Ottawa Community·BLACK LEGACY

Digital series showcases the stories of 8 black youth

CBC Ottawa is collaborating with Youth Ottawa to create a unique digital series that tells the stories of eight black youth.

Follow CBC Ottawa on Instagram to see their stories

CBC Ottawa is collaborating with Youth Ottawa, a non-profit devoted to empowering youth voices, to create a unique storytelling series on Instagram.

Black Legacy: True Youth Stories will showcase the lives of eight youth, ranging in age from 15 to 25. These young storytellers are athletes, students, entrepreneurs, musicians and artists finding their voice, developing their passion and understanding their identity.

These youth stories will be featured on the CBC Ottawa Instagram feed in February. Follow @CBCOttawa and visit our IGTV channel to watch the series.

'Black Legacy'

In the first episode of the series, Jamaal Jackson Rogers, Ottawa's English Poet Laureate and Coordinator with Youth Ottawa, explains why he likes to use the word 'legacy' rather than 'history' in February.

"I called it Black Legacy Month about four years ago. People do remix the term often. It's not just me. I'm not a rebel or a renegade of any sort but I prefer to call it Black Legacy Month because it encompasses all of what the black experience is and not just what we've been through," Jackson Rogers says. 

Jamaal Jackson Rogers says the word legacy encompasses all of the black experience, rather than just looking to the past. (Benoit Roussel/CBC)

Click the IGTV icon in the highlight row on the @CBCOttawa Instagram profile page for the full intro video.

Meet the youth storytellers

Zainab Muse is a young entrepreneur. Ten years ago, at the age of 15, she moved to Canada from Nigeria to attend school. At first she thought she'd go to med school, but ultimately decided to continue the entrepreneurial legacy of her mother and grandmother. Now she's 25 and owns two companies: Wingd and Creatorland.

(Benoit Roussel/CBC)

Charysse Francis is an athlete. She plays for Rugby Quebec and she's a lifeguard. Although she loves being on the pitch and in the pool, she says she'd like to see more diversity in athletics.

(Benoit Roussel/CBC)

Patrick Dunac is rap artist who goes by the name Boogedy—a nickname his mom gave him because he loved to dance when he was little. He's 21 years old and loves writing lyrics and being on stage. 

(Benoit Roussel/CBC)

Cleason Lewis was home schooled growing up, which is how he found his love of music and now says he wants to become a professional musician. 

(Benoit Roussel/CBC)

Hasina Kamanzi is a visual artist and law student who found her passion for art at a young age when she fell in love with anime. She says she doesn't feel represented in media, so her work tries to illustrate her own experience.

(Benoit Roussel/CBC)

Saeed Babalola is a young basketball player. He's only 16 but he's starting to feel the pressure of finishing high school. Saeed's family is from Nigeria but since he was raised in Canada, he says he's trying to feel closer to his Nigerian identity by learning the language, wearing the attire and eating the food.

(Benoit Roussel/CBC)

Liz Clarke is a spoken word artist and rapper who goes by the name HTEBASIŁÉ. She's also about to finish her degree in child and youth care at Algonquin College. Liz is passionate about working with youth and elevating their voices.

(Benoit Roussel/CBC)

Vanessa Brohman is a spoken word poet and at just 15, she has a lot to say. Her poetry focuses on her own identity—her hair, her skin colour and mental health. 

(Benoit Roussel/CBC)