But what happens when you desire to take that natural artistic expression and elevate it to a higher craft? What barriers stand in your way?

    Host, Jayde Symone, shares her truth about succumbing to artistic oppression as a young black woman who wanted to dance and was stagnated by the Nova Scotian dance scene. She is joined by New Glasgow born, African Nova Scotian actor, poet and playwright Walter Borden. He shares his experiences with trying to develop his craft as a playwright and the ways in which systemic racism tries to hold African Nova Scotian artists back.

  • My Blackness, My Truth: Mental Health “The Bleakness of Black Representation” Tue, Mar 13, 2018

    Cultural competence is being recognized as foundational knowledge for healthcare professionals. In 2005, Nova Scotia produced a Cultural Competence Guide for Primary Health Care Professionals. But for many African Nova Scotians this hasn’t translated to direct benefit. Many still struggle silently. With misunderstandings within the community around what mental illness means and barriers that prevent individuals from accessing help, dealing with depression, anxiety and other disorders becomes challenging and complicated. Compounding those issues is the difficulty of finding a therapist of color or an organization that specifically caters to one’s community. From stigma to lack of research, these all play into larger barriers for finding types of therapy or medication that fit African Nova Scotian needs.

    Host, Jayde Symone, greats you with soundscape she created to share a deep truth, a look into her brain as she is asleep, what she calls her anxiety dream. She is joined by East Preston born, African Nova Scotian medical researcher and mental health advocate, Adena Cox. She shares her experience observing mental illness in her community, feeling helpless in the short term yet taking action for the future. Her truth; Black representation at all levels of Mental Health service is desperately needed.

  • My Blackness, My Truth: Black Professional Paralysis Fri, Mar 02, 2018

    One of many results of colonialism and systemic oppression in Nova Scotia is that the higher you climb the seemingly “whiter” it gets. This can leave some African Nova Scotian professionals with tough choices when it comes to community access. By being active in African Nova Scotian communities we are able to find support, understanding, and joy. But when growing professional opportunities take you outside the community, you can often be left with some tough choices; career or community.

    Host, Jayde Symone, shares her truth of helping a young man navigate that choice as well as her own choices within journalism. She is joined by that young man, Uniake Square and North Preston born, African Nova Scotian city councillor, Lindell Smith. He shares his experience trying to navigate the sacrifices of career and community.

  • My Blackness, My Truth: From Aways Tue, Dec 05, 2017

    People who are born in Nova Scotia, identify as Black and have Black lineage in Nova Scotia are very proud of their roots. Being Scotian is not taken lightly, but what happens when people from outside of Nova Scotia want to enter the African Nova Scotian community?

    Host, Jayde Symone, opens the show with some self-reflection and music that reminds her of her time being an outsider in another community. She is joined by two “from aways”, journalist Sarah Poko who was born in Nigeria and has spent the last two years living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She shares her experience struggling to find appropriate haircare products locally. Also joining the conversation is Toronto born son of two African Nova Scotian parents, Izreal Jones. He shares how even while living in another province he was able to stay connected to his Scotian heritage.

  • My Blackness, My Truth: The Walking Woke Tue, Dec 05, 2017

    What is woke? The urban dictionary defines it as although an incorrect tense of awake, a reference to how people should be aware of current affairs. Through social media woke has become a label for those who believe they demonstrate a high level of social consciousness. But isn’t consciousness a journey not a destination?

    Host, Jayde Symone, explores her experience with mindlessly chasing the woke dragon. She is joined via phone by African American, Washington, DC racial justice activist Shawn Leek who shares how they have seen woke culture force some Black folks from a seat at the table. Educator, activist, and poet El Jones, joins the conversation to talk about how woke expanded the conversation about social justice education, but now has spun in a different direction.

  • My Blackness, My Truth: Who is Jayde Symone? Tue, Dec 05, 2017

    Welcome to My Blackness, My Truth podcast.

    This is a podcast that explores how Black identity shows up in our lives. It is centred around the host, Jayde Symone’s truths, her lived experiences so to say. She then invites other Black identified individuals to share their own truths based on her story, with a special focus on the African Nova Scotian experience. On this show, Jayde Symone shares her personal journey exploring and understanding her truths as a Black, Scotian woman. She gives you a little history on what African Nova Scotian identity is and then takes you on a journey around the world as she travelled from Little Rock, Arkansas to Bejing, China and each destination learning a bit more about her own identity.

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