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Directory Spotlights Over 500 Black Canadian Creatives

Finding content that feels authentically Canadian can take a lot of work. Being just north of the United States, a lot of culture and content comes into Canada through cultural osmosis. Add trying to find Black Canadian creators into that equation, and the task can feel quite daunting. 

Three content creators felt just that. Together, they helped curate a directory of over 500 Black creators, from Youtubers to bloggers and writers, making it easier for the public to find them. 

Casey Palmer, Kaya Marriott, and Sherley Joseph all know first-hand the challenges of having representation in media. According to Palmer of Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad, “Before George Floyd’s murder on May 25th, 2020, it felt like so many Black creators needed to be creators first and Black people second.” He says it felt like they could never talk about the fundamental parts of their identity and be successful creators. In the months that followed George Floyd’s murder, there was a massive influx of interest in Black stories. However, when brands and people were looking to amplify Black voices, Palmer says they kept hearing the same thing.

“Black Canadian creators were hard to find. That there aren’t enough Black people north of the border to even bother marketing to us.”

Black Canadian creators knew this wasn’t true, as there was a vast display of vloggers, bloggers, writers, and creators here in the Great White North. Sherley Joseph, a podcaster on the Chonilla Network, has worked hard to establish a network of Black Creators, starting the Black Canadian Content Creators Facebook Group and podcast.

“I had such a hard time when I was thinking about this idea. It was extremely difficult to find other Black content creators in this country, in Canada,” a situation which was incredibly annoying for Joseph. “So I was like, how about I create a Facebook group to motivate me to start the podcast and see how it goes?”

Marriott, a Canadian natural Hair and lifestyle blogger, writer, and reader, was finding many Black Canadian creators were being passed over for American influencers because Black Canadian creatives were simply a “rarity.”

“I’ve always believed that we can’t wait for someone to shine a light on our community and that the responsibility often falls on us to create the representation we want to see in the world,” says Marriott. 

Having already started a Facebook group for Black Bloggers, she compiled a list of 30 Black Canadian Content Creators with the dream of seeing a more robust network develop later. Although she felt this task was becoming too great as an individual, with an independent list by Palmer and the network established by Joseph, they created the Black Canadian Creator Directory together, and that directory is growing.

The directory has been a labour of love for the three creators, building a community that celebrates and promotes Blackness here in Canada. Working and learning together was a fantastic experience in making this project a reality. 

“I loved the entire process of putting it together,” says Marriott. “I loved doing our Zoom chats. I felt connected to the community, and we were creating something for the community. I think that’s what felt really special about it. It was built by us for us, and that was incredibly rewarding.” 

“I know I may not express or give them a call all the time, but just in the background, liking what they do and supporting them that way. It means the world to me to see what they do in public and the content creation they’ve done because it’s inspiring me,” says Joseph. 

Big into collaboration, Palmer says it can often be hard to do because life often gets in the way, but putting together the directory was an incredibly smooth experience. “It just felt natural. Before this, we all knew each other, and we were in similar circles, but we never collaborated to this extent on something. It was really friendly, which is good, and we’re bonded.”

The discovery of so many amazing creators was another shared experience by the group. They can’t wait to see how the Black Canadian Creator Directory continues to grow.

Find the Directory at these links:

– Ryan Funk, U Multicultural

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