Sherley’s Notes

April 25, 2021

#FeatureFridays Spotlight on Toronto Black Media Association


Last week, I was featured in The Toronto Black Media Association. It is dedicated to connecting Toronto’s Black creatives with one another, providing an online safe-space for them to communicate and network, and also assisting in the provision of career opportunities.

Here is the complete spotlight:

Happy Friday Everyone! This week for #FeatureFridays the Spotlight is on Sherley Joseph from Black Canadian Content Creators. Check out our interview with her to learn more about her and her current projects:

How did you get started in your career?__________________________________________________________________
“I’ve always had a fascination for broadcasting. TV raised me. Something about gaining new information and the way that investigative reporters would get to the bottom of the truth fascinated me as a kid. I grew watching people like Dan Rather, Christina Amanpour, Oprah Winfrey and listening to Howard Stern I know, I didn’t stutter. Yes, you read that right, Howard Stern.

After high school, went to Humber College Radio Broadcasting program, but I got intimidated by the amount of talent in my class. So I stuck to production. During the mid of my second year, I got pregnant, got a job. Life kicked in and at a work party in 2008, I won an iPod Nano that changed my life. Actually, it got me back into my passion and dream of broadcasting and I discovered podcasts.
I studied my faves and researched everything I needed to know about podcasting for 2 years. Even got in touch with my faves tech guys to provide me with all I need to know. So in 2010 with the research and knowledge and my educational background in broadcasting. We started the ChoNilla podcast for 5 years every week with over 400+ episodes.”

What was a memorable yet life-changing moment that you’ve cherished?__________________________________________________________________
“Other than the birth of our three kids. One day I was watching a four-part series called the 8th fire hosted by Wab Kinew on CBC Doc. My life partner and I who is also the co-producer and co-host of ChoNilla. We started thinking about having guests outside of our friend and family group.

I was so inspired by how much I was learning and also embarrassed by the fact that’s so much history was hidden from me, from us as Canadians in regards to what indigenous people have gone through and continue to go through in Canada. I was gravitated by Wab as a host and as himself and felt this deep need to have them on the show. But at the same time was thinking here’s this itty bitty podcast that’s kind of new, would someone of his calibre even consider to be on. I just felt this deep need that our audience really needed to know from him to know the truth and the story of his people and educate us as well. so I set my ego aside bet on myself and as podcasters and as fellow communicators to DM on Twitter and he said yes.
That was a defining moment for us it was a reminder of if you put your best foot forward and your authentic and you’re very clear on your goal and the message that you are trying to convey for your audience with your gas the doors are wide open that you can truly have anyone on your show. Your possibilities are endless!”

Your favourite project you’ve worked on to date?__________________________________________________________________
“In late 2017, I decided to start a Facebook community out of frustration because I was having a hard time finding fellow Black Canadian Podcasters or Black Canadian Comedians to connect for my show. I was moved by the way our show was embraced by fellow Podcasters in the United States and wanted to create this communal camaraderie in Canada digitally. So I created Black Canadian content creators in order to find each other, to connect with one another and for people to have a chance to share their latest content and hopefully people take the helm to collaborate with others.

I also created the podcast in order to Spotlight amazing content creators who are not just at the pinnacle of their influence or public figure-dom. But, people who’s on the come-up. We don’t have to wait for someone to get to a Drake or The Weeknd level type of creators to celebrate or pay attention to their work. Let’s celebrate amazing content creators NOW, as they are growing or continue to evolve as they are producing their own path in any type of content creation. Whether they are a blogger, an author, a podcaster, a vlogger, a photographer, a filmmaker, a producer, a musician, a strategist, a web design genius. a visual or digital artist and so on.”

What advice would you give to individuals trying to get where you are?__________________________________________________________________
“It’s the typical cliche, but true statement. Just be you because there is no one else on this planet that can do YOU better than YOU! Stop trying so damn hard to be someone you’re not. And if you find that it’s hard then tell your inner saboteur or ego to sit it’s a** down cause you don’t have time for it right now cause you are too busy in believing in yourself and rather place that energy in a positive and rewarding space with betting on yourself. Which goes back to just do you boo! By doing this, you will connect with people who relate to either your perspective or idea. By presenting YOU as a content creator, it gives permission for others who identify like you to be themselves but most importantly to know that they’re not alone.

