My Jamaican Black History

There are so many narratives that exist in Black history. Some are of pain and suffering, others are of royalty and strength. In the spirit of Black History Month, I’m sharing a glimpse into what I know about my Jamaican history, specifically that of my maternal great grandmother. It’s so important to truly know our own heritage, which is a blessing to know and have access to, especially as a descendent of slaves.

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Our New Perspective

Maintaining your relationship with God is a fertilizer for life. Once you’re aware that the issues you go through are simply apart of God’s bigger plan for your life, you will find your sense of peace and eventually your purpose. Who better to trust with your path than the one that created it?

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Downtown, Kingston - A Story on Wealth

Why should one have to abandon their roots to be accepted into communities of wealth? This photo series aims to challenge the prejudices between rich and poor in Kingston, Jamaica. Jamaica's National Motto, "out of many, one people," declares our multi-cultural makeup, being influenced by the Spanish, English, Africans and more. However, the African descendants have to struggle to become a part of the upper-middle class.

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ARTMonique Hoilett
5 Budgeting Tips to Secure Your Travel Plans

In the past couple years I’ve made the most trips to Jamaica since I moved to Toronto 15 years ago. I’ve had people ask me, “Monique, how do you afford to travel so often? Are you rich?” No, I’m not rich, I’m still a student.  I just learned from life how to manage my money and now I invest what I can from my part-time job into travel. Here are 5 things that can help you afford to make the trip you always wanted. 

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A Gambian artist’s story with Aisha Jallow

I’m deeply interested in the influence an artists’ home country has on their work and life. Toronto’s art community consists of many first generation Canadians, immigrants and visitors. This creates a very unique scene of artists with different stories to tell. This story comes from Aisha Jallow, a photographer from The Gambia who recently visited home. She shares her evolving perspectives and how this affects her as an artist.

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Finding Freedom of Strength

Whether it’s the food, music or language, we have all developed an opinion on Caribbean culture. The love for Jamaican culture has been universal since Bob Marley took to the world to spread his message of peace and love with Rasta man vibrations in the 70s. However, there is a lot more to this nation's story than what outsiders looking in can see. I was able to sit with Jamaican artist, Camille Chedda, during the Jamaica Biennial 2017 exhibition at the National Gallery of Jamaica. She showcased a project in representation of how she believes the colonial impact in Jamaica is visible today.

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x a y m a c a: a dialogue on African diaspora

Sydné Barnes-Wright will be displaying new mixed media pieces at her pop-up show on Thursday, June 29th, 3-9pm and Friday, June 30th, 1-7pm at 789 Bathurst Street, Toronto. The show represents a beginning to her research and the influence her home country, Jamaica, has had on her work. Through her research she has come across facts, historical images and practises that have inspired her to start a conversation. She believes that the African diaspora from a Caribbean perspective it is a topic that needs more attention.

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Nature vs. Nurture

This is a question that many ask themselves when they're feeling less than satisfied or even overwhelmed by who they are. Fact is that we are a unique mixture of what nature and nurture has offered us. This is what makes us who we are. What will you do with it? When analyzing both these aspects of yourself, its important to remember that nurture has the ability to greatly influence what is already there, nature.

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