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Black History Month

The following is a guest post by Aisling Chin-Yee.

In celebration of Black History Month, take a look at Sobaz Benjamin‘s short film, Making It.  The film looks at the career paths of a few Black youths. The subjects – who were first interviewed in 1984 – are now in their 40s, and they look at their journeys to “make it” in the workforce, and the barriers they faced along the way.  “Working twice as hard to go half as far” is a common theme in this film, and it quickly becomes apparent that the subjects are judged in the workplace not as individuals but as representatives of their entire race.

This film was made as part of the first series of Work For All films, a web project about racism in the workplace.  We have also compiled a playlist of films that celebrate and look at Black history in Canada.

UPDATE: Also, there are free Black History Month screenings and activities all month at the the Montreal Cinerobotheque and the Toronto Mediatheque.

Aisling Chin-Yee is a line producer for the NFB documentary project about racism in the workplace, Work For All. You can follow Aisling on Twitter here and Work For All Project on Twitter here.

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  1. Swiss Chalet and Toys R US renamed Black History Month to Family Fun Month!

    Lately I have been seeing many swiss chalet commercial advertising their latest promotion where they offer a $10 Toys R us gift card when you buy a kids meal. Other than the fact that the ads are completely misleading as stated here” “, but also how could companies like swiss chalet and toys r us choose Black History Month of all months to be renamed “Family Fun Month” I am not implying that there is anything more to it that just a stupid idea, but what I know is that someone in marketing should be fired. I find it impossible for these companies to actually think doing something like this would not offend many people. While many other north american companies are deciding to celebrate the acheivements, sacrifices, contributions, history and stories of Black History Month Swiss Chalet and Toys R Us have made a clear statement that they do not care. It would be perfectly normal to advertise a different name without dubbing/renaming the entire month or even to use the same name and run it another month, there were many other possibilities, this was clearly a choice and a bad one at that. We should hold these companies accountable for stupid decisions made by their marketing team. For this insult I have pledged to stop eating at Swiss Chalet and stop buying my family members toys at Toys R Us.. I am not in any way asking anyone to do the same- you are free to accept this insult in your own way. What I do ask is that people voice their opinions to let these companies know this is not OK.

    — citizen,

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