Antonio Michael Downing grew up in Southern Trinidad surrounded by jungles. However after the demise of his grandmother, he made the transfer to Northern Ontario.
Downing shares his full journey in his not too long ago launched memoir Saga Boy. Via writing, he shares his experiences of exploring his journey from Trinidad to Canada in addition to how he navigated his personal racial identification and seek for belonging.
In an interview with The Morning Present, Downing mentioned the robust presence of his grandmother all through his life. Out of the numerous classes he discovered from her, the 2 that left the most important impression on him have been songs and phrases.
“She was at all times singing … She taught me learn how to learn at a really younger age in order that I may very well be her eyes, and people two issues influenced my life to this present day. I’m a author and I’m a singer,” he stated.
‘Take into consideration all we’ve misplaced’: Black creatives confront the way in which Canada overlooks its Black expertise
When Downing moved to Canada, he skilled racism for the primary time at 11 years outdated. All through his journey, he realized there’s a lot behind how folks view him and that being Black is only one factor about him.
“I’m a brother, I’m a son. We’re so many issues. We’re all lovers, we’re mates,” he stated.
“Being Black simply means you need to type of navigate different folks’s tales and my reply to that’s to be artistic and and actually what they name Black excellence to be somewhat bit higher.”
Nervousness builds as particulars of B.C.’s mass vaccination plan for folks over 80 delayed
Trump’s election loss nullifies Meng Wanzhou’s argument for launch: lawyer basic
Navigating shifts in his personal identification from making music to working in company Canada, allowed Downing to specific completely different components of himself, he says.
‘Black Our bodies’: Movie begins conversations on racial profiling and anti-Blackness
“All these identities I did when it comes to performing simply allowed me to convey out true identities, select components of myself that I couldn’t some other approach,” he stated.
Along with engaged on shifts inside his identification, Downing additionally says adapting to life in Canada and studying about how folks lived their lives right here compared to in Trinidad was fascinating.
In Trinidad, the place the setting is sort of a sunny jungle and rainforest, Downing says the Canadian winter was a shock. Particularly, he discovered himself mesmerized by icicles.
Toronto Black Movie Pageant kicks off just about
“I had by no means seen ice outdoors of a freezer that didn’t soften. My aunt Joan would come to Trinidad and say, ‘In Canada we drive on ice’ and we’d simply chortle,” he stated.
Moreover, Downing says the distinction in how folks spoke in Canada versus in Trinidad was completely different to him.
“Loving the sound of music and the sound of phrases I simply needed to slot in,” he stated, including that he would spend a variety of time practising the Canadian tone and methods of talking.
Watch Downing’s full interview with ‘The Morning Present’ within the video above.
© 2021 World Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.