Celebrating Black Voices and Literature at Linden

Posted by Admin on March 21, 2022 at 12:37 PM

Grade 9 students give a dramatic reading of "Explique Moi" by Josaine Ménard.

Black History Month was honoured at Linden with an All-School celebrating Black Voices and Literature on February 23rd. “I put out a call for readers,” said Tonja Armstrong-MacInnis. “The enthusiasm of the students, staff and special guests was extraordinary. So was the variety of texts and themes they shared, and the care put into their presentations.” You can see the selection of readings and readers here

Special guests included Linden aluma Onyka Gairey (class of 2012), who was among six emerging writers to be awarded a prestigious mentorship through the Nia Centre. Last month, their stories were published in Griot: Six Writers’ Sojourn into the Dark. Onyka read from their own work and acted as Master of Ceremonies. Dr. Jill Andrew, MPP for Toronto-St. Paul’s, shared inspirational words from We're Rooted Here and They Can't Pull Us Up: Essays in African Canadian Women's History. 

Another published author, Grade 10 Linden student Aisha Boubacar, read her children’s book, Crowned in Curls. Following the reading, Aisha was invited to participate in an International Women’s Day panel with Dr. Andrew titled Protecting our Crowns: BIPOC Performers, Hair and Industry. 

Many other students and staff joined in the readings, including senior French students who creatively shared their translation of Explique-Moi by Josiane Ménard.

All participants were given a postcard and asked to write or draw their responses — how the reading made them feel, what stood out, and what images came to mind. The images our students shared speak for themselves.

Linden Alumna Onyka Gairey, our MC for the morning, read an excerpt from their published piece of work "Old Song."

Linden was honoured to welcome MPP Dr. Jill Andrew as a special guest speaker.

Published Author & Grade 10 Linden student Aisha Boubacar gives a special reading of her children's book "Crowned in Curls."

Caroline Nganga (Grade 11) shares a poem from George Moss Horton titled "On Liberty and Slavery."

Maya Thompson-Leonardelli (Grade 12) reads a passage from Bell Hooks' "Come Closer to Feminism."

Grade 7 students sharing quotes of Zora Neale Hurston.