Research and put your best foot forward, and still learning say it and claim it. By being very clear on what you are going to create and where you minimize any outside pressures. Always stay on top of your craft, that’s in anything. For me as a podcaster, I always stay on top of what are the latest gadgets in podcasting, what are the latest software and plugins, who are the new podcast players or podcast shows are in the podesphere or companies that are getting in the podcasting game etc. And, I listen to podcasts every single day. Nothing disappoints me more as a podcast producer when people say I want to start a podcast but either never listened to hardly any. Or, just to have one because it’s a checkmark on a list. Trust me, if you are someone who starts a podcast just to have one, that sentiment will shine through and be heard from the mic to a device or speaker if that is your only reason. This goes to say that is it important to be your authentic self and really know the goal and the purpose why you create the type of content that you produce. And if you don’t know the goal, that’s where I come in to dig that out of you for a strong podcast plan.” 

Working on any upcoming projects we should know about?__________________________________________________________________
“Building a website and working on expanding BCANCC as a community outside of Facebook. Creating more virtual meetups. I started co-hosting with fellow BCANCC members a clubhouse every other Thursday (bi-weekly) to talk about our knowledge, our concerns, what our community needs to know and spotlighting fellow Black Creatives on the platform (Shout-out to Nicole Waldron, Karlena Waugh and Tristan Barrocks). And soon, collaborating for videocast production for both 
The ChoNilla Network and Black Canadian Content Creators. I also co-launched People Of Canada Stock Images (@pocimages) with my business partner Johanne Britton from The Mob’s Press. POC Images’ goal is to spotlight and feature the culture of Black and Indigenous people through a Canadian lens and atmosphere while exploring all the different colours that make this land so beautiful.”

With the world’s current state, how have you been able to move your career forward?__________________________________________________________________
“By being unapologetically Black. By going to non-black communities and making them aware of our existence while creating our own spaces. I no longer wait for structures that weren’t really built for me or us to be invited to the table. I’m constantly working on creating my own or collaborating with others within the black community to bring our tables together. This goes back to my Haitian roots, “L’union Fait La Force!” which means There is Strength in Unity. And if you feel me, let yourself repeat after out loud, “AYIBOBO” (Amen in creole) on that!”

You can find Sherley here on Instagram: @SherleyJos & @BlackCanadianCC Feature Fridays”.

Thank you so much for the feature and a extra merci to Shane Latouche, the founder TBMA of Visit:

April 6, 2021

9 Common Mistakes Every New Podcaster Makes

Do you have unrealistic expectations about your podcast, Do you know your niche? Stop and budget for your podcast, Check the copyright laws and more.

June 10, 2020

10 Books About Racism and Black Lives in Canada to Purchase at Black-Owned Bookstores

The brutal death of George Floyd, at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers, sparks a movement for Black Lives. Meanwhile, as protests continue in the United States, you read or hear ‘But it’s not that bad in Canada’!

Tell that to the family of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, an Indigenous-Black Canadian woman, in Toronto, on May 27, 2020, dies due to a mental health call gone wrong by under-trained police officers. Or Dafonte Miller, a Black man in Whitby who lost his eye in a violent confrontation with an off-duty Toronto police officer and his brother. And, Chantel Moore, an Indigenous woman shot and killed by the New Brunswick police, on June 04, 2020, in Edmundston and so many more.

Their deaths activate Black or Indigenous people around the world in action to highlight their own countries’ police killings (Recommendation Read: Letters to America from Black Canadian). These stolen lives are reminders of a wound we all feel when you are marginalized through systemic racism tactics and the people in a position of authority with low training in their implicit bias or their cultural competency.

I found myself for the past two weeks expressing my sadness and hurt by being a listening hear to my community and transferring my anger and frustration by sharing posts online plus on the podcast, in order to inform non-black people who follow me to 👏🏿 START 👏🏿 DOING 👏🏿 THE 👏🏿 WORK. But, the common response is: “I want to help, but I do not know where to start or where to look”. REALLY!


So… here we are. Where to start?!? Perhaps this list can be a good start. Some literature by Black Canadian authors and black voices and perspectives to purchase at a Black Canadian owned bookstore.


Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present by Robyn Maynard

Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present
by Robyn Maynard

Delving behind Canada’s veneer of multiculturalism and tolerance, Policing Black Lives traces the violent realities of anti-blackness from the slave ships to prisons, classrooms and beyond. Robyn Maynard provides readers with the first comprehensive account of nearly four hundred years of state-sanctioned surveillance, criminalization and punishment of Black lives in Canada.


The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power by Desmond Cole

The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power
by Desmond Cole

A bracing, provocative, and perspective-shifting book from one of Canada’s most celebrated and uncompromising writers, Desmond Cole. The Skin We’re In will spark a national conversation, influence policy, and inspire activists. In his 2015 cover story for Toronto Life magazine, Desmond Cole exposed the racist actions of the Toronto police force, detailing the dozens of times he had been stopped and interrogated under the controversial practice of carding. Both Cole’s activism and journalism find vibrant expression in his first book, The Skin We’re In. The year also witnessed the profound personal and professional ramifications of Desmond Cole’s unwavering determination to combat injustice. Month-by-month, Cole creates a comprehensive picture of entrenched, systemic inequality. Urgent, controversial, and unsparingly honest, The Skin We’re In is destined to become a vital text for anti-racist and social justice movements in Canada, as well as a potent antidote to the all-too-present complacency of many white Canadians.

