Faith Nolan queer gifted and black

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TORONTO QUEER CULTURE NOW.                 FEB 17 2021

 

Queer, Gifted And Black: Faith Nolan

COURTNAY MCFARLANE

 

In celebration of Black History/Futures/Liberation Month for Yohomo I’ve connected with some of my favorite Toronto-based Black LGBTQ+ artists to get their take on this most contested month. Through our virtual dialogue, they answered 10 questions. Selected responses from these artists will be posted weekly. 

Courtnay McFarlane: Who are you? 

Faith Nolan: Faith Nolan. I am a Musician/activist. I am proudly descended from Africa to Nova Scotia, descended from Black, Indigenous, Irish Coal miners.  Hardworking poor people.

 

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What, if anything, does Black History Month/African Liberation Month/Black Futures Month mean to you? 

A: Born in Africville and growing up in Toronto I never learned anything about the history or contemporary struggles of Black people on Turtle Island. I had no idea how we arrived in this part of the world. In my twenties, I researched the history of Black people in a few books Blacks in Canada and Rella Braithwaite’s The Black Women in Canada I used this information to write songs and record the first Afro-Scotian history through music on my first album, called Africville*. 

BHM Fact: Africville was an African-Canadian village formerly located just north of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Founded in the mid-18th century, Africville became a prosperous seaside community, but the City of Halifax demolished it in the 1960s in what many regarded as an act of racism after decades of governmental neglect and the placement of undesirable services there. The former residents were forcibly relocated and their descendants were scattered. The mayor of the Halifax Regional Municipality apologized in 2010 for Africville’s destruction. A settlement was reached that established the Africville Heritage Trust that extends to the Africville Museum. For many people, Africville represents the oppression faced by Black Canadians and the ongoing efforts to right historic wrongs.

(thecanadianencyclopedia.ca; africvillemuseum.org)

Name your Black LGBTQ+ ancestor/idol/mentor/inspiration and explain why.

I would say there are so, so many but to name a few: Angela Davis, Dionne Brand, Robyn Maynard, James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry are my inspirations because they have dedicated their work to speaking and writing true Black liberation, critiquing the ravages and intersectionalities of racism, sexism, capitalism, indigenous land claims, (and oppression against) refugees, queers, differently-abled, immigrants, and they, like Black Lives Matter, WOKE up the peeps not for money or fame but for the upliftment of humanity.   

Share your personal Toronto Black LBGTQ+ history moment. An anecdote. What image is associated with it? 

A moment that reoccurs to me over and over is us laying around on pillows in a room in our house on Ossington with the Black Women’s Collective* and feeling a profound love that we, most of us lesbians had created ourselves, our radical lives and created a shared intersectional politic. This was and remains a historic moment for me.

BHM Fact: BLACK WOMEN’S COLLECTIVE (1984 – 1989) The Black Women's Collective was a Toronto-based group of Black feminists who and participated politically in local and national activism and engaged in the struggle to end the oppression of sexism, racism (particularly anti-Black racism), homophobia, ageism, class exploitation, capitalism and imperialism. The BWC advanced intersectional feminism and planned and held protests, educationals, events and campaigns against systems of oppression, working in solidarity with other progressive groups, and calling for broader representation within progressive organizations. The collective included scholars, activists and artists such as Carol Allain, Angela Robertson Dionne Brand, Linda Carty, Afua Cooper, Grace Channer and Faith Nolan. The BWC published Our Lives: Canada’s first Black Women’s newspaper from 1986-1989.  More info: riseupfeministarchive.ca

What is the change that you want to see that you embody, or strive to embody?

“Change is gonna come” with me or without me it is inevitably human. To be one of the many who stand to stop the killing wars, stop the greedy land theft hoarders, abolish prisons and the police. To be one of the many who will struggle to be love caring, kind, sharing, peaceful. To be one of the many who can leave this world better than we found it.

Ongoing or upcoming project to share? Social media handles? 

This fall two Gatherings one for women prisoners and one for  Healing through Music. Building two tiny homes for the homeless. Daily songwriting, creating videos for my songs of freedom and struggle. Sending out love daily to the peeps and planet.  Check out Faith’s website

One more thing…

Peace, joy and justice… we are changing the world. We can because we must change the world.

BLACKNESS, COMMUNITY

faith nolan, africville, black queer singer, singer songwriter, black history month toronto

 

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Robyn Maynard

 

@policingblack

 

Sharing again the #HistoricDeclaration  to divest from policing and prisons snd choose real safety by investing in our communities. Sign on and support work to end policing, prisons and border controls in your own community #AbolitionInOurLifetime http://choosingrealsafety.com

 

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Name your Black LGBTQ+ ancestor/idol/mentor/inspiration and explain why.

I would say there are so, so many but to name a few: Angela Davis, Dionne Brand, Robyn Maynard, James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry are my inspirations because they have dedicated their work to speaking and writing true Black liberation, critiquing the ravages and intersectionalities of racism, sexism, capitalism, indigenous land claims, (and oppression against) refugees, queers, differently-abled, immigrants, and they, like Black Lives Matter, WOKE up the peeps not for money or fame but for the upliftment of humanity.   

<img src="https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/570289bb62cd94d3a2b5d821/1..." alt="OurLives2.jpg" />

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Share your personal Toronto Black LBGTQ+ history moment. An anecdote. What image is associated with it? 

A moment that reoccurs to me over and over is us laying around on pillows in a room in our house on Ossington with the Black Women’s Collective* and feeling a profound love that we, most of us lesbians had created ourselves, our radical lives and created a shared intersectional politic. This was and remains a historic moment for me.

BHM Fact: BLACK WOMEN’S COLLECTIVE (1984 – 1989) The Black Women's Collective was a Toronto-based group of Black feminists who and participated politically in local and national activism and engaged in the struggle to end the oppression of sexism, racism (particularly anti-Black racism), homophobia, ageism, class exploitation, capitalism and imperialism. The BWC advanced intersectional feminism and planned and held protests, educationals, events and campaigns against systems of oppression, working in solidarity with other progressive groups, and calling for broader representation within progressive organizations. The collective included scholars, activists and artists such as Carol Allain, Angela Robertson Dionne Brand, Linda Carty, Afua Cooper, Grace Channer and Faith Nolan. The BWC published Our Lives: Canada’s first Black Women’s newspaper from 1986-1989.  More info: riseupfeministarchive.ca

What is the change that you want to see that you embody, or strive to embody?

“Change is gonna come” with me or without me it is inevitably human. To be one of the many who stand to stop the killing wars, stop the greedy land theft hoarders, abolish prisons and the police. To be one of the many who will struggle to be love caring, kind, sharing, peaceful. To be one of the many who can leave this world better than we found it.

 

 

Faith Nolan 

Box Factory

 

 

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Faith Nolan · Box Factory

Ongoing or upcoming project to share? Social media handles? 

This fall two Gatherings one for women prisoners and one for  Healing through Music. Building two tiny homes for the homeless. Daily songwriting, creating videos for my songs of freedom and struggle. Sending out love daily to the peeps and planet.  Check out Faith’s website

One more thing…

Peace, joy and justice… we are changing the world. We can because we must change the world.

BLACKNESS, COMMUNITY