Real Talk on Race | Point of view
Stories from Montrealers about how they live, see and understand race
As part of our series Real Talk on Race, CBC Montreal asked 10 people to share their personal stories about race. These stories are in their own words.
We will be publishing their stories over the course of the series and will add them to this page.
Share your reactions or your own point of view with us on Facebook, Twitter or email email@example.com.
Feeling like a stranger in your own backyard
By Gage Diabo
Gage Diabo got his first real taste of life outside the reserve when he began attending CEGEP in Montreal. But he soon began to feel like a stranger in his own backyard when he overheard the hurtful and ignorant things people would say about his community.
The need for mentorship as a woman of colour
By Rachel Zellars
As a single mother, PhD student, and woman of colour, Rachel Zellars says her ability to to succeed and be happy is closely tied to the mentorship she has received — mentorship that she believes women of colour owe to one another.
Iraqi journalist finds peace and acceptance in Montreal
By Hussein Al Hilli
Hussein Al Hilli and his family landed in Montreal 24 years ago. Since then, Hussein says he's found tolerance and understanding.
How one Inuk man's parka connects him to his community
By Stephen Puskas
Back home in the North, Stephen Puskas didn't think much about his parka. But when he walked around Montreal, it gave him a sense of a belonging in a community that's spread out across the city.
Chinese or Canadian? One Montrealer's identity crisis
By Day's Lee
I remember my first identity crisis like it was yesterday. I was about eleven years old and watching a Habs game. The Canadians scored. I cheered. My parents asked who was winning. "We are!" I said. My parents laughed. "That's not us. We're Chinese."
'Change her name. Don't tell her she's native'
My parents chose me out of a catalogue of First Nations children. It was the trend in 1970 to offer First Nations children to non-Aboriginal homes. It was a government imposed initiative which has become known as "the 60's scoop"— the solution to the enduring "Indian problem.
The weight of the veil
By Dania Suleman
Dania Suleman says she never decided to stop wearing the hijab, but felt it came with a heavy burden — "that somehow, since you wear the veil, you are an ambassador for this vast religion called Islam."
Broken crayons still colour
By Svens Telemaque
Arrested six times in his youth for drugs and weapons, Svens Telemaque once fit an all-too-common stereotype. But now he's working to arm others with the knowledge that you don't have to be confined by your past and other people's perceptions.
Growing up as the white minority
By Coltrane McDowell
As a child in Sub-Saharan Africa, Coltrane McDowell was very aware of his own "whiteness." In Montreal, where his skin colour made him less conspicuous, he became even more aware of the role his minority status played in his early life.
Real Talk on Race is CBC Montreal's special series exploring personal conversations and experiences around race in the city.