New Framings on Anti-Racism and Resistance: Volume 1 — Anti-Racism and Transgressive Pedagogies by Ayan Abdulle | Anne Nelun

New Framings on Anti-Racism and Resistance: Volume 1 — Anti-Racism and Transgressive Pedagogies
by Ayan Abdulle | Anne Nelun Obeyesekere | U of T Students

This collection of essays generates important enquiries into the teaching and practice of anti-racism education, by way of working through conversations, contestations, and emotions as presented by a diverse group of strong women committed to social justice work in their own right. Throughout the collection, contemporary educational issues are situated within personal-political, historical and philosophical conversations, which work to broach the challenges and possibilities for students, educators, staff, administrators, policy-makers, and community members who engage in critical anti-racism education. You can also purchase the kindle version if you are unable to find the paperback.

Conversations with white people by IC Bailey

Conversations with white people by IC Bailey

Conversations with White People offers a raw, challenging, front-line look at the current state of the racial divide. Pulled from thousands of online and offline conversations, Black people lead the way in these dialogues addressing head-on white people’s views of racism, White supremacy, and White privilege. Covering topics that range from the basics of what racism is to cultural appropriation to racist messages in culture and sport, Conversations with White People makes one thing crystal clear: the race divide is bigger and more complex than many people think. You can also purchase the kindle version if you are unable to find the paperback.

This one is special to share. Our Friend IC dedicated HIS LIFE to fight and educate people on racism. He even took the time to visit us at the studio to talk about his journey on Black Canadian Content Creators (posting soon).  Just as we started building a friendship and had many amazing conversations. The world lost a great man and a warrior in social justice on December 12, 2019. This book consists of not only true dialogues between B.I.POC & white people, but in this time of change and shift, his words and the team at Conversations With White People need to be read. Rest In Power IC! 

Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada by Rodney Diverlus | Sandy Hudson | Syrus Marcus Ware

Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada
by Rodney Diverlus | Sandy Hudson | Syrus Marcus Ware 

The killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012 by a white assailant inspired the Black Lives Matter movement, which quickly spread outside the borders of the United States. The movement’s message found fertile ground in Canada, where Black activists speak of generations of injustice and continue the work of the Black liberators who have come before them. Until We Are Free contains some of the very best writing on the hottest issues facing the Black community in Canada. It describes the latest developments in Canadian Black activism, organizing efforts through the use of social media, Black-Indigenous alliances, and more.

They Call Me George: The Untold Story of Black Train Porters and the Birth of Modern Canada By Cecil Foster

Smartly dressed and smiling, Canada’s black train porters were a familiar sight to the average passenger — yet their minority status rendered them politically invisible, second-class in the social imagination that determined who was and who was not considered Canadian. Subjected to gruelling shifts and unreasonable standards — a passenger missing his stop was a dismissible offense — the so-called ‘Pullmen’ of the country’s rail lines were denied secure positions and prohibited from bringing their families to Canada, and it was their struggle against the racist Dominion that laid the groundwork for the multicultural nation we know today. Drawing on the experiences of these influential black Canadians, Cecil Foster’s They Call Me George demonstrates the power of individuals and minority groups in the fight for social justice and shows how a country can change for the better.


Big Dreamers: The Canadian Black History Activity Book for Kids Volume 1
by Akilah Newton | Tami Gabay | Danielle Murrell Cox

Big Dreamers: The Canadian Black History Activity Book for Kids Volume 1 is the first in a series published by Bright Confetti Media Inc. that celebrates the inspiring contributions of Black Canadians who overcame adversity and went on to achieve greatness while changing the course of history. The book highlights the achievements of Black Canadians who’s stories are often left untold. Big Dreamers is an overview of people, places and events that paved the way for future generations of Canadians. The book profiles individual “Big Dreamers” from A-Z, provides a historical timeline, examines Black History in each province and territory, and keeps readers engaged with a variety of activities.

Shades of People
by Sheila M Kelly | Shelley Rotner

A celebration of the diversity of everyday life, this exploration of one of our most noticeable physical traits pairs simple text with vibrant photographs. At school, at the beach, and in the city, diverse groups of children invite young readers both to take notice and to look beyond the obvious. Combining lively action shots and candid portraits, Shelley Rotner’s photographs showcase a wide variety of kids and families — many shades, and many bright smiles. For even younger readers, this title has also been adapted as a board book, All Kinds of People.

Africville by Shauntay Grant | Eva Campbell

When a young girl visits the site of Africville, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the stories she’s heard from her family come to mind. She imagines what the community was once like — the brightly painted houses nestled into the hillside, the field where boys played football, the pond where all the kids went rafting, the bountiful fishing, the huge bonfires. Coming out of her reverie, she visits the present-day park and the sundial where her great- grandmother’s name is carved in stone and celebrates a summer day at the annual Africville Reunion/Festival. Africville was a vibrant Black community for more than 150 years. But even though its residents paid municipal taxes, they lived without running water, sewers, paved roads and police, fire-truck and ambulance services. Over time, the city located a slaughterhouse, a hospital for infectious disease, and even the city garbage dump nearby. In the 1960s, city officials decided to demolish the community, moving people out in city dump trucks and relocating them in public housing. Today, Africville has been replaced by a park, where former residents and their families gather each summer to remember their community.

Africville by Shauntay Grant | Eva Campbell

Happy memories sparkle in this journey through poet Shauntay Grant’s childhood visits to North Preston, Nova Scotia. Her words bring to life the sights, sounds, rhythms, and people of a joyful place, while Susan Tooke’s vibrant illustrations capture the warmth of one of Canada’s most important black communities. Up Home celebrates the magic of growing up and the power in remembering our roots now in a new softcover edition.




A Different Booklist, Toronto
From First Canadians to African-Canadians, from the Caribbean to Asia, from Adults’ books to Children’s books, we open the door to literary gems from the Canadian Cultural Mosaic.

Knowledge Bookstore, Brampton 
It is an independent Afrocentric bookstore located in Brampton Ontario that sells African Canadian, African American, Caribbean and Children books.

Librairie Racines, Montreal
En Français  — Since 2017, Gabriella Kinté has been offering books from all walks of life, but also a fair place for racialized authors. Far from addressing only an ethno-cultural clientele, Librairie Racines aims to be a representative showcase of society and wants to promote diversity in the literary landscape, and in our libraries. Beyond commerce, Gabriella dreams of building a community around reading, exchanges and discoveries, because she is convinced that stories are not transmitted solely through the paper.

In addition to its collections in literature, children, novels, issues, poetry, the bookstore offers loan services, writing workshops, reading, and a selection of used books.

If this has been helpful, or you have any other recommendations, love to learn more in the comments.

May 28, 2020

Pull UP White People

I have been trying to stay quiet, but my heart is heavy and the heart of my people is just, it’s just too much, so much. I have been on the phone or DM’s yesterday and many of us are just heartbroken. We are left to remind ourselves to keep moving forward in the name of our existence.

YES, this has to be talked about because people are dying in the name of hate, fear, ignorance. But there is another that adds to the fuel, tolerance.

We have to change the language and behaviour of tolerance in this world. Proving you are not racist or a good person by tolerating people who are different than you, the buck stops here! I have heard, been told and seen many parents tell their kids this message. Tolerating phrases like: “Don’t be ignorant, we must tolerate the differences of other people, I don’t see colour, some of my best friends are…” No one should EVER be tolerated. It means to allow me to be or put up with me or these people. It’s a lesser then word furthermore action when it comes to the interaction of culture and/or race with human beings. I mean, think about this! What kind of message is THAT?

I don’t need your allowance for my existence. I don’t want you to put up with me and not be challenged when I notice this kind of ignorance in you. Acting a fool for some, to the point that it can kill somebody!

Black People and Indigenous People MUST be valued, recognized, included at all times and appreciated. If not, You can place your “TOLERANCE” up my (*&*&*)!

Because people in power and those who are benefiting from that power have the luxury of tolerance, to look the other way, to say I can’t relate. I don’t understand and refusing to put in the work to understand, solely because this is not happening in my world. My community, My people, Black People continue to wait to be tolerated and overall, we are TIRED! Tired to break through societal, hierarchical, patriarchal, supremacist systems that are purposefully and specifically in place, asking us to constantly prove to the world, to ‘SEE’ our humanity.

We DO NOT have the time for that bulls**t. We are being killed simply based on this stupid a** message that: “Our Skin Tone is something to fear. Our Skin Tone is different from you so stand clear, and Our Skin Tone is a weapon or a threat. It’s not that deep, it is just, ‘OUR SKIN TONE’. That’s ALL!

Look, all I am saying is this. When you see an injustice, especially that is targeted to Black and Indigenous folks. Like Rihanna said, this message is for all of us, but ‘SPECIFICALLY’ to all my white friends, colleagues, white people in general, “PULL UP” for Black Issues.

Remember this: “Prejudice is the emotional commitment to ignorance.” ― Nathan Rutstein

Stay Blessed, Remain Loving and Always Search For The Truth! #TeamHumanity